Babies visit the doctor a lot in the first year of life, which is why it’s so important to find a pediatrician you like and trust. Read our advice on choosing a pediatrician for your newborn below.
When Do You Choose a Pediatrician?
You’ll want to select a pediatrician for your baby before you deliver. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends seven well-child visits before your child is a year old and the first of those visits should happen when your baby is between two to five days old.
There’s no official guideline for when you should have a pediatrician lined up, but most new parents start researching pediatricians at the beginning of the third trimester.
How Do You Begin the Search?
Many people begin the search by asking for recommendations from friends and family. Remember that not everyone looks for the same thing in a doctor, so it will be helpful to ask your friends what they like about their pediatrician.
If you don’t have any friends with kids nearby who can provide a recommendation, you can contact your insurance provider for a list or pediatricians in your area that work with your coverage plan. Your midwife or OB/GYN can also be a great resource.
How Do You Decide on a Pediatrician?
Once you have put a list of names together, we recommend scheduling a time to visit each practice to have a meet and greet with the doctor. This is a great time to ask questions about the topics that are important to you.
Examples of questions to ask a pediatrician when choosing one:
- How long have you been in practice?
- What are your office hours?
- Is there a way to reach you if my child gets sick after hours?
- Are you affiliated with any hospitals?
- Does the office respond to email for scheduling/routine questions?
- What are your views on breastfeeding bottle feeding?
- What are your views on immunizations?
- What are you views on sleep strategies?
- What are you views on alternative medicine?
Certain topics may be more important to you than others and you may only have a limited time with each of the pediatricians you interview, so be sure to focus on the questions that matter most.
At Woodburn Pediatric, we know that choosing a pediatrician for your newborn can be overwhelming, especially with all of the other decisions you have to make as you near the end of your pregnancy. Give us a call today at 503-981-5348 to schedule a time to come in, meet our staff, and learn more about our vision for pediatric healthcare.