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Choosing the Right Pediatrician

By Jodie Lynn


I am having my first baby soon and was wondering if there are any guidelines to choosing the right pediatrician. My friends seem to be full of advice but they also do not agree on what is important. This is the first grandchild in the family on both sides so both sets of our parents are letting us handle choosing the doctor.


The best way to choose a doctor for your new baby is to make consultation visits with several. Take in a list of concerns and questions that your husband and yourself may have. Take your husband with you to the interviews, if possible. We found this to be important because although some of the doctors encouraged for both the husband and wife to come, it also provided a great opportunity for the soon-to-be dad to bond and ask questions of his own. - Jack and Jana Williams in Topeka, KS


You might begin by narrowing your search to doctors who accept your insurance. Next, think about location. It is a huge plus if the pediatrician's office is as close as possible. The last thing parents want to experience is traveling for more than twenty minutes with a screaming or sick baby in the car while trying to concentrate on traffic as well. From here, take the advice from your friends, write it down and add and subtract what you feel is important to you as a new mom. Make appointments with several doctors in your area for an interview and ask questions and write down responses. Be sure to inquire about prompt communication. For example, if you are anticipating answers to pressing questions via an email, which many of today's physicians use, ask what the general turnaround time is and who actually responds. Is it a nurse, a nurse practitioner or the doctor? If there are specific routines, care and feeding guidelines you have already set in place for the new baby, get the doctor's opinion about them. If anything doesn't match up, ask why. Have an open mind when asking questions and be flexible when it comes to reviewing answers. As you talk, be aware of how you are feeling about the personal interaction. If you feel very comfortable, there's a good chance you will make the right choice.

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Kids are out of school, including my two teenagers, one girl, 16 years old, and one boy, 18. Now that they both drive, they think they can come and go as they please. We still want them to adhere to our original curfews. However, they both have jobs. How is the best way to enforce curfews if teens work night shifts?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email direct2contact, or go to which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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