For the first year of my daughter’s life, we went to a family physician for all of her well-baby appointments. For her 12-month check-up, I decided I wanted to switch to a pediatrician’s office. I just wanted a group of doctors who were well-versed in all things kiddo and who were used to worried parents calling at all hours of the day (and night). I’m so glad I switched to a practice I love, as it’s been our second home these last few weeks. (We’ve been in four times. It’s been awful.)
I’ve also done a ton of calling and asking questions. The response has been stellar, even though I’m sure the office is worn out from responding to sick kids and parents. I’ve had my fair share of doctor duds, so it’s nice to be at a practice I feel really confident in. Here are a few things that have been super important recently when dealing with two sick kids!
5 Tips for Choosing A Pediatrician
1. Ask for recommendations. Friends and family are a great resource for choosing a pediatrician. My neighbor, who has twins just six weeks younger than my daughter, had seen all of the doctors in the practice and chosen one. I trusted her blindly and have been thrilled with our doctor.
2. Hours are crucial. Our pediatrician offers walk-in hours daily first thing in the morning, ideal when you’ve spent a long night up with a sick kid. There are also evening and weekend hours as well. And while we don’t always get to see our doctor, being able to get in at various times is hugely important.
3. Can you call? Sometimes you don’t need an appointment, you just have questions and need the wisdom of the nurses. Being able to call to ask a few questions or have a doctor call you right back is huge.
4. Location, location, location. Try to find a pediatrician as close to your house as possible. The closer you are the better, especially when you call and they ask if you can be there in ten minutes. And the last thing you want when you’ve got sick kids is a 30-minute trek across town.
5. Go with your gut. If you don’t feel like your chosen provider is the best fit, don’t be afraid to switch. If your viewpoints on feeding, sleeping or vaccines are hugely different, keep trying until you find someone you click with. Likewise, they should be comfortable dealing with kids and making kids comfortable. I love seeing the tricks our doc comes up with to make my kids feel at ease. You should also never feel like you’re being rushed, especially as a new parent.
What was most important to you when choosing a pediatrician? How did you find yours? —Erin