Friday, March 4, 2011


Hi gang!

I feel so way out of my element here. Hopefully those of you with earthly children can answer these questions for me. Thanks so much in advance!

I have to set up an appointment with a pediatrician and I keep putting it off. I have no idea what to ask. my friend Kiki pointed me in the right direction, but what other questions do I ask? What qualities make a good pediatrician?

Some other questions include;
1.) Bumper or no Bumper?
2.) Do I really need a changing table?
3.) Do I really need a bouncer AND a swing?
4.) When do I pack a hospital bag?
5.) I do not have a ceiling fan in the bedroom. Is it worth it to install one?

These are just a few that I have. I am sure more will pop up in due time.

Awaiting my expected end,


  1. What qualities make a good pediatrician?
    We love our Ped. We interviewed a few and loved this one. Things that were important to us. How does the Dr think? Are the AAP all the way? We are pro a different vaccine schedule and make the determination on a vaccine by vaccine basis. How does the Dr feel about this? Will they support us and talk with us? How willing to research alternative medicine are they? Do they support our lifestyle (whatever that may be- vegetarian, minimalist, etc)? Do they publish in the field? How up to date are they with current medical trends? Who do I talk to when I have a question outside of office hours? Who answers the emergency phone? (This made a big deal to us. Our ped answers her own phone. If you call after hours, it forwards to her cell. It doesnt matter what time it is. And we had to use it once. Amazing woman.) How do YOU feel? When we called the office, we had a good feeling. We love her office staff. We love both docs in the practice. We had a "this is the Dr for us" feeling. Location is important too. You may love a doctor a half hour away, but you dont want to drive 30 minutes with a sick, screaming baby.

    Some other questions include;
    1.) Bumper or no Bumper? We bumpered the crib. I kept it low enough to touch their foreheads but high enough that, if they put their faces to it, their noses were exposed. But, that being said, our kids coslept with us (in bed and in a cosleeper), moved to the crib at 3mo then moved to their twin beds at 7mo. The twin beds had rails and, even now, Maya loves to put herself against the mesh to play with it.

    2.) Do I really need a changing table? When we had 2 floors, I had a basic changing table on the first floor (I wasnt lugging 2 kids upstairs to change dipes) and used Maya's dresser as a changing table upstairs. In the new house, Bobby's room inherited the changing table. One per kid is fine. If your dresser is low enough to be comfy for you, then I would go with that alone.

    3.) Do I really need a bouncer AND a swing? We had a low swing that the infant carseat hooked into. It was great. Our kids were done with their bouncies and their swings once they were done with their infant seats (if not before that, now that I think of it). It was way less expensive, worked great, and I cant imagine having a "real" swing just for the space issues! But yes, a swing and a bouncy work differently and cant work wonders with an unhappy little one!

    4.) When do I pack a hospital bag? I cant help here. I knew I was going into the hospital at some point well before delivery (hopefully) and ended up there at 20w after a prenatal appt and without a darn thing! :) Most people pack around the early 30s and then repack it around week 36.

    5.) I do not have a ceiling fan in the bedroom. Is it worth it to install one? We didnt have one in our old house... No issues.

  2. I am just wondering why they couldn't answer these questions at your birthing class(es)? I have a Healthy Start nurse (you are in FL too right??) and she comes to my home every once in a while. She is a wealth of knowledge, and what she doesn't know - she hops on the phone and finds out. Of course, none of that helps with your search for a ped. And, of course, I've never had to search for yeah...not really sure why I chimed in. lol :0)

  3. Pediatrician: the biggest thing to look for is one that has the same views as you, or as close to them as possible. We have moved several times and have had a pedi twice and a family doc twice. Our family docs have actually been my favorite. :)

    1. I pull the bumper down so low that the top is level with the top of the mattress. I do take it off once they are rolling really good and put it back on once they get a bit older.

    2. Changing table: haven't used one with any of them. I use the couch, bed, crib, floor. Never saw a need for one.

    3. I have always had both! My kiddos have used them both for quite some time. The bouncer is nice b/c I can move it from room to room with me. All of my kiddos have loved the swing. Joy Michelle takes a couple cat naps in it almost every day. :)

    4. I usually have it packed 32-34 wks b/c I have preterm issues with the last 4.

    5. Have had it both ways, and I honestly prefer not using it, so even when we had it it wasn't used.

    You are getting so close!!! YAY!

