From the time that you discover, you will be a new parent till your child is an independent adult, there are so many decisions to make. From choosing that perfect stroller, to choosing a pediatrician for your baby, and many more. Just as you would do in depth research before you purchase a baby stroller, reading stroller buying guides, stroller reviews, etc., choosing a pediatrician is a very important decision, as you will have a relationship with this doctor until your child is 18 years old. Many woman begin interviewing pediatricians during their pregnancy.
A pediatrician is a medical specialist that practices solely, in the care of infants, children and adolescents. Pediatricians provide preventive care to healthy children as well as medical attentions to children who are ill. They offer physical, mental and emotional support to the parents and children as well. The basic services that a pediatrician should provide are,
- monthly or yearly examinations to evaluate child's growth and development
- detecting and diagnosing developmental delays
- diagnosing common illnesses in children, such as strep throat or ear infections
- prescriptions for medication when necessary
Finding the right pediatrician, many times is done through word of mouth, or hearsay. Speak to friends and relatives, about their experiences with the pediatric doctors in your area. Prepare a list of important factors, that you (personally) require in a pediatrician. Some parents have preferences in genders, ages or size of practices of the pediatrician. You can even have a short interview with the doctors in question. These are some important questions you may want to ask your friends or relatives about the pediatricians.
- Do you feel that the pediatrician listens intently to your questions and concerns
- Does the pediatrician know how to relate to young children?
- Does your pediatrician explain things clearly to the parents?
- How long do you usually wait in the waiting room for your turn?
- Does the pediatrician respect your choices in regard to your child?
- What is his educational background?
- Is the waiting room sterile and clean? Are there separate areas for sick and well kids?
- Which hospital does he/she send children to, in case of an emergency?
- Who answers emergency calls after hours?
- Will my health insurance plan be accepted in your office?
Once you have chosen the pediatrician, you should make an appointment as soon as your baby is born. Follow your pediatricians instructions as to how often, you need to see him for well visits, within the first year. If you have questions or concerns about your baby's feeding or sleeping habits, make sure to ask them when you go. Do not be embarrassed to ask the pediatrician anything that concerns you. It is your child, and you want to make sure you are doing the right things. Your pediatrician is there for you.