Pediatrician | Fit Pregnancy


Finding Dr. Right

Locating a great pediatrician can take time and patience, so it’s a good idea to start while you are still pregnant. Considering that this potentially is the person who will guide your child’s care for the next 18 years, the effort is well worth it.

What'’s Up, Baby Doc?

If you’ve just had your baby or are nearing your due date, you’ve probably already done the hard work of choosing a pediatrician. Now it’s time to think about how you will forge a working relationship with her.

Love Your Baby Doc

1. Quiz your OB-GYN.
Consider your obstetrician an inside source, says pediatrician Charlotte Cowan, M.D., a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School in Boston. "Obstetricians get feedback from new mothers, and they also watch how babies are cared for by pediatricians in the hospital nursery."

2. Ask about affiliations. If possible, choose a pediatrician who can see your baby where you plan to deliver. Meanwhile, association with a major medical center can ease your stress should emergencies or the need for specialized care arise.

Introducing Solids


Start solids at no earlier than 6 months old. Giving your baby breast milk exclusively is not just adequate for six to nine months--it's optimal. Formula is a second-best option, but either way, no solid foods need to be added during the first six months. (Pediatricians used to recommend starting solids at age 4 months, but we now know that introducing them this early may increase a child's tendencies toward allergies and obesity.) Fruits and vegetables are easier to digest than cereal and thus make excellent first foods. Cook a sweet potato, mash it and feed it to your baby.

Parenting Styles


No, you're not. As pediatricians, it's our job to help you with everything from nutritional advice to safety guidelines to parenting options. It is also our job to watch for family stress and to help you as a couple and a family. No, we're not psychologists, but we often are the only doctors a family sees on a regular basis.

Ask your doctor if you can address these issues at your next well-child visit or if you should schedule a separate appointment to talk with him. And if your differences about parenting are causing marital problems, consider getting counseling.

Thrush Remedies


It could be yeast, also known as thrush, a fungus that grows in warm, moist areas such as a baby's mouth or diaper area. It also can be found on a breastfeeding mother's nipples. One of the best ways to diagnose yeast is to try gently scraping it off with your fingernail; leftover milk will come off fairly easily, while yeast can't be scraped off. My first-line natural approach is to use 10 drops of grapefruit-seed extract per ounce of water. Apply this to your baby's tongue and, if you're breastfeeding, to your nipples every two to three hours for at least a week.

Worrying About Baby's Fever?

Most new parents can agree: There's probably nothing scarier than your baby's first fever. Actually, anytime your child has a high temperature. Babies can't complain, so a fever is often your baby's way of letting you know something's wrong. But according to health experts, the treatment for your baby all depends, The New York Times reports.

Have doc, will travel?


I don't think so. Though most pediatricians have privileges at several hospitals, typically only pediatricians in very rural areas will travel long distances to see a newborn. Most pediatricians count on each other to perform newborn exams and order discharges when necessary. Your OB can help you find a doctor to see your baby in the hospital.

The Truth About Teething

When it Starts

Between 4 and 6 months of age, teeth begin pushing through sensitive gum tissue. As a result, your baby will likely drool more and want to chew on anything near his mouth. The first tooth, often a front bottom one, typically erupts at about 7 months, though getting a first tooth as late as 15 months is still normal, says Bill Stratbucker, M.D., a pediatrician at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich., and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Michigan State University. A full set of 20 baby teeth is generally in by 2 1/2 years.

Scary Tests


Yes. Meningitis is an infection and inflammation of the meninges, the lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The proximity of these membranes to the brain makes this condition potentially very dangerous: It can cause serious residual damage and, rarely, death.