  4. 1.) Bumper or no Bumper? We used one. However, we co-slept with our girls pretty exclusively for the first 3-4 months, so by the time they go into their crib, they are older, possibly rolling around, and I just thought it was more comfortable for them. It's entirely up to you!

    2.) Do I really need a changing table? Yes and No. It's nice to have one for those big blow outs, etc. Once we had a 2nd & 3rd and lived on two levels, I had an area downstairs to change the baby and then when we were upstairs used the changing table. It's a good storage area.

    3.) Do I really need a bouncer AND a swing? Depends on the baby! My first two were not bouncing kids, but all three were major swing much they burnt ours out and we need to buy a new one for the 4th. I don't think it's anything you need to buy brand new, you can always get great deals on almost brand new things on craigslist.

    4.) When do I pack a hospital bag? I started to pack mine once I started to dilate with first baby, and with the rest, usually around 35 weeks I'll have an "emergency" bag, once I get my stitch out, I get my bag all ready :)

    5.) I do not have a ceiling fan in the bedroom. Is it worth it to install one? You don't need to...we did, but we did it in all of our bedrooms, and we don't live in Florida with A/C :)

  5. Great questions! Here is my input, though know every mother and baby combo is different.

    For me a good pediatrician would be close to home, have hours that work with my schedule (late hours/early hours/open weekends). I like to know about what happens with an after hours issue or emergency... how can I get in touch with her. Which hospitals if any, does she have privileges in. Is there a lab in the office? It would save me a trip if there was. I have a son and want to make sure she respects my wishes of not circumcising him and not retracting the foreskin during his physicals. I have come up with an alternative schedule to vaccines that are selective and delayed, its very important that my doctor accept my choice as a parent and not challenge me at every appointment.

    for your other questions:
    1.) Bumper or no Bumper?
    No bumper. they are dangerous. When they are old enough to have one (around 6 months) then they use it to climb on and jump over the crib...yes that happened to me.
    2.) Do I really need a changing table?
    I love my changing table. It also has storage for blankets and diapers and different little baby toiletries and items, I couldnt function without it. But Im an organization freak and need to have everything in its place.
    3.) Do I really need a bouncer AND a swing?
    I had both and let me tell you it was a lifesaver. The bouncer was great when I had to take a shower. I would just put the bouncer in the bathroom with me (but Im a single mom) My son adored the swing. My daughter did for a few months but now has outgrown it. Each child has their own likes and you honestly dont know if it will help unless you try it. To save money I recommend getting items off craigslist. That way if it doesnt work out you dont spend as much and you can always resell it on craigslist.
    4.) When do I pack a hospital bag?
    As we all know, anything can happen in pregnancy. Even the unexpected. I had my bag packed at around 7 1/2 -8 months. I want it ready to go if anything should happen. If I had to go to the hospital from work or wherever, at least a family member could just go home and grab my bag for me.
    5.) I do not have a ceiling fan in the bedroom. Is it worth it to install one?
    Overheating contributes to SIDS so its important that the babys room doesnt get too warm. (there are thermometers that let you know if its too warm in the room) But each house is different. My home is always hot. Even in the winter. I always have to have a ceiling fan going. not only for the kids but for me too. If you dont want to install a ceiling fan, they have fantastic standing fans at costco that have a low setting that is just perfect.

  6. Bumper yes!!! Breathable bumper though. You can find it a babies r us.

    Please, please get the angel care monitor. It detects your baby's breathing and will alarm if baby is not breathing. Levi starting flipping to his stomach at 3 months old! Scary!! The angel care will alarm if he is not breathing. (SIDS, etc.)

  7. NO bumper!! you can use breathable bumpers they are safer, no blankets either, use a halo sack for more safety as well. You can "like" the Halo sac FB page that can advise more ways to safe sleep your baby.

    I had Alyssa's pediatrician interview a few days before she passed. I asked him how strongly he felt about vaccines, breast feeding, (he will be adrians too) I asked if they had a sick room/well room waiting area. I asked if he was on call or who else would be the one to return calls in case of ER. i asked what hospital he was affiliated with. I asked if they charged for calls during the night/day (some peds do he didnt). I didnt get to pack a bag for alyssa. but this time I am wondering *when* is a good time as well. being you have a scheduled section I would say 2-3 weeks before just in case of an ER....

