If you are preparing for the arrival of your new baby, you'll want to include getting ready for his or her first visit to the pediatrician. This can help to ensure the little one has a smooth transition of care from the hospital to the pediatrician, and it gives you a way to keep on track with his or her medical care in those critical first days. Here are just a few things you should know about this first visit.
Find Your Pediatrician Ahead Of Time
You'll want to have a pediatrician picked out before your baby is due. When you are at the hospital, you'll likely be asked who the baby's doctor is, and the staff can help you to arrange the first doctor's visit after you come home from the hospital. The pediatrician you select may even be able to come to the hospital for a well-baby check before you are discharged. In the event that you don't have a pediatrician selected, the hospital can help you with a referral and appointment scheduling.
Keep Track Of Baby's Schedule
At the first pediatrician appointment, you may be asked how often your little one is feeding and how long each feeding lasts. The doctor may also want to know how many diapers your baby is going through in a day. It's a good idea to make a chart with feedings and diaper changes, and you can even add length of naps on there as well. This can help to give the pediatrician a better picture of the infant's overall health.
For this first visit, you may need to fill out new patient paperwork as well as paperwork about your baby's birth and health. Arriving at the appointment early gives you a chance to take care of all the paperwork without delaying the appointment. Be sure to bring your insurance card and any discharge paperwork the hospital gave you that might be relevant to the appointment.
You won't know how long you'll have to wait to see the doctor, so it's a good idea to have your diaper bag packed and ready for all possibilities. Keep a few extra bottles of breast milk or formula if you are bottle feeding, and bring your nursing cover if you are not using bottles. Pack plenty of diapers and wipes, along with a couple of changes of clothing. It's also a good idea to have a receiving blanket handy for the appointment to keep your little one warm, as the doctor may ask that the baby not be clothed.
Make A List Of Questions
New parents have plenty of questions, but between being tired from midnight feedings and being overwhelmed by parenthood, you might forget what you want to ask the doctor. Write out a list of questions you can ask to keep you on track at the appointment. Consider bringing a small notebook and pen so you can take notes during the visit.
Your baby's first pediatrician appointment is a milestone in his or her life, so take a little time to prepare now so you can both have a wonderful first experience with your child's doctor.