The very first checkup is always the most daunting. Countless moms wonder to themselves if it’s even necessary and, especially, whether they should make the effort to pack their newborn up and make the trek to the doctor’s office. It’s not just about the countless germs that are bound to be lurking at the doctor’s office that have some moms thinking twice about going. Others feel apprehension as a result of reading the comments and opinions of scores of other moms in online mommy groups.
“I rarely bring my kids to the germ-filled doctor's office! They are that much stronger for it,” proclaim many moms. Actually making the effort to go to all the doctor’s appointments is mighty important, though, as these ensure that the baby’s growth is on track. On top of catching anything that might be out of the ordinary, seeing the doctor on a regular basis also helps to ease most moms’ concerns.
Still, there’s another reason that some moms shy away from bringing the kids to their check-ups: the worry that the doctor might try to impose something that they are not comfortable with doing. Whether to vaccinate or not is always at the forefront of some moms’ worries, but there are a number of other things doctors try to impose.
20 May Try To Impose Their Own Opinions
First thing’s first, to start off with, doctors are still people, and at the end of the day, they all have their all own opinions. However, some of these do need to reined it sometimes!
As Marie explained to us, “Not listening to me is the biggest thing that turns me off. I've got 3 kids, I'm educated myself and I know how to google. So I have a slight idea of what I'm talking about. Dismissing me like I'm the crazy women saying my kid is [fine] when I tell you he's not been acting himself and probably has an ear infection or something else going on is going to get you fired real quick.”
19 They May Imply That You're Asking Too Many Q's
On Policygenius, Julie Mitchell detailed how her baby’s pediatrician made her feel they asked too many questions “and worried too much.”
“But she liked my baby and I trusted her from a purely medical standpoint. It didn't occur to me that I needed a pediatrician for me. It took me a while to realize that I kind of dreaded going to the office and I kind of felt like I wanted to [hide] my sorrows in [copious] amounts of ice cream when I left,” she also added.
Getting the answers to all our questions is crucial and sometimes, it’s better to switch pediatricians.
18 May Try To Put The Focus Solely On Baby
If Julie Mitchell’s story taught us anything, it’s that a baby’s check-up shouldn’t be all about the baby! At my first baby’s initial check-up, the pediatrician actually turned to me towards the point and asked, “What about you? How have you been feeling?”
Just that inquiry alone was the reassurance I needed that the pediatrician was going to be the right fit in the future. After the baby has been checked, it’s just as important for doctors to also check in on the mom! As APA.org outlines, “Some women, up to 1 in 7, experience a much more serious mood disorder — [PPD].”
Moms need help, too.
17 Formula Over BF
Another thing doctors are notorious for imposing as early as the first check-up is formula. While most doctors automatically recommend breastfeeding until six months, as per the WHO recommendation, some –usually older—pediatricians simply aren’t on-board yet.
However, most of this also stems from the priority being on the baby’s well-being. When the newborn isn’t gaining nearly as much as he should be or the mother expresses how difficult breastfeeding has been, most pediatricians usually automatically recommend supplementing with formula. While each case is different, even seeking the advice of a lactation consultant can do wonders in the breastfeeding department. For breastfeeding moms, an immediate switch to formula isn’t always the right answer.
16 Continuing BF Despite Certain Symptoms
In the same vein, many doctors are actually highly pro-breastfeeding, to the point of not only making a formula-feeding mommy feel back for her choice but also to push breastfeeding when it's not actually working. As Today’s Parent points out, there are a variety of reasons to account for a low supply when breastfeeding from insufficient glandular tissue, hormonal issues, the use of birth control, all the way to the use of certain medications, a tongue/lip tie, and more.
Simply telling the mom to keep breastfeeding without exploring the reasons behind the experienced difficulties isn’t helpful at all. In a case like this, switching doctors might be warranted.
15 May Try To Insist That Baby Must Be Home With Mom
As we already covered, while many pediatricians are getting with the times, many others are still stuck in the past and the old way of thinking.
