Make the Most of Your First Pediatrician Appointment
Going to the pediatrician is a new experience for first time parents. It’s hard to know what to expect until you get there; however, there are some things you can do to prepare beforehand. Following are some tips to make the most out of your baby’s first doctor’s appointment.
Bring questions. Bring in a written sheet with questions or concerns you might have. If you jot down any questions as they come up before the appointment, then you will be prepared and have them with you when you see the doctor so you can make sure you get them answered.
Bring visual aids. If you have a question about something specific, bring it with you (if possible). For example, if no one in the hospital showed you how to use a bulb nose aspirator, or you forgot how to use it, bring one with you to the appointment and ask the doctor to demonstrate how to use it. If your child developed a rash, take a photo of it and bring it into the office to show the doctor. Having a visual aid can help the doctor to understand what the problem is so that you can get the proper answer.
Ask questions. If you aren’t sure about something the pediatrician is telling you, ask. That’s the only way you are going to know. No question is too stupid – they have heard it all!
Take notes. Bring along a pen or pencil to write down the answers to your questions or other notes you might want to take. Better yet, bring a small tape recorder and record the visit so that you can play it back (or your husband or wife can listen if he or she was not able to attend the appointment).
Be prompt. Like any appointment, you should arrive on time – early if it’s the first appointment your baby has with the doctor, so that you can fill out any necessary paperwork. It can be difficult to get out the door with a baby, but this is one appointment you need to keep.
Be casual. Don’t dress the baby up in a special outfit for the appointment – chances are, he or she will be stripped down to a diaper for most of the visit anyway, and you’ll end up wasting time getting baby dressed and undressed. The same goes for you – don’t bother to dress up, unless you’re coming straight from work, or returning to work afterwards. You’ll probably be holding your baby for most of the appointment, and may end up the target of spit up, drool, or worse!