Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Baby Steps for New Parents

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An important step to becoming a new parent is finding a primary care doctor for your baby. Your baby's doctor will help guide you through sickness and health with your newborn, answer your questions and make sure your child is hitting his developmental milestones. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your baby's pediatrician. 1 Specialty and certifications—Consider the doctor's specialties and qualifications. A pediatrician is a doctor who has special training to care for babies, children and teens. Pediatricians are trained to understand the physical and emotional needs of children. Your child's doctor may also have additional certifications. Certification by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) means that the doctor has graduated from an accredited medical school, completed an accredited residency program and passed the board exam in pediatrics. 2 Comfort—Make sure that you feel comfortable with your pediatrician. Your pediatrician will help guide your child from infancy into adulthood, so it is important to choose a doctor that makes you feel good. If you have religious or other personal beliefs or preferences, be open and honest about these. Share your views openly with your pediatrician so that he or she better understands you and your child. 3 Convenience—Choose a doctor that is convenient for your family. You will be seeing your child's doctor often for well-baby visits, so you may want to consider a doctor that is near your home, work or child care facility. 4 Appointments and hours—Learn about the hours for your pediatrician's office. See if same-day sick appointments are available. Consider these hours to make sure they will work with your family's schedule. Most offices offer the chance to make an appointment to meet the pediatrician before your baby is born. Meeting your pediatrician before your baby is born will give you the chance to see if his or her personality and style is a good fit. 5 Policies and procedures—Make sure the pediatrician you select accepts your insurance plan. Talk to the office staff about any questions you have about billing and appointments. Visit choa.org/findadoctor to select a pediatrician from the Children's medical staff. 10

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