  8. Although I don't have earthly children now, my daughter was with us for 7 1/2 months... Many of these things we stumbled upon..

    Pediatrician: I am big in connecting with people. If in the first time, I don't feel a connection, or have a weird feeling, I look to the next. You want someone who will be patient with your questions and not make you feel crazy for asking ANYTHING!

    1.) Bumper or no Bumper? No bumper! My daughter passed due to SIDS, and after much extensive research.. nothing in the crib except baby.. just reduces the chance. I don't want to put fear in you.. anymore than you may have.. but I realize now, after my experience.. to spread the information and knowledge because maybe than the number of SIDS deaths will go down!!
    2.) Do I really need a changing table? I loved our changing table.. especially when she was teensy newborn.. that is really personal preference honestly. I know a couple who just use the changer on their pack N' play and don't have a changer. I liked ours because it could turn into a night stand table as the child got older.
    3.) Do I really need a bouncer AND a swing? That will all depend on baby!! Our Savanna hated the swing, but when she was big enough to hold a little of her weight.. she spent hours in the bouncer! I truly believe that's why at 5 months she was already trying to pull up.. it strengthened those lil legs! It never hurts to try! Just keep your receipts just in case :)
    4.) When do I pack a hospital bag? I had my daughter at home so I didn't have to pack a bag persay. But I had her two weeks early, without any sign until that day. I would say pack it now.. have it by the door ready to go. It never hurts to be over prepared!!
    5.) I do not have a ceiling fan in the bedroom. Is it worth it to install one? I vote yes on the fan. This too is another thing that can actually decrease the chance of SIDS occurring. You don't want them to get to hot.. and it just keeps the air moving!

    You can read here
    for more info!

    Love and Blessings to you! Tabatha

  9. Just my opinion here!

    Always had a bumper with mine and never had any issues.
    Some sort of changing station in a life saver. I used one with all three.
    I have a swing and bouncer. Both were wonderful!!!
    Hospital bags for me are always packed just before leaving for hospital. Babies bag was packed at about 36 weeks. I just keep a list handy of what I need to pack in my bag and throw it in when I need it or get DH to pack it using the list.
    Ceiling fan just goes with your personal comfort level. If you are comfy the baby will be!
    Questions for Ped.
    1. Who takes after hours calls is a huge deal. (we had a ped once who had his nurses take is emeg. calls and I hated it)
    You want a doctor in those instances,
    2. Shot schedule is a good question.
    3. You will want a ped. who supports your decision to either BF or use a bottle.
    4. Make sure you are comfortable with his/her staff.

    Most of all mama, Make sure that you know that YOUR instinct is greater than anything. Always go with your gut!

  10. When I picked a ped I was looking for 3 main things:
    A clean orderly office.
    Easy location and easy to carry baby in carrier from parking to office (No stairs & close parking were a MUST)
    Recommended by a friend.

    1. Bumper or no Bumper? I'd say NO bumper. Is it worth the risk?
    2. changing table? No, but I really loved both of mine. I had one on my playnpack that worked well on the main floor of my 2 story.
    3. bouncer AND a swing? No. I was never into the bouncer but some kiddos LOVE them.
    4. hospital bag? I packed about 2 weeks before the due date. I think early is good, particularly if you want to pack things you can do without in the last weeks before your due date. Why not be prepared?
    5. ceiling fan? Some babies really love them. This mommy can't live without hers! :)

  11. Obviously, I don't know the answers, but thanks for posting this because I read all of the comments and that was helpful! Funny I had not even thought about interviewing peds until a pg friend mentioned it yesterday! Good luck honey! I know things are going to be great for you! I do have a great list that a friend of mine sent me of what to pack for hospital, baby, etc. If you want me to forward it to you via email, just email

  12. No bumper! It is one of the things that the SIDS network says is a no-no. A ceiling fan also help circulate the air and is recommended for preventing SIDS. A swing and a bouncer are both a necessity, and have a bag packed now. Love, ya!

