On the list: Find a pediatrician. A good one.

It seems like the list of things we have to do before baby comes keeps growing and growing … and time keeps running out and we’re not crossing things off the list! 


Genetically speaking, I’m a list-maker.  I remember seeing my mother’s lists for everything from groceries to thank-you notes to be written next to the phone or on the kitchen table for pretty much all my life.  Even when I was in college I’d call and she’d say, “I’m so glad you called!  I’ve been keeping a list of things I need to remember to tell you!”  Now that I’m pregnant, and have no memory cells to speak of, lists have become monumentally important.  My sister was visiting a few weeks ago and I had a grocery list all set but when we got to Trader Joe’s I couldn’t find it.  I nearly cried.  Luckily she’s not prego so she could remember every single thing on the list (amazing!) and we made it back to the car with everything we needed … only to find that stupid list sitting right there in the cupholder of the car.  I could just kick myself sometimes!  Actually, no, there’s no possible way I could do that in my current state so I owe myself like thirteen thousand kicks after the baby’s born.


ANYWAY, the point is that one of the big things on the list is finding a pediatrician.  Who knew that they won’t let you take your baby home without having a doc waiting in the wings??  Not me until a few months ago.  I kept wondering what I was supposed to do that I was forgetting until our hospital tour a few days ago.  Whoops!  Today I finally called the pediatrician that my doctor recommended and made an appointment to meet her.


As you well know, we already don’t like my doctor very much so we’re a bit worried about his recommendation.  We do have two things working for us, though:  We LOVED his physician’s assistant and the pediatrician he recommended is a woman (duh, lady doctors LISTEN most of the time!).


So, internet, here’s where you come in.  How do we know if she’s a good pediatrician?  What do we ask her?  What if we don’t like her, then what do we do?  Time is running short.  I’m getting panicky.  If it wasn’t for 43things.com I would have already forgotten everything else I’m supposed to be doing this month. Help me!! 

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6 thoughts on “On the list: Find a pediatrician. A good one.

  1. Liz says:

    You should ask Mariah if she has a suggestion is too – the problem I have with Dr.s referrals is that they often just scratch each other’s backs, you know? Unless this pediatrician actually sees your Dr.’s kids and he’s given you specifics on why he likes her. And maybe ask some of the moms at your church for suggestions?

    I just think that unless you have outside-the-box views on things like medicine and vaccines and that kind of thing, you just want someone you can personally mesh with, right? That’s easy enough to figure out in a visit or two… Or am I being too cavalier about it??

  2. Nora says:

    I agree… you’re always better off going to someone who your friends trust and respect.

    An important question my sister and I have learned to ask is if they have mercury in any of their vaccinations. Most offices don’t now-a-days, but it’s VERY important to ask and to see their reaction. If they begin to answer you with an eyeroll I’d bail. Mercury in vaccinations NEVER should have happened, but it did and Doctors need to respect our right to be concerned about it.

    I would want to know what their after hours policy is. Our pediatricians have a call service in the evenings and weekends and I’ve called with the STUPIDEST questions before and they’ve been more than happy to help me. It would not be good if they have strict policies on after hour calls or won’t talk to you at all (can they do that???)

    Also, you’re not going to find out everything you probably need to know in a short “interview” session, but I think the most important thing you can see is if you get along well with him/her. If they seem cold or bossy….don’t go there. Our pediatricians are a group of 3 women with children of their own and they all talk like Disney Princesses…. the kids love it and yet I get along with them so well and trust their care and treatment of my kids.

    The other thing is to know you can change later if you need to. There are also some websites (can’t think of them right now, but I’ve used them before) where you can search a doctor and see if they’ve ever been fined or had lawsuits against them… something to keep in mind probably.

  3. Jenny says:

    Another thing to add to your to-do list: buy the book “Baby 411”. Seriously. I still use it from time-to-time and Ali turns one on Friday. It has a great section about how to choose pediatricians and what questions you should ask. And you don’t have to read the whole book at once. It’s broken up and organized into a bunch of different categories so it’s easy to read and easy to reference.

  4. Morgan Swanson says:

    That 43things site is interesting. I will have to explore it further. I spend too much of my day obsessing over wondering if I sent thank you notes to people for gifts – any and all gift – including ones for my first daughter that was born 19 months ago….and now I am on Baby #2 and thinking, hmm, is it bad to combine a thank you note for gifts received 19 months ago AND two weeks ago? Where is my brain? Yes, 43things sounds like a spot for me…

  5. Katie says:

    a few ideas:
    I would ask how far out you need to schedule well child checks…if they’re typically booked out 1-2 months, that can make things difficult. Also, if baby is sick can you get a same-day appointment, or will they want you to go to urgent care? (even if it’s just an upper respiratory or eye infection?) How much experience do they have with helping moms breastfeed (if you’re planning on it), and what services do they offer to help you if you need it? Will they let you space out vaccinations if you don’t want baby getting 4 shots in one day?

    hope that helps….

  6. J. says:

    We went to our ped for K’s one-year appointment this past week, and I realized that it was important to me that we were going to a girl doctor. It doesn’t make a difference for the kid, but you’ll utilize your ped for general parenting/health/safety information. I wouln’t have thought to look for this specifically (I got my doc’s name from a friend who is a pediatrician at a hospital downtown–my ped was one of his residents several years ago), but looking back, I’m glad she’s a mom.

    If you’re planning to nurse, you’ll want to find out if the pediatrician you’re considering nursed (if she had kids). Mine did, and while she is very quick to say that formula is fine if you can’t nurse (in a kind, diplomatic way), it was really nice to have her in my unofficial “nursing support group.”

    Also, make sure it’s someone who you’re very comfortable with. There’s always a chance that, when she comes to visit you in the hospital, you’ll be laying in bed nearly naked. If she’s cool about the fact that your boobs are hangin’ out, and can just have a normal conversation about your kid and breastfeeding, she’s a keeper.

    …um, not that that happened; it’s a hypothetical situation…

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