Now, Check Them Out in Person
Whittle down your list and schedule face-to-face meetings with three or more of the doctors. Ask if the doctor charges for such a meeting; some do, and insurance probably won't cover the fee. A number of pediatricians hold monthly group meet-and-greets. Others have sessions at hospitals, in conjunction with childbirth or breastfeeding classes.
By now you're probably starting to form opinions on, say, breastfeeding and vaccines, and these topics can be great conversation starters. You can also kick off the talk by asking what happens at the first well visits and how the office operates day to day.
Keep in mind that many docs only work certain days, so chat with a few at the practice, as one of them could be your regular "alternate."
The most important thing: Do you and this doc hit it off? "You want a well-trained M.D.," Dr. Shu says, "but what really matters for most parents is his or her bedside manner."