Pediatricians are there to help moms take care of their children and to guide them in their way of parenting. While some moms take these appointments smoothly, there are some who make the same classic mistakes.
Contrary to popular belief, there are many things moms do that concern pediatricians and some of these things go unrealized to the moms who do them. It may seem like just a routine doctor appointment, but a pediatrician appointment is, and should, always be treated differently since we don’t see it through the eyes of a child. That disconnect is often what a pediatrician will pick up on right away, as this is where most moms commit that first major no-no. We’re all guilty of something, whether it’s forgetting to pack snacks or self-diagnosing, but what else are moms capable of at the doctor’s office? From requesting quick appointments to false promises, we’ve listed everything.
20. URGING THE DOCTOR TO MAKE PROMISES TO MAKE A CHILD FEEL BETTER
Unfortunately, this is something that many moms do. Whether it’s to comfort themselves in the fact of an impending meltdown or to reassure their children is never really clear. Since nearly every kid has an aversion to going to the doctor (especially when they’re sick), some moms will attempt to prep them when the nurse or doctor walks in. Saying things like, “no shots today, right?” or “you won’t need any of that icky meds today” while looking at the doctor for approval is not the way to help a child. This will only create false pretenses and upset them even more if they do end up needing a shot or meds.
19. TRICKING KIDS INTO GETTING THEIR PHYSICALS IS A BAD IDEA
In no world does any child enjoy being tricked into getting a physical. It’s bad enough that have to wait on line to go through them annually at school, let alone having to go to an official doctor’s office to have one. It’s not the most fun thing to do but when it comes down to it, the pediatrician should be the one handling your child, as well as their hesitation when it comes to doctor visits. But taking one child to the doctor for a physical and convincing a second child to get one ‘while you’re there’ is only a recipe for tears and anxiety.
18. AVOID PLAYING ‘GOOD COP’ AND ‘BAD COP’ WITH A CHILD’S DOCTOR
According to the NY Times, some pediatricians even admit to the fact that they’ve been on the receiving end of the “good cop, bad cop” game. The reason this is doing more harm than good is that a doctor should never be made out to be a ‘bad’ anything. A child’s pediatrician is there to help them and make them feel better, which is why no parent should angle for being the ‘good guy’ in the face of the ‘mean doctor.’ It’s just something we have to deal with as parents — we won’t always get to be the hero. A child will forgive their mother for taking them to the doctor, especially when they get ice cream afterward.
17. IT’S TOUGH, BUT DON’T SUGARCOAT THINGS JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE UNCOMFORTABLE
This is by far one of the toughest things to do as a parent. It’s nerve-wracking and challenging to sit in a room with your baby as they get their first shots, and it’s made even worse if they cry or become visibly upset. You’re not alone in your fears of being considered a bad mom but the truth is, you’re not! While it’s not pleasant to have these routine things done, they are necessary. The best thing to do for a child is to teach them at a young age that they will go through some unpleasant things, but their mom will always be there to wipe away the tears afterward. They might not be happy, but they will trust you.
16. RESEARCHING ON WEBMD WON’T HELP A DOCTOR DO THEIR JOB
No, the analysis of a child’s runny nose by their mom won’t help her pediatrician do his or her job better. Going over the symptoms a worried mom has found online rather than the symptoms her child is exhibiting, won’t heal them any faster. As tough as it is to acknowledge that we don’t always know what’s wrong with our children, it’s even tougher for a doctor to do their job if we’re trying to do it for them. For the sake of her baby and her pediatrician, a mom who’s quick to Google should really put the phone aside and let professionals handle illness.
15. EXPECTING A ‘QUICK’ CHECKUP IS FAIR GROUNDS FOR DISAPPOINTMENT
It does happen (occasionally), we have crazy schedules and when it comes to routine checkups, pediatrician appointments can turn into lengthy events. Depending on whether or not your child is in a good mood, how many others are waiting in the office, and what types of patients your doctor has for the day, an appointment could take over an hour. The hardest thing a mom can do is request that an appointment be a ‘quickie’ because there’s no such thing as an in-and-out doctor appointment. All it does is cause stress on the reception side of the office, and make pediatricians feel rushed when it comes to their to-do list of checkups.
