You’ve gotten used to visiting the doctor during pregnancy, but it doesn’t end once your little one arrives. Pediatricians recommend bringing your infant in for their very first check-up three-five days after delivery, according to Parents magazine. After that, you should expect follow-up appointments every few months for the first year.
Your baby’s health is incredibly important, so you want to make sure you’re prepared. We’ve put together some tips for how to make the most of your baby’s first visits to the pediatrician.
- Finding the perfect doctor will be the last thing on your mind once your little one arrives, so it’s a good idea to start your search while you’re pregnant. Many pediatricians expect this and will gladly welcome an “interview” appointment.
- Start your search by asking your obstetrician or fellow parents for recommendations. It can be daunting to begin with a Google search, so ask other moms and dads you trust.
- When visiting with pediatricians, make sure you feel comfortable with him or her. You’re going to be asking a ton of questions and communicating a lot over the next few years, so it’s important that the relationship feels natural.
- Gauge the doctor and the staff for availability and openness. Do you expect to be able to get a quick answer if you email them with an urgent question? Will they accept same-day appointments? Will your baby always see the same doctor, or do they switch?
- TheBump.com recommends asking the doctor their views on issues you feel strongly about, such as bottle feeding, alternative medicine, or antibiotics.
The First Appointment
- If possible, bring two – and only two – caregivers to the first appointment. Having a partner with you makes it easier to take care of your baby during the exam and also helps you keep track of all the information being shared. But bringing the whole extended family can be a distraction.
- Come with questions. Chances are you’re going to rack up a long list of medical questions in those first few days of your baby’s life, so keep track of them for easy reference during the first appointment.
- Come with feedback. Your doctor will ask how those first few days have gone, including feedings, diaper changes, and sleeping patterns. There’s no need for an in-depth record, but try to have an idea so you can share it with your pediatrician.
- What to bring: dress your baby in comfortable and easily-removable clothing and pack their diaper bag with all the things you need, like a change of clothes, diapers, and Dr. Smith’s® Diaper Rash Ointment. Also, don’t forget your insurance card and all medical paperwork from the hospital.
- Like with any doctor’s appointment, expect to wait. Bring something to entertain your little one with, and if possible, wait in the car while your partner fills out paperwork inside. That way, your baby gets less exposure to potentially sick kiddos.