Most of us end up seeing the pediatrician quite a bit during baby's first year. While no one likes seeing a doctor, most of these are well visits and, for lots of moms, seeing the pediatrician and getting reassurance that their kid is "growing fine" can be an event to look forward to. And it's beneficial to have a good relationship with your child's doctor.
Some of the things we do, while at the pediatrician, can make all your good efforts wasted. So if you feel your doctor or the receptionists hate you, you may be guilty of one (or more) of these 6 mistakes a lot of us make at the doctor's office.
1. You cancel last minute or not show up at all. Offices rely on patients that are scheduled. Most places have very strict policies about this; you can pay a fee or even be kicked out of their practice as a patient if you do this too many times -- like twice. If for any reason you can't make it, always call! They might be upset but it's still polite.
2. You are late. Ever wonder why sometimes you have to wait for 30 minutes past your appointment time? Often it's because the people ahead of you were late. Appointments are often only booked in 15- or 30-minute blocks, so keep this in mind when getting kids ready to go to the doc. They always poop right before you leave the house. It's better to be way early than way late. If you are running late, just call. Sometimes they'll let someone else who did show up early go in ahead of you.
3. Your child is overly dressed. Yes, Little Cindy looks absolutely darling in the beautiful hair bow, tights, dress, Mary Janes, and gloves your mother bought for her. Newsflash: Your pediatrician doesn't care one bit about these fancy clothes, but will care when it takes you 20 minutes to get Cindy undressed just so they can weigh her, and another 20 minutes to get the outfit back on before you can vacate their patient room. Go for something cute and clean, but make sure you can strip baby quickly and easily.
4. You let baby explore the patient's room. Not only is the floor dirty -- the shoes, sick kid's drool, or maybe even puke -- there are things around that baby shouldn't play with ... namely the doctor's files and cabinets. I learned this the hard way when Aurora started opening drawers when the doctor wanted to see her walk. If your kid pulls out a wad of Band-Aids or cotton balls, the office has to trash them. My doc even mentioned that she's seen moms let kids eat Cheerios off the floor.
5. You exaggerate your child's skills and milestones. Your pediatrician is there to make sure your child is healthy and growing and learning at a typical rate -- lying to them or exaggerating is not only stupid (it's not a one-up game!), but it's potentially dangerous too, as claiming Joey can do something he can't yet could prevent the doctor from diagnosing an issue.
6. You leave all your questions and concerns until the last minute. If your doctor is wrapping up the visit after you've said repeatedly that all is great, don't start going down the laundry list of things you're freaking out about -- you won't have enough time to really talk it over. Write down a list of concerns before your appointment and take it with you to ask at the start of the visit.
If you avoid these things, and your doctor still hates you, well, that's not my problem. But at least you'll know you didn't deserve the venom.
Have any other mistakes to add to help us all have better doctor visits?