  13. We are super minimalist. First off, Nora doesn't haven't a room. She sleeps with us and will get her own room when we finally find a house. So, that has affected some of our decisions. We don't have a changing table. I always change her on a pad on my bed. We bought a swing and have used it like 3 times. Nora doesn't like it. We ended up borrowing a jumper from a friend. That, she loves. I recommend borrowing or buying things 2nd hand if you can. It's incredible how short of time you use things (or don't even use them). All babies are different, but our best investments were in good baby carriers (we have the ergo, a moby, and a mei tei).

  14. oh, and we didn't even purchase a bumper. :)

  15. 1.) Bumper or no Bumper? I have no words of advice on this.

    2.) Do I really need a changing table? I loved having one when my son was tiny, but the reality is he did not stay tiny long. After a while most of our changes were wherever.

    3.) Do I really need a bouncer AND a swing?
    No but it is hard to tell which one baby will like. Could you borrow one of each until you figure out what one you want and baby likes?

    4.) When do I pack a hospital bag?I would think the sooner the better. That way you can pack as you go along and add things as you think of them.

    5.) I do not have a ceiling fan in the bedroom. Is it worth it to install one? We recently installed ceiling fans and all of us slept better. My advice is to not go cheap on this, price really does matter. No need to spend a fortune but anything under 40.00 is probably junk. There is also some evidence that fans help reduce the risk of SIDS. Plus the tiny amount of white noise might make a huge impact on sleep.

  16. Get a pediatrician that seems to keep up to date and is flexible enough not to force his/hers ideas on you. Also, one that your kid likes is a bonus, but there you'll have to wait a bit. You can change peds if you have that luxury, here there's only one. We go to fam GP's as the ped is only for very serious cases. Although I have no earthly kids, I have medical experience and this is the type of doc I prefer for a family.

    AS for the hospital bag, keep it packed at all times. With our history we never know. You can review the contents every second week or so to make sure you have all you need and it is updated.

    The ceiling fan seems unnecessary to me, since you can have a floor fan if you need it. Then again, I live in Northern Canada...

    I don't know much about the rest, but my hubby who had three kids before likes the changing tables. I don't think I am going to get one. Bed is fine. The swing and all that...wait until after baby is there or borrow. Don't buy too soon, mostly because then you are stuck with the stuff you don't need. Unless there is a good second hand market for that where you live.

  17. Pediatrician--just go with overall gut feeling. Do pay attention to hours. Our son always seems to exhibit signs of an ear infection on Friday night or Saturday morning. With our old doctor we were taking him to urgent care to get antibiotics because he didn't have weekend hours. Our new pediatrician's network has office hours 7 days/week, 365 days/year. You can't see your actual doctor for these off hour visits, but it sure beats paying urgent care prices and keeps all your child's records in one computer system. Do pay attention to how the doctor feels about shots, breastfeeding, sleeping, etc because when they have different ideas it can make you feel bad about the choices you make. Also, remember that doctors are not God. They can advise you about sick kids and make sure your child is on track developmentally. I usually lied to our old doctor about how our son slept because he woke up a lot at night and slept in our room. The doctor was against those things and I wasn't willing to put my child in a room by himself to cry it out. It didn't feel right to me and I figured it's not the doctor's business as long as my son is healthy and not overtired.

    1.) Bumper or no Bumper?

    No bumper. They are linked to SIDS or suffocation. It's not worth the risk. If you feel like you need one because arms and legs are getting stuck through the crib bars when the baby gets more mobile then get one of the mesh breathable ones. This will save you money because you can just buy a few crib sheets and save on spending lots of money on a crib set that has a quilt and bumper that you won't actually use. You will receive tons of blankets as gifts and can't even use them for sleep so the crib bedding set is a waste of money. No blankets in the crib, only swaddling blankets or sleep sacks.

    2.) Do I really need a changing table?

    No, but I would have something other than the floor due to the number of "incidents" that occur while changing diapers. We have a changing pad (small white mattress with rounded up sides) that we keep on our nursery dresser, which is a low chest of drawers. This pad can be moved to our bedroom dresser, bed, floor, wherever is convenient. It is plastic padded, which is really good for the number of times our kids have peed and pooped while changing them. So you don't actually need the changing table piece of furniture, but the pad is nice.

    to be cont...

  18. ...cont

    3.) Do I really need a bouncer AND a swing?

