Take Great Care of Your New Bundle of Joy
If this is your first child, the entire world of infant and newborn care may be a little overwhelming. When you begin to search for your newborn’s pediatrician, it’s normal to be nervous. You want to make sure your baby receives the best possible care and you should make your baby’s appointment as soon as possible after birth. In fact, most hospitals will want a record of such an appointment before you leave. If you do not have a pediatrician, you will need to make a decision quite quickly to make sure your newborn gets the appropriate care.
Regular newborn checkups are essential, even if you have the healthiest of babies. The doctor will weigh your baby, measure the circumference of the baby’s head and make sure there are no visible problems. There are also some very important newborn vaccines that should be administered.
The doctor will ask a lot of questions about how the baby eats, sleeps and if you have any concerns. He/she will check to make sure the belly button is healing properly and can address any issues relating to a lack of appetite, crying, sleeping and diaper rashes. The doctor will also want to know specific details about your labor and delivery, especially if there were any complications.
As the baby grows, there will undoubtedly be more questions and the pediatrician is the best place to go for answers. You will see the doctor many times over the next few months, especially for the vaccines. These shots may seem quite painful to your child, but the discomfort usually diminishes quickly. Your physician can explain what the vaccines are for and why they are important. Some of the vaccines available today can even prevent chickenpox, so be sure to speak with the pediatrician about these shots.
Start Early. Take Your Time. Choose Well.
Choosing a pediatrician is an important decision. You should ask for references and speak with the doctor beforehand. This will help give you an idea of whether this doctor is the right person to take care of your baby. Note that your health insurance company may or may not cover your preferred physician and some doctor’s offices will not accept certain insurance plans, so you will want to confirm your coverage options before making a final decision.