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  • Scripps Health

Five Things to Consider When Choosing a Pediatrician

Routine baby and child checkups are essential, including for vaccines

Choosing a pediatrician to care for your newborn is an important decision that you will want to make before you give birth. The pediatrician you select will come to know your family well and provide you with medical advice during the various stages of your child’s development.

During your baby’s first year alone, you will be visiting the doctor at least seven times for well-baby checkups. There could also be unplanned visits for a fever or a first cold.

“Parents need to feel they can trust their pediatrician and that the doctor will consider how they want to care for their child,” says Gurinder Dabhia, MD, a pediatrician at Scripps Clinic Rancho Bernardo.

Don’t skip any appointments for your child, especially newborns, due to COVID concerns. "You do not want your children to fall behind on their vaccinations, physical exams and screenings during their early development," Dr. Dabhia says.

Before you select a pediatrician, it’s important to understand how medical offices are operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. All medical facilities, including pediatric offices, are expected to have safety measures in place to protect their patients and staff from COVID. Get to know these so there are no surprises.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says routine baby and child checkups are essential. Especially important are in-person visits and vaccines for children age 24 months and younger. A video visit may be appropriate or available for some health concerns and conditions.

The following five tips can help you in your search for a pediatrician as you prepare for the arrival of your child.

1. Do your r