Choosing your new baby’s pediatrician can seem like a daunting task – especially if you live in a large area with SO MANY to choose from! Here are some tips for helping you choose a pediatrician that is right for you and your growing family.
Start researching pediatrician offices that are near where you live.
This is a great place to start so you can begin to narrow down some of your options. It’s not necessary to choose a pediatrician that is super close to where you live, but it definitely makes it easier and more convenient. Keep in mind that your baby will be visiting their pediatrician upwards of 7-10 times throughout their first year. Plus – is it also super convenient to be close to their office to pop in for a sick visit when they are feeling under the weather. Another consideration that goes along with location is parking. Many medical offices in the city of Chicago require you to park in a parking garage – therefore, you pay a fee to park on top of other costs associated with your child’s appointment. An easy, convenient and free parking option is definitely a bonus and definitely something worth asking about if you’re unsure what the parking options are for the offices you are considering!
Ask your trusted family members, friends and co-workers for their recommendations.
Another great resource is also your OB/midwife. Oftentimes, your provider during pregnancy will have a specific pediatrician or practice that they recommend as well. So many parents find their pediatricians through word of mouth and recommendations from people they trust. This is how most of us at Bumblebaby have found our pediatricians! This is also a good way to find pediatricians or practices that your friends/family/coworkers also WOULDN’T recommend. Be sure to ask what they love (or don’t love) about their pediatrician, too. Sometimes the things that you value in a care provider might not align with the same things that your friend/family/coworker values (which is ok!) but having those specific reasons can be helpful in making your decision.
Call your health insurance provider to verify that the provider’s office you are considering will be covered under your plan.
It is always helpful to know what costs could be associated with each of your child’s visits and what your health insurance plan will cover.
- Do they require a co-pay?
- How are sick visits billed?
- Will they cover things such as immunizations, eye exams, and lab work?
These are all important things to know so you can make sure to budget and not be surprised by any hidden costs once baby arrives!
Request a visit with the provider prior to the birth of your baby.
Ask questions related to important topics such as:
- Immunizations, breastfeeding/chestfeeding, formula, developmental milestones, resources outside of the practice (such as lactation support)
- Will your child’s pediatrician be the one examining them in the hospital before they are discharged home?
- Are they available to answer questions via phone/email or by appointment only?
Things to note about the pediatricians office:
- Is the staff patient and kind?
- Do they have separate areas for sick and healthy children?
- Did you have to wait a long time after your scheduled appointment before you saw your doctor?
- Did you feel rushed by the pediatrician to finish your questions/appointment?
- Does the office have walk-in sick hours if your child is ill and needs to be seen by a provider?
Make sure you feel as if all of your questions and concerns are addressed during your child’s appointments.
You should LOVE and trust your child’s provider. If you don’t feel this way, I would highly recommend thinking about switching providers. This is a relationship that you don’t want to have any doubts about and it is worth the time to find someone who you feel comfortable with and can trust in relation to your child’s health and development.
Another option is to trial different pediatricians within the same office. It is perfectly ok for you to call the office to schedule your child’s appointment and request to make different appointments with different providers within the same group until you find the one you are most comfortable with. Remember that it OKAY for you to trial and/or switch to a different provider within the same practice or completely change to a different practice all together! Most providers will understand that choosing a primary provider for your child is a personal decision and not all client/provider relationships work well or are the right fit. You should absolutely feel confident in the medical care and advice that you and your child are receiving so it’s worth it to find the right fit!
Here are some Chicagoland pediatricians that we love:
- Child and Adolescent Health Associates
- Hinsdale Pediatrics
- Children’s Healthcare Associates
- Donohoe Pediatrics
- Lakeshore Pediatrics
- Lake Forest Pediatrics
Sources + Additional Resources:
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