I think new parents should start looking for a pediatrician for their newborn four to eight weeks prior to their due date. This may seem really early to some, but you never know if your baby may want to come into the world earlier than expected.
Once baby arrives, life as you know it can become quite hectic, so it’s comforting to already know which doctor is going to see your baby in the hospital or after discharge.
Starting your search for a pediatrician early may afford you the time to meet with multiple pediatricians and practices. By doing this, you can learn the variances among physicians and their groups, and help find the perfect fit for you and your newborn.
Many pediatricians offer meet and greet appointments with expecting parents at no charge. Take advantage of these and make sure you come with plenty of questions!
Items you should consider when making your decision include:
- Is the office close to my home, work, or daycare?
- Is it a larger or smaller practice?
- Does the practice accept my insurance?
- How quickly can I get my baby in to see the physician for sick or well visits?
- Will we see the same physician every time we come to the office?
- Do physician extenders work in the practice (PA’s or NPs)?
- Does the practice offer evening and/or weekend hours?
- What are the physician’s views on vaccines?
- Who answers questions after hours and on the weekends?
- Does the practice offer any other services like lab or xray?