    You will not know Spencer's preferences till he is born and they are likely to change over time anyway. What works one month doesn't necessarily work the next. We have a swing, bouncy seat, exersaucer and bumbo. We have used ALL of them with varying degrees of success. Our swing is downstairs, the bouncy seat is upstairs and can be in the bathroom while we get ready, the office while I'm on the computer, the kitchen while I cook. The exersaucer is great once they are 5 months or so and gets them up off their heads and moving, which most kids love. The bumbo helps tiny babies strengthen their muscles for learning to sit and is very useful in the bathtub. You can also borrow much of these items from church members or buy them at a dramatic discount at second hand or consignment stores. You really don't use them for very long, but it's nice to have a variety of places to put the baby down when you want to eat, shower, go to the bathroom, etc. Our best entertainment other than the swing has been a symphony in motion battery operated mobile. It goes for 15 minutes and our son and daughter both loved it. They would lay in their cribs cooing and kicking for 15 minutes while I did laundry or got dressed. I bought mine used at a consignment store for $15 (they retail for $40).

    4.) When do I pack a hospital bag?

    I would pack at 32 or so weeks and have a list of stuff that you want to grab at the last minute on top of the bag.

    5.) I do not have a ceiling fan in the bedroom. Is it worth it to install one?

    The ceiling fan is not a necessity, but moving air has been linked to a decreased incidence of SIDS so that might make you want one. You could also buy a small fan to sit on a dresser that would be cheaper and have the same effect One thing I've noticed with our kids is that the ceiling fan is great entertainment. Baby looks at the fan constantly. It's like a mobile.

    Biggest piece of advice: everyone has something different to say. Take ALL advice with a grain of salt. Get more than one opinion on every topic and go with the direction that makes the most sense for your family. One thing that frustrated me when my son was an infant was that all the books I read contradicted each other. Everyone thinks they are an expert, but no one knows you and Spencer like you do. If crying it out for sleeping works for you, do it. If it feels wrong to you, don't be pressured into it. Always look to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as one of your sources, but, again, get more than one opinion and do what works for you!

    I recommend looking into a new parent support group. In our area (WA state) you can sign up for this at the hospital or ask them about local groups. Getting together frequently with other moms of kids your son's age will be an invaluable resource and support to you during those first few months. I was lucky and still get together to play with my mom's group and the kids are all 2.5 to 3 now.

  19. I am sure you got lots of opinions, but giving my .02 :)

    1.) Bumper or no Bumper? I haven't put Joshua in his crib yet, but will be doing so in the next week or so. I am going to start with the bumper since it came with the bedding, but once he starts rolling I am going to change to a breathable bumper. I registered for this separately from the bedding.

    2.) Do I really need a changing table? I got a changing table pad and put it on top of Joshua's dresser. I don't have a separate changing table. BRU makes a great set: Nursery Essentials that comes with the changing pad, changing pad cover etc.

    3.) Do I really need a bouncer AND a swing? Joshua is hot and cold with his swing. Mostly cold. He is more of a fan of his bouncer. My neice who is just a couple months older also loves her bouncer. I find bouncers are more popular so when given the choice, opt for the bouncer.

    4.) When do I pack a hospital bag? I packed mine at 28 weeks, but that was also because the doc thought I could go anytime so go with how you are feeling. You can pack early and this way you will be prepared. :)

    5.) I do not have a ceiling fan in the bedroom. Is it worth it to install one? I live in New England so we will only get use in the summer. We have one in all of our rooms so I think that is why we have one, but not sure you have to. You may want to consider it to keep the baby cool so the baby doesn't overheat.

    As for a pediatrician...accessibility was key with they have afterhours? Weekends? Are they accessible on call?

  20. We used a breathable bumper. Not pretty or anything, but also so plain that it doesn't interfere with your bedding and decor.

    We do have ceiling fans, and I think it's a good idea. They say air circulation is a good thing (I think). Not even sure who "they" is, but I'm pretty sure someone told me that once:)

    We have a changing table upstairs. I recommend it to save your back. But, downstairs, we decided to use a utility cart with locking wheels and a changing table pad. Then, I can use it for other things when we're finished with it as a changing station.

    I had multiples, so I used both a swing and bouncer. I liked being able to offer them a variety.

    Best wishes!