Baby Health Care
Baby health care and baby health insurance should ideally be something you consider even before getting pregnant - they're very important! Of course, life doesn't always work out in such an organized fashion, so you may not get around to thinking about a baby health care provider until mid-pregnancy or even until after the birth. You may decide to add your little one to your own health insurance policy, or go for new policy with a new provider for him or for both of you.
It's up to you to do the research, to be aware of the impact that having a child will have on your insurance premiums, and to compare baby health care packages to find the best one for your family.
Assessing The Quality Of Baby Health Care
There are two fundamentals to ensuring high quality health care for your infant. 1 - being well informed about nutrition, baby safety and the symptoms of baby illnesses; and 2 - having a good relationship with a baby doctor whom you trust. It may help to ask around among other parents for recommendations for a good doctor.
So how do you decide if your baby doctor is up to the mark? Well, we don't suggest that you arrive at his pediatrics clinic to "test" him on his knowledge, but we do recommend that you begin by asking him all the questions you have about baby wellness and development. If you get full and satisfying answers, then that's a good sign that you've found a knowledgeable pediatrician who knows the importance of a good working relationship with parents and their children.
If this is your first baby, you may not know where to start with these questions, so here are a few examples:
1. How should I go about taking my baby's temperature?
2. How often do I need to bring my child for checkups and what should I expect to happen at these appointments?
3. I've heard that colic is common in newborns. What causes it and how can I soothe my colicky baby?
4. What type of vaccines does my baby need to have and when should we schedule these? Are there any dangers associated with these immunizations? Winter is coming - should I vaccinate my baby against flu?
5. What are the possible symptoms of infections that I should look out for? Fever, rash, etc? Should I seek medical help if my baby has diarrhea? What are the names of safe baby medicines? Is it ok to give my child non-prescription medicines when he isn't well?
6. What are the risks of my baby developing conditions such as asthma and diabetes? What about developmental problems such as autism? Can I do anything to prevent these?
7. How can I tell the difference between say, a diaper rash and baby skin conditions such as eczema?
8. What types of allergies are common in babies and toddlers? Can I prevent my child developing an allergy?
9. How will my baby's health care change as he grows into a toddler?
Whether you're breastfeeding or not, your health care provider should be able to offer you information on nutrition and baby feeding. If you are breastfeeding and it's not going well (many mothers struggle in the beginning) there should be knowledgeable staff on hand to give you advice.
If you prefer to bottle feed with baby formula, your baby doctor can advise you on which formula to buy. There are specially developed brands of baby formula for premature babies, and for babies who are allergic to soy or cow's milk (these form the basis of most baby formulas on the market).
Baby Safety Information Online
Baby proofing your home is an important baby safety measure. While your doctor may have some tips, the best source of advice on this topic is, once again, other parents! Those who have lived through the bumps, scrapes and near misses to tell the tale will be able to point out hazards in your home that you're not even aware of.
Of course, thanks to the internet, you don't have to physically meet these parents just to pick their brains! Here at pregnancy-info.net, we base all our information on the needs of today's real parents. Furthermore, there's no limit to the number of parenting advice sites and forums on the web.
Unfortunately, the freedom on the internet means that there is a sinister element out there whose intentions may not be pure. Think very carefully before giving out your contact details to another parent you meet online, or before uploading photographs of your child, even if a seemingly innocent person just wants to see a picture.