Frequently ask questions
When to start looking for a pediatrician?
You’ve got a baby on the way—now’s the time to find a doctor you can trust. Many women begin their search for a pediatrician during their second trimester of pregnancy.
Are you expecting a baby?
The arrival of a new baby is exciting and, at the same time, requires preparation and making important decisions. One of those is choosing a pediatrician. To begin your search, get referrals from your obstetrician/gynecologist, other parents, at the hospital, or by checking the pediatrician’s database at the American Academy of Pediatrics.
What questions to ask when choosing the doctor?
- Is the doctor certified by the American Board of Pediatrics (AAP)?
- Is the doctor a member of the AAP?
- Does the doctor have specialized training?
- How long have you been in practice?
- Talk to the doctor about breastfeeding, circumcision, alternative medicine, vaccinations, sleep, and discipline issues.
- If you go with a doctor in a solo practice, find out who covers when he’s away.
- Ask about the doctor’s and nurses’ backgrounds.
- How long does a typical check-up last?
- How are emergencies handled?
- Is there a call-in policy?
- Do you make house calls?
- Which hospital is the doctor affiliated with?
Questions to ask the pediatrician staff when choosing the doctor?
- Does your insurance cover services there?
- What specialists are on staff?
- Is a payment plan possible if you are not covered
What can you do to calm your child's anxiety before a trip to the doctor?
- Prepare your child for what to expect. Talk about what may happen at their next check-up. You could read a book or play with a toy medical kit to help develop expectations about what happens at the doctor.
- Build patient-doctor trust. Try to see the same doctor so your child can get to know him or her overtime.
- Ensure you’ll be together. Explain that you’ll be there for the whole visit.
- Plan a rewarding experience. Incentivize your child with something positive to look forward to after the appointment.
- Be calm. Your child may sense your energy.
What can I expect during a newborn care appointment?
During your baby’s first visit, your doctor will discuss your labor and delivery and any complications you experienced, if any. They also enter medical information about your health and your family’s health history.
During a comprehensive physical exam, the physician measures your baby’s height, weight, and head circumference. They also evaluate other essential factors like skin health, heart rhythm, muscle flexibility, any necessary newborn vaccinations, etc.
How can I help my baby bond with me?
Bonding with your child is one of the great joys, but it doesn’t always happen immediately. You could:
- Hold your infant close to your chest while you feed her or just cuddle with your baby.
- Talk to your baby.
- Look into your baby’s eyes and smile.
How much do babies sleep?
At first, on an off, as much as 18-20 hours a day. By 6 months, many babies sleep 6 hours a night. An take naps during the day.
What can I do to help my baby sleep?
- Now is an excellent time to start a bedtime routine and stick to it. Soothing activities that lead up to your baby to relax.
- When she fusses at night, wait a minute or two to see if she calms herself down and goes back to sleep.
- Try not to wake her up too much during nighttime feedings or diaper changes.
- Be active and play during the day, so she stays awake for more extended periods. That can gradually help her sleep more at night.
How often will my baby nurse or take a bottle?
A baby should eat every 2 to 3 hours if you give formula and every 1-2 hours if you breastfeed.
Is my baby getting enough to eat?
You can tell a baby is getting plenty to eat when your baby:
- Spends 10 to 15 minutes at each breast actively sucking and swallowing, or drinks 2 to 3 ounces of formula at each feeding.
- Has six or more wet diapers and four or more poopy diapers every 24 hours after day 4.
- Starts to gain it the second week.
If you’re concerned about your baby’s weight, check with your pediatrician.
How often should I bathe my newborn?
You can bathe your baby after the umbilical cord has fallen.
Then up to three baths, a week is plenty. More than that can dry out your baby’s skin.
Is it ok to put my baby to sleep on her back?
Yes, always put your baby to sleep on her back.
Should my newborn sleep in our room, or vice versa?
Yes, you can do this, but don’t sleep or snooze in the same bed.
What else should I do for my baby?
Enjoy this time as you get to know your little one. They grow so fast!
Can my baby sleep with her toys?
No, empty the sleeping area. Keep plush toys, pillows, blankets, unfitted sheets, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, and bumper pads out of your baby’s sleep area.
How should I dress my baby?
The idea is for your baby to be comfy. Dress your baby for the room temperature, and don’t over bundle. Watch for signs of overheating, such as sweating or feeling hot to the touch.
Can I put my baby to sleep with a pacifier?
Yes, but if your baby rejects the pacifier, don’t force it. If the pacifier falls out during sleep, do not replace it.
What can I do when my baby wakes at night?
Even a baby who has been sleeping through the night will sometimes wake up during the night. Due to separation anxiety, a normal stage of development that happens during this time, some babies may call out or cry, then calm down when mom or dad enters the room. Give your baby a few minutes before you respond. After seeing that everything is ok and reassuring your baby without taking your little one out of the crib, leave your baby alone to fall back to sleep.
Cuddling, feeding, or talking when your baby wakes up may prompt your little one to wake regularly for this attention.