5 tips to choose the right doctor for your baby

March 31, 2021 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Moms

When you’re about to have a baby, there are many decisions to make. Choosing a doctor for your baby is an important one. Since he or she will be a key partner in your child’s health for years to come, it’s important to pick a doctor that’s right for you and your family.

There are two main types of primary care doctors for children:

  • A family medicine physician provides healthcare to patients of all ages, from newborns to seniors. This means your child will see the same doctor from birth through adulthood and beyond. It also means that your entire family can be under the care of the same physician, which offers a level of convenience that may be important to you and your busy family. Family medicine physicians are board certified and part of their residency focuses on pediatrics.

  • A pediatrician is a physician who specializes in the care of newborns, young children, adolescents and young adults. They are board certified and must complete a three-year residency in pediatrics. A pediatrician will follow your child’s health until age 21 or so, depending on when your child is comfortable switching to either a family or internal medicine physician.

To give your newborn the healthiest possible start with the right doctor, here are five tips to consider:

  1. Ideally, try to start looking for a doctor for your baby about three months before your baby is due. You’ll have enough to deal with when baby arrives (and you’ll be pretty tired), so it’s better to find your doctor early.

  2. Collect a few names of recommended doctors (ask your OB-GYN, family, friends, co-workers, etc.). You can also use our Find-a-Doctor tool, which includes hundreds of Edward-Elmhurst Health physicians, and customize your search by specialty, location, gender and more. Many of our doctor profiles include patient ratings and reviews and online scheduling options.

  3. Call your insurance company to make sure the doctors on your list are covered by your insurance plan. Find out what your co-pays would be. Edward-Elmhurst Health offers a cost estimator tool that can help you estimate of your out-of-pocket costs.

  4. Have a meet-and-greet. With a list of a few doctors in hand, call the offices of each. Arrange for an in-person meeting (some offices offer tours for expectant families) or by phone to talk with the doctor and ask questions, such as the following:

    • What is the doctor’s philosophy of care regarding immunizations, antibiotics, breastfeeding, circumcision, etc.?
    • If it’s a group practice, will my baby see different doctors at times? If it’s a solo practice, who will care for my child when the doctor isn’t available?
    • Will the doctor conduct my baby’s first checkup at the hospital after I deliver?
    • What are the office hours? Are there evening or weekend hours?
    • How are sick visits handled? Does the office allow same-day appointments?
    • What is the doctor's policy on taking and returning phone calls? Who handles phone calls off-hours?
    • Does the office offer video visits?
    • What type of online tools are available? Can I schedule appointments online? Can I email the doctor? Can I view my child’s health record online?

  5. By now you’ll have a sense for how you interact with the doctor and how smoothly things run in the office. Listen to your gut. Does the doctor seem like a good listener? Was the office staff friendly and helpful? It’s time to choose the doctor you feel is right for your family.

Need a family medicine physician or pediatrician for your child? Choosing one can be overwhelming. We make it easy. Get started here: find the right doctor for your baby.

Fortunately, with today’s technology, it’s a lot easier to navigate your child’s healthcare. Edward-Elmhurst Health offers tools to help you find a doctor close to home and schedule an appointment — all on your phone. Download our free mobile app, MyEEHealth™, and keep track of your child’s health from the comfort of anywhere, 24/7. 

Explore children’s services at Edward-Elmhurst Health.


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