Posted: Jun 29, 2012 11:00 PM
We don't always make the perfect choices when it comes to parenting. And when it comes to your baby's doctor, you may have thought he or she was a great fit at first but maybe you've since changed your mind. First thing to know -- that's okay! If you're ready to make a switch but don't know how to do it, read on for tips on finding the right doctor for your baby.

Should you leave?

When you were pregnant, most likely you did what all the baby books recommended. You got referrals from friends and family, interviewed potential pediatricians and narrowed it down to your favorite doctor. But once you started taking your baby in for appointments, it didn't feel right anymore. So should you leave? Absolutely. Your baby's well being and your peace of mind are top priorities and if you feel like it's not working out with your pediatrician, you should listen to your instinct and make a switch immediately.

It's not you, it's me

So how do you break up? Do you have to officially say goodbye? If your reason for leaving is more about you than the doctor caring for your child and your reason is something as minor as wanting to travel a shorter distance from home or switching to a smaller practice so you can always see the same doctor, it's not necessary to do a formal exit interview -- but would certainly give your doctor peace of mind that it's not about him.

Actually, it is you

Are there red flags? Does your doctor treat you disrespectfully or rush through appointments at lightening speed making you feel like asking so much as a question will put him out? Do you feel like your doctor's last priority? Is his front desk staff rude? Is it easier to get tickets to the Super Bowl than book an appointment? Sit down with your doctor and let him know why you're leaving. Hopefully he'll take your constructive criticism to heart and make some much-needed changes.

Starting over

Make a list of the traits you're looking for in your new pediatrician and in his or her practice. Once you know what you want (and what you don't want), ask for referrals from the new friends you've met since having your baby. Before meeting with potential doctors, make sure they are board certified (believe it or not, many aren't). You can check out your potential doctor on the American Board of Pediatrics website. Use their Verification of Certification search tool to find the pediatrician you're interested in.

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