Taking Baby to the Doctor

Think you can't call your pediatrician between your baby's visits or question her health advice? Guess what -- she wants you to.

You're Exhausted, But You're Not Alone

pediatrician with baby

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So your baby's bawling as if there are fire ants in his pajamas. His diapers are a mystery (his last poop was green!), and you've been hearing a lot of scary stories about worrisome ingredients in shots. But can you really bring up all this stuff to your pediatrician?

Don't worry: You're far from the first parent with a long list of questions, and most doctors have heard it all before. Here's what pediatricians want all new parents to know and to keep in mind during those crazy days.

All-night feedings and constant caretaking mean that fatigue and new parenthood go hand in hand, but that doesn't mean you need to suffer solo.

Laura Jana, MD, coauthor of Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality (American Academy of Pediatrics), recommends talking to your pediatrician about what you're going through since he'll want to rule out any medical problems with your baby and may be able to offer solutions to make life a little easier. If your baby is having trouble sleeping at night, for instance, her doctor might suggest using a white-noise machine to create background sound (infants find this soothing) or trying a new bedtime routine. Or she may recommend massage, gas-relieving drops, or dietary changes for persistent crying.

Even if crying or sleeplessness turns out to be caused by something that you'll just have to soldier through -- like colic, which can't always be fixed but will eventually go away on its own -- just knowing you have a partner in dealing with the crisis will help. After all, many doctors are parents too. "When I went on my first maternity leave, I had all these high hopes for what I was going to be able to accomplish," Dr. Jana says. "Turns out, I was so tired, I was lucky if I got a load of laundry into the washing machine. Not folded, not put away, just in the washing machine."

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