Katie shared with us the reason she decided to switch pediatricians the moment she left the doctor’s office, “When I took my daughter to her very first pediatrician’s appointment, I left feeling so upset that I vowed to never go back. When the doctor found out that I was planning on putting my daughter in a daycare in a few months so that I could go back to work, the pediatrician lectured me about how I needed to stay home with the baby for a few years!”
14 Prescribed Cream For Diaper Rash
Rashes happen… a lot. And not all moms are straight-away on-board with using anything that is prescribed on their kids, especially if they are newborn. With that being said, some pediatricians are very quick to prescribe anything and everything, which mainly stems from the fact that it’s their job to try to fix any medical issues that may arise.
Does it mean it’s warranted? Not always. The same goes with a diaper rash. Before reaching for a prescribed cream, Mama Natural suggests trying a slew of tried-and-tested solutions such as switching diapers and laundry detergent, along with applying coconut oil, olive oil, or even breastmilk!
13 They'll Suggest That A Lot Of Crying Is 'Normal'
There’s nothing more annoying than to arrive at the first baby’s check in an absolutely sleep-deprived state, only to be told that it will soon be over. A lot of crying is 100% not normal and usually needs to be investigated. While it’s difficult to pinpoint how much crying is normal, there is also something to be said about a mother’s intuition. If you feel your baby is crying more than usual and the pediatrician isn’t being helpful, then it might be time to switch to another doctor. While it can certainly just be colic, it can also be as a result of gastrointestinal issues, as Stanford Children's Health outlines.
12 Implement CIO or Not Picking Baby Up
If at the first check-up, the doctor advises you to do the CIO (cry it out) method or wait a certain period of time before picking the baby up, then run for the hills. To be fair, most doctors have stopped dishing out this outdated piece of advice. But as outdated as it is, tons of moms continue to share their stories of being told exactly this, even to this day! It usually comes from older doctors, but in either case, if you hear it, not only should you not follow this advice, but you really should find another doctor too.
11 That There's Nothing To Do For Reflux
There’s nothing to do about reflux, right? WRONG!
Katie shared with us, “I told the pediatrician my son’s spit-up was bright yellow, and that he arches his back while nursing or laying down. Her response was that he has reflux and there’s nothing to do about it. I’m not one to just accept that, so I consulted with another pediatrician, who actually said it’s GERD and prescribed medications. My baby is all better now and I’m SO happy to have switched pediatricians after the first check-up.”
As NHS.uk advises, “holding your baby upright for a period of time after feeding” can also help.
10 ... or Even A Lip Tie!
Another mama, Hayleigh, told us about how she figured out the source of her breastfeeding difficulties all on her own:
“At my son’s first check-up, the doctor had no solution when I told her how difficult breastfeeding had been. After doing my own Google search, I fell on the topic of tongue and lip ties and realized that my son had a tongue tie! Once I got it snipped, breastfeeding became a breeze and stopped hurting. My baby also started gaining properly.”
While doctors may be the experts, their insistence that everything is fine doesn’t always mean that it really is!
9 May Try To Impose Waking Baby Up To Feed
Doctor check-ups can certainly be nerve-wracking, especially if the baby isn’t gaining as they should. If the numbers aren’t where they need to be, then the doctor might try to impose waking the poor little fella more often than necessary. The 3-hour range is often heard, but some parents might even get told they need to feed every 2 hours, including during the night! The fact of the matter is that this go-to solution isn’t always the right one. While it may sound like it makes sense, sometimes other factors need to be factored in as well, especially if the baby is still actually gaining, albeit on the lower end.
8 You Shouldn't Give Baby Triple Confusion
As CNN explains, “If your pediatrician (or lactation counselor) tells you not to give your baby a bottle or pacifier because the baby might get "triple nipple confusion," take it with a grain of salt […] Dr. Hope Hamilton-Rodgers, a pediatrician in private practice in Rome, Georgia, says there's not a lot of research to back up this assertion. "I have plenty of patients who do bottle, breast[feeding] and pacifier from the get-go and don't have [any] confusion."
At the end of the day, parents just need to do what’s best for them, whether that includes giving their baby a pacifier or skipping it altogether.