14. DON’T BE ASHAMED TO BRING UP SENSITIVE ISSUES, DOCTORS UNDERSTAND
It can be embarrassing—for both child and parent—to bring up something such as loose stool, strange smells, weird sensations, etc. The problem is that by not bringing it up, you could be allowing an even bigger issue to slip right under your pediatrician’s nose. While they’re excellent at playing detective in what they do, they’re not mind-readers. There’s no doctor on earth who can tell something about a patient, child or adult, without one of them opening their mouths about it.
When it comes to kids, everything is important — even the uncomfortable stuff. This won’t only be helpful to them, but it’ll help your child develop trust with their doctor, too, once they realize it’s normal to discuss these things.
13. DOCTORS ARE NOT IN THE HABIT OF DISCOURAGING VACCINES, EXPECT IT
In order to prevent medieval-era diseases and illnesses, scientists and medical professionals developed these things called vaccines. While it is still a parent’s right in much of the country to decide whether or not to vaccinate their children, expect some resistance on the end of a medical professional. Unless a baby or child is going to a holistic doctor, it’s not likely that a pediatrician will recommend any child going unvaccinated. The fact is that the pros outweigh the costs still to this day, and it’s still considered the standard to save lives, rather than endangering them without protection.
12. IF A DOCTOR’S ADVICE GOES IGNORED, THEY’RE NOT SURPRISED TO SEE KIDS BACK AND WILL BE HONEST
Speaking of which, this is also very much the case. This is not to say that a doctor will have an ‘I told you so’ attitude, but they aren’t afraid to inform parents of when a health-related mistake has been made. From the viewpoint of a pediatrician, it’s in their best interest to ensure that a child is healthy and taken care of. That means being honest, despite a parent’s opinion. Of course, this doesn’t mean that a pediatrician won’t take into account a parent’s personal beliefs and parenting style, but it does mean they’re medically-minded. They want what’s best, and honestly? It usually is the most accurate advice.
11. NOT EVERY HOLISTIC METHOD IS BEST, STOP TRYING TO CONVINCE THE PEDIATRICIAN OTHERWISE
This is why we have pediatricians who use modern meds as well as holistic doctors who follow an all-natural code. When it comes to raising kids, all moms have a choice to either go with what they know or go with ancient meds. The choice is personal and neither one is necessarily correct, but it’s up to a mom to decide what type of doctor she wants for her child. If she chooses to go the holistic route, yet remains with a doctor’s office who believes in modern meds, well… there’s not much to say other than you get what you schedule.
10. ‘WINGING IT’ IF A CHILD IS SICK ISN’T HELPFUL… COME PREPARED
It’s totally understandable that if a child gets sick, sometimes there’s no time to write down their symptoms. Sometimes, it’s a mad dash to the doctor’s office, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if there was some time in between scheduling the appointment and bringing a baby or child in, this is a good chance to take a visual and audible account of all their symptoms. It can be frustrating for a doctor to need to figure out what’s wrong with a child without any input from the parent, and can definitely drag out a diagnosis. The most in-tune moms are with their kids, the more they can help their pediatricians in the long run.
9. WITHHOLDING INFORMATION BECAUSE IT DOESN’T SEEM SIGNIFICANT IS ALSO A MISTAKE
Even something as small as a baby having the sniffles can be a huge symptom when it comes to the world of meds. There’s nothing more rewarding than the ‘aha!’ moment for a doctor when they finally come to a solid diagnosis, but the magic in getting there is knowing the symptoms — all of them. While it might not seem like anything, there should be a list of all the things your child has experienced while sick. The smallest of clues might tip a pediatrician off as to what a child is struggling with, which will only speed up the healing process. A mom should never withhold information, no matter how insignificant she thinks it might be.
8. STAY TRUE TO THE SYMPTOMS AND DON’T BE AFRAID TO LET THE DOCTOR KNOW IF THEY MISUNDERSTAND
Doctors aren’t perfect and sometimes, they do get things wrong. They’ve been trained to diagnose and treat, not to be perfectionists and solve every problem (even though they’re really good at doing just that!). As a mom, if you happen to say that your baby has had an on-going fever of 102.1 and your pediatrician mistakes it for 101.2, that’s still something that should be corrected. Even though it’s only a difference of a degree, it still matters, and doctors do appreciate it. Never be afraid to correct something that your child’s diagnosis depends on, even if it means putting yourself out there. According to KevinMD, any good doctor should be able to take corrections professionally.
