How do I know when to start looking for a pediatrician? That’s an important question soon-to-be parents often ask. A relationship with your pediatrician will last for years—so you want to make the most informed decision you can. We provide a guide to researching your options carefully.
Do You Know When to Start Looking for a Pediatrician?
A good starting point is three months before your baby is due. It’ll take some time to do research and meet with your pediatrician before you meet your newborn. Besides consulting Google, you likely want to ask any trusted individuals in your life for suggestions. Your family, friends, and neighbors might already have good (or bad) experiences with certain doctors local to you.
If you’ve just recently moved to a city and don’t know anyone to ask for recommendations, then you might start with Google, Yelp, and other sites that rate pediatrician care.
Why Should I Start Early?
Before your baby is born, you’ll want to schedule a meeting with your pediatrician. It’s important to ensure that you feel comfortable with them. Additionally, it’ll be beneficial for the doctor to know your due date, what pregnancy conditions might affect your baby, and the type of delivery you’re expecting. You should also be scheduling the first check-up a few days after your baby is born—so it’s better to be prepared sooner rather than later!
Should I Find a Pediatrician or Family Physician?
Family physicians work with patients of all ages—from newborns to elderly individuals. But pediatricians specialize in children’s health. Due to their training focus, they have a deeper understanding of children’s health needs when it comes to behavior, growth, and development.
They typically see children, teens, and young adults up until they are 21 years old.
(However, your child may choose to begin seeing a different family physician before that time. See our post on when to stop seeing a pediatrician.)
How Do I Settle on a Pediatrician?
When you do start looking for a pediatrician, your first step is to browse their website and reviews. Get to know their business hours, their rates, the insurance they accept, and their communication methods. Some offices might be quicker at responding to your calls than others; some might be better at answering your emails on time, if that’s your preferred method. You might also want to know whether they accept walk-in appointments, too.
Your next step is to schedule a first appointment with your doctor. This meeting will allow you to speak to them in person and witness their bedside manner. You’ll also get to ask them plenty of questions about:
- How to access your child’s medical information.
- What experience they have dealing with certain conditions.
- What their philosophy is on common practices, such as circumcision or breastfeeding.
This is a great opportunity to make sure your values and expectations align!
Are You Expecting? Schedule a Visit with Dr. Damaris Mafut
If you’re looking for a pediatrician local to Miami, call the Fit Life Pediatrics office at 305-777-3505 to schedule your first appointment!