Taking Baby to the Doctor

Your Pediatrician Is Your Partner

When Kathy Jameson, of Lansing, Michigan, had her first baby, she says, "I felt I was wasting the pediatrician's time asking about all these silly little things like whether drooling and cold hands were normal." That's a common fear among new parents, who may feel intimidated by the doctor (aka the expert in charge) or assume he's just too busy.

But good pediatricians know that they and the parents are on the same team, with the shared goal of helping a child grow up healthy and happy. "When I first meet with families," says Alan Greene, MD, author of Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care (Jossey-Bass), "I tell them there's no such thing as a bad or a dumb question -- let's talk about whatever is on your mind." Sometimes new parents feel embarrassed, or they worry about appearing overly anxious -- for instance, about a baby who's not crawling "on time." And the toughest issues to bring up may be when you know you haven't followed doctor's orders, like getting your child off the bottle at age 1. But if it's gnawing at you, please ask. That way your pediatrician is aware of your concerns, and the two of you can brainstorm solutions together.

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