7. ALSO, NOT TRUSTING A DOCTOR ISN’T HELPFUL
It’s true… Not trusting a doctor can be the downfall of any appointment. First off, if anyone doesn’t trust their doctor, that’s a red flag to switch pediatricians. Secondly, a doctor should have a connection with any and all of their patients. Contrary to popular belief, any parent does have the right to switch doctor’s offices if she doesn’t feel as though her child is getting the best care. In order to provide proper care, both mom and child need to be comfortable visiting the office. The mistake that most moms make is not listening to their gut instinct when it comes to this.
6. PARENTS ARE ALLOWED IN THE OFFICE; WAITING OUTSIDE WILL ONLY DRAG OUT AN APPOINTMENT
When a child has grown enough to see their doctor in private, some moms decide that it’s best to wait outside. Sometimes, this can even happen if they’re attending the appointment with more than one kid. Understandably, no mom wants to overstep her boundaries or make it look as though she’s a helicopter parent. But the difference is, for any kid under the age of ten, their mother’s presence might be far more reassuring than not. Additionally, if the doctor has any questions or concerns, having that child’s parent in the room will speed up the process and prevent miscommunication.
5. DEMANDING THE COST OF MEDS WON’T DO ANY GOOD, DOCTORS RARELY KNOW THIS INFO
Doctors are involved in the patient-treating end of things, not the insurance end of things. Simply put, this means that they very rarely know the cost of meds before any parent does. While it might seem like something a doctor’s office should know, it’s rare that any medical assistants or receptionist know, either. The only people who would know are those who work for your insurance company, and those are the people to place a phone call to. Reprimanding the front office for not informing a parent of the cost of salve for a rash isn’t going to change the fact that it’s simply not their fault.
4. IT’S A SMALL THING BUT A POLITE ONE: SILENCE YOUR PHONE
You’d be surprised at the number of parents who don’t put their phones on silent when it comes to doctor appointments. Understandably, emergencies can’t be helped, but there is such a thing as placing your phone on ‘vibrate.’ For something that likely takes an hour, tops, there’s no reason why any mom should be paying more attention to their phone rather than their child and this or her doctor. A ringing phone can be distracting, not to mention incredibly rude to those trying to do their job. If you’re paying for a doctor to, well, be a doctor to your child, then that time shouldn’t be interrupted by an iPhone ringtone.
3. BRINGING TOYS AND SNACKS CAN HELP BUT MOST MOMS DON’T
Do it up! For some reason, some moms are afraid to bring their own personal snacks to the pediatrician’s office. Whether they’re afraid they’ll be judged for it or afraid that it’s not allowed remains to be seen, but trust us — everyone in the office knows how kids can get. Being ‘hangry’ isn’t just for adults, you know! Additionally, it’s totally fine to bring a small toy for them, too. Not only will it keep them busy and distracted, but they might draw some comfort from bringing their favorite toy, too. The best part is they can bring it in the doctor’s office, because it’s not unusual to have to wait in there, either.
2. IF TESTING IS NEEDED, THE RESULTS AREN’T ALWAYS KNOWN RIGHT AWAY, THROUGH NO FAULT OF THE OFFICE
Just as it’s not the office’s fault for not being aware of medical prices, it’s also not the office’s fault for not being able to do testing on the spot. While some clinics are able to run simple tests, this is not always the case. Occasionally, things such as bloodwork and swabs will need to be sent out for testing. This means results might not be in for a few days and while it can be nerve-wracking and inconvenient, your doctor should reassure you that there’s nothing to worry about in the meantime. There’s no use in taking up an issue with the front desk because they have no control over the speed or rate of testing procedures.
1. IF IT’S AN EMERGENCY, IT’S WORTH WAKING UP THE DOCTOR RATHER THAN WAITING
Some moms become nervous at the thought of potentially waking up their doctor at a late hour of the night. However, if it’s an emergency and you need a medical opinion ASAP, this is absolutely the best thing to do. Doctors, especially pediatricians, know that what they do is a 24-hour job. They’ve gone into the field to help parents and their children, and this is part of their job description. While it should only be done in absolute emergencies, it’s best to be safe rather than sorry. Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor or an emergency number if your mom instincts are urging you to do so.