7 Keeping Baby Inside
Undoubtedly, you have heard about how you shouldn’t leave the house with a newborn for the first few weeks. Taking the newborn out in public is always a contentious topic due to all the potential germs they may catch in busy indoor places. It’s for this reason that many doctors will be steadfast in their recommendation that the newborn isn’t taken out at all for the first couple of week. However, if you have cabin fever, then this is one piece of advice that might be worth dropping! So don’t feel bad if you venture out as soon as the first few days.
6 Get You To Use A Nasal Aspirator
Nasal aspirators are icky, to say the least, and pediatricians are more than happy to suggest using one. After all, it makes sense since little babies can’t blow their itty-bitty noses themselves, right? As true as this is, it also doesn’t mean that you need to implement using a nasal aspirator multiple times per day. In fact, the usually-recommended NoseFrida isn’t even nearly as effective as the Nosiboo or the OCCObaby aspirators, which automatically remove all the ickiness without having to suck it out. So when the pediatrician imposes a NoseFrida (as they often do), then at least get the automatic version to avoid getting sick.
5 There's No Need For Eliminating Certain Foods
While we have made significant strides in the breastfeeding department in the last couple of decades, there are still countless pediatricians out there, who still haven’t bothered to learn more about the intricacies of breastfeeding. When I, myself, asked the pediatrician if I should try eliminating certain foods from my daily meals in an effort to stop by baby from being so gassy, he simply looked at me and said there is no reason for it as not enough gets into the milk to make a difference.
And yet, as KellyMom advises, “If you think your baby is reacting to a particular food, then eliminate that food from your [eating plan] for 2-3 weeks to see if baby’s symptoms improve.”
4 Amoxicillin For Ear Infections
Although we have already covered how a prescribed cream for a diaper rash isn’t always necessary, there’s also another thing pediatricians might suggest on the first check-up: Amoxicillin for an ear infection.
If this happens, then make sure to question the recommendation because as Parents.com explains, sometimes waiting is the best course of action. However, if after a few days, your baby isn’t better, then it might be worth thinking about administering the antibiotic at that point. Some home remedies are also worth trying, as Healthline points out, such as warm compresses, warm oil, elevating the baby’s head, and homeopathic ear drops.
3 May Try To Imply Crib Sleeping Is The Only Way
We have all heard it before: not only is back sleeping the best, but babies also shouldn’t sleep anywhere else other than a crib – yes, that means no swings, and especially no co-sleeping!
But is co-sleeping really that bad? Or is letting the baby sleep in a swing or a car seat sometimes really going to affect them that much? Doctors will certainly be steadfast in their crib-only recommendation for sleeping, but as NPR.org reassuringly says, “Human babies are contact seekers. What they need the most is their mother's and father's bodies. This is what's good for their physiology. This is what their survival depends on.”
Just make sure to practice safe co-sleeping habits, as outlined by What To Expect.
2 Prescribed Cream For Eczema
Prescribed cream for eczema is another highly contentious subject, especially when it comes to newborns and young babies in general. When it comes to eczema, pediatricians are usually very quick to reach for their pad and prescribe a cream. However, many actually recommend trying a slew of other treatments first before trying any of those creams.
Why? Not only do those creams not even help in most cases, but sometimes the solution can lie within switching the baby’s laundry detergent, reducing bath time, using anti-scratch mittens, and as Today’s Parent points out, dressing the baby in cotton-only clothing. Using a moisturizing ointment like Aquaphor can also work wonders.
1 Not Giving Solids Before 6 Months
Many pediatricians take advantage of the first check-up to cover the newborn and general baby basics: no co-sleeping, no pacifiers, and no giving baby solids before six months. The last piece of advice is one to be taken with a grain of salt though as every baby develops differently. If at five months, your baby is sitting up and showing interest, then there’s no need to wait necessarily until six months!
On the flip side, they may also say that “your baby must eat solid foods by 6 months.” However, as CNN points out, "Some are just slower to take to the textures of food and want just [milk]" and that’s OK too!