Tips on How to Choose a Pediatrician for your Baby

May 24, 2014 | Tips and Tricks

Finding an OB-GYN that I’m comfortable with is already challenging for me. I had to rely on my MIL’s recommendation since pregnancy was sudden at that time.

True to being a first-time mom, I didn’t have time scouting for a pediatrician. As it turns out, the usual practice in the Philippines is that every OB-GYN has a partner pediatrician, so I settled with that.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the assigned pedia, but I was looking for someone I know and more comfortable with. That’s why I went back to my siblings’ pedia. Though she was a bit old already, I trusted her enough. The best part is that she is five minutes away from our home, which makes it very convenient.

Everything went well until her health started to deteriorate. It made it difficult for her to hold clinics and there were months when the kids missed their monthly shots. So I went through the whole search process again just to find someone I can trust.

Here’s what I did, which you might find useful when choosing a doctor for your baby.

TIP NO. 1: ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS.

This is the best way to look for pediatricians. If you are still new to this whole mommy-parent thing, asking recommendations from family and friends can help in your quest for your baby’s doctor. I found my first pedia through my mom and since I trust her judgment, I decided to go for that doctor.

TIP NO. 2: CONSIDER YOUR CHILD’S MEDICAL CONDITION, IF ANY.  

My eldest suffered from a skin condition and she’s lactose intolerant too. So I chose a pediatrician that can also cater to that needs. The good thing was I was able to find a doctor that is both a pediatrician and a dermatologist so in case my first doctor is not available, I have another one I can go to.

My kids’ pedia now is also a gastroenterologist. My youngest struggled with constipation early on and she was really helpful all throughout.

TIP NO. 3: CHECK THE CREDENTIALS.

This is very important. You need to know what school she graduated from, her affiliations (if any) and experience in the medical field. You want to make sure that your child is in good hands so doing a little research or simply looking at the certificates and diplomas hanging in the clinic wall is a MUST.

My first pedia is a head doctor in one of the biggest government hospitals in the country so her experience is unparalleled – and that experience translated in how well she responded to and treated my child’s needs and conditions.

Our second pedia was also highly commended by mom friends-slash-doctors, so I know the kids will be taken cared of.

TIP NO. 4: MEET THE DOCTOR, FACE-TO-FACE.

Assuming that the pediatrician’s credentials is impressive. The question now is are you comfortable with her? Does she seem snobbish, arrogant or impatient? Can she answer all your questions and concerns?

In this area, trusting your instinct is a must. When I was looking for a replacement for my pedia, I was able to talk to a doctor who seems like she doesn’t know what she is doing. No doubt the kids love her because her clinic is child-friendly and very colorful but every time I ask her questions, she cannot give me straight, concrete and well-defined answers. I never went back to her after that.

TIP NO. 5: CONVENIENCE IS KEY.

I hate going to the hospital for a doctor’s check up. I also don’t like the idea of bringing my kids in the hospital, exposing them and making them wait until the doctor comes. I was lucky enough that my kids’ first pedia has a clinic in her home (which is just near our place, by the way) and easily accessible for us. Plus, I don’t have to spend a lot of time traveling, not to mention the waiting time and traffic that I have to go through, giving me more time to do other things.

When my first pedia is unable to hold clinic, the good thing my other pedia is affiliated in a hospital near our place. At least going there won’t take too much time too.

TIP NO. 6: IS THE DOCTOR READILY AVAILABLE?

Thanks to inventor of mobile phones and land lines, reaching out to doctors has never been this easy. My kids’ pediatrician now gave me her cellphone number so I can just call or text her anytime in case I have concerns. And thankfully, she answers her phone every time I call her with no sound of irritation in her voice.

TIP NO. 7: CHECK THE CLINIC’S OVERALL AMBIANCE.

I noticed that my kids’ developed a “fear” with their pedia. The good thing their pedia’s clinic have books and toys they can play with while waiting. This keeps them calm and behaved. Aside from meeting the doctor, make sure to check the structure of the clinic too. Is it clean? Is it child-friendly? Was it child-proof? How about the storage of vaccines? These little factors should be included in your checklist.

Eventually, I went back to my kids’ first pediatrician (the partner pedia of my OB-GYN). She is younger and easier to talk to. She also holds clinics in my preferred hospital, Cardinal Santos, which is also a must for me.

Looking for a pediatrician for your baby can be challenging and exhausting. I should know because it took me a while too before I was able to find the right one for my kids. Just be patient and trust your mom instincts and your kids will be in good hands.

13 Comments

  1. Meikah Ybañez-Delid

    Good list you have here. It’s really important to get a good pedia and the one we can trust and run to anytime.

    Reply
  2. mrsbry126

    I love our pedia. She never fails to answer any questions whether we’re in the clinic or through text. Your list is very comprehensive and lots of new moms will benefit from these tips.

    Reply
  3. Janice

    Finding a really good pedia is important. We’re actually in the process of finding a new one because our previous pedia is too old already. Really hope we’ll be able to find someone we can trust.

    Reply
  4. Tina Elaine Ruste-Madrazo

    Yay your comment secton loaded! Thanks for the tip mommy ayi! Im lucky our pedia is also good. 🙂 I would recommend Dr Vienne Saulog at St Lukes

    Reply
  5. babyjetsetgo

    I love this list! While my daughter’s pedia was pretty much an automatic choice because she’s my tita, I would probably panic and not know what to do if I didn’t have her as an option. It may also be worth noting that you don’t have to stick to just one pedia if you think your child needs further help. I have also have a pediatric gastroenterologist who helped manager my daughter’s weight (she was really underweight when she was younger). She was referred by another doctor-friend. So while my tita is my main pedia, I consult with the other one on specific needs.

    Reply
    • Ayi

      I have different pedias too for my kids, depending on their needs. They even have pediatric derma. Hay. Kids :))

      Reply
  6. Jennifer Villanueva

    It’s a must to find a pedia for your baby that is compatible with you and your standards otherwise lagi kayo magtatalo, or mag disisagree.. Hahaha! speaking from experience. I found the one dor my daughter… So far so good!

    Reply
  7. work@homeMillie

    These are great tips. I love how well-diverse my Pediatrician is! Plus, he came from Cedar Sinai in LA – where my MIL used to work – so we feel secured. 🙂

    Reply
  8. mamaspeaksagain

    My primary consideration in choosing a pedia is convenience and doctor’s availability. I was lucky my boys pedia is a good friend so I could call her anytime I need help with kids. She also attends to my questions through phone and entertains us even at her home.

    Reply
  9. makingworkingmomswork

    did several pediatrician trips for my kids but now that they are bigger (and shots completed other than the boosters), I am glad I took the time to choose the best pediatricians who can accurately guide us with keeping our kids healthy.

    Reply
  10. Rowena Wendy Lei 林露薇 (@animetric)

    I’m very happy with out pediatrician and all I did was step 1, asked my aunt for a recommendation. She has 3 happy healthy children so I figured she was a good person to ask.

    Reply
  11. Louisa Mercado (@2livelovelaugh5)

    Excellent list and it’s good to have a reliable pedia but I always go for a 2nd and even 3rd opinion when necessary.

    Reply

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