When I had my first child I was told that I was to visit the pediatrician after the first 2 weeks, again at six weeks, four months, six months, one year, two years and so on. I gave up after the four-month visit. It was costing me a fortune for the pediatrician to take 3 minutes to tell me my child was gorgeous and happy and healthy! Great, could have got that for free I think!
Of course, for peace of mind, I think that a visit to the pediatrician at 2 weeks and perhaps again at 6 weeks is a good thing but I think your child’s relationship with their general practitioner is far more valuable and important.
When picking a GP, obviously you want someone who is good with children but also fairly young because this is a long-term relationship and you want them to be around for a while at least. When I fell pregnant, I went to see my GP who was 66 at the time and he first saw me when I was 6 weeks old.
I have taken Jack to visit our GP often from about 6 weeks. Now, at four years old, he walks into her rooms, greets her by name, he tells her what is wrong with a bit of my input and then hops on the bed to be examined. She talks to him while she examines him and explains to him what medication I will be giving him. If he has to stay away from school, she explains that to him too. There has never been a problem with examination and if something uncomfortable needs to take place like a nebulizer or an injection, she takes the time to explain to him what is going to happen. The two of them have a fantastic relationship. She is sincere and honest with him and he takes her seriously and listens. It is something I recommend every mother does. When Jack needed to have his tonsils out, it was my GP who picked the problem and referred him to a specialist, not the pediatrician. She knows him well, knows which medicines he hates and what he reacts badly to and she will watch him grow and develop into a young man and will be aware of every problem he has had since he was a nipper.
When things get serious and you need specialists and hospitals, it is so reassuring to know that you have someone on your side who knows your child better than anyone at the hospital. If you are unsure of anything… “Please call his GP and confirm she agrees with that suggestion.” There is nothing wrong with that.
Now that Lucy is nearly 18 months, it i lovely to see her slowly opening up to our GP and watching their relationship grow too. I often take Jack to the visit too so that Lucy can see there is nothing to be afraid of. It is really good for me too because I am more relaxed and therefore my kids are too.
One day we will move, which will mean that the trip to the doctor will be much further away for us but I know that it will be worth sticking with her than finding someone more convenient and starting from scratch. I know they always have the file to refer too but that does not replace a trustworthy relationship.