Questions to ask your pediatrician about your newborn, child or teen
Pediatricians are not only there for kids, but parents too! Your child’s pediatrician will be your partner in ensuring the health of your child. To make the most of that relationship, be sure to ask your pediatrician any questions you may have about your child’s health.
Before your child’s next check-up, jot down some questions on your smartphone or a piece of paper as they come up.
Here, Dr. Christine Arnaldo, CHOC pediatrician, offers five of the top questions she receives from parents. Use these questions to help guide your child’s appointments with their pediatrician.
Is this normal?
Sometimes you just need some reassurance. If you have even the slightest concern about your child, be sure to ask your pediatrician about it. They are there to partner with you and to be a resource for you. No question or concern is too small or too embarrassing to ask.
“We are here to help you as well as your child,” says Dr. Arnaldo.
What new skills should I be expecting and cultivating before our next appointment?
At your child’s well-check (check-up) appointments, your pediatrician can offer insight into developmental milestones for your child. These developmental milestones may include speech and language, fine motor and visual skills, physical changes, dressing skills and grooming skills.
Your pediatrician can offer you some tips to help guide your child through their development and to prepare for upcoming changes.
Use CHOC’s ages and stages guide to help familiarize yourself with new milestones in your child’s life. However, it’s important to remember that each child is on their own timeline. If your child is ahead or behind in development for their age, it’s OK! Your pediatrician can provide you with advice, next steps and referrals to a specialist if needed.
Some additional questions about development that you can ask your child’s pediatrician include:
- Is my child meeting developmental milestones for their age?
- Are there any signs of developmental delays that I should be aware of?
What kind of food and snacks are appropriate at this age?
As busy parents, you may need quick, easy meal and snack ideas to ensure your child gets the nutrition they need. Your pediatrician can offer advice for balanced diets and healthy eating habits, and tips for incorporating important food groups into your child’s diet.
Is your child a picky eater? Your pediatrician may also be able to share strategies for incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your child’s meals.
The following additional nutrition questions can be included in your conversation with your pediatrician:
- Is my child getting the right nutrition for their age and developmental stage?
- Are there any specific dietary recommendations for my child?
Get nutrition resources today from the CHOC nutrition team.
When and how should I introduce screen time or social media to my child?
Screen time and social media are hot topics with many differing opinions – but what is right for one family may not be right for you. Your pediatrician can help with personalized advice on when to introduce screen time to your child, and how to manage healthy screen time limits.
The same goes for social media. What might work for other kids, may not work for your child. Your pediatrician can help you sort through any questions or concerns.
Ask your pediatrician these follow-up questions about screen time and social media:
- How much screen time is appropriate for my child?
- Are there guidelines for age-appropriate media exposure?
How can I help my child sleep better?
Sleep is so important for your child’s overall health – and your health as a parent, too! Your pediatrician can provide advice on how much sleep your child needs depending on their age, and if your child’s sleep behaviors can be improved or adjusted. They can serve as a resource to bounce ideas off and provide tips that you may not have thought of before.
Use the following sleep-related questions to guide your conversation:
- Is my child getting enough sleep for their age?
- Are there any sleep-related concerns I should be aware of?
By asking your pediatrician questions about your child, you will be making the most out of your partnership. Remember that you are the expert on your child, but your pediatrician can offer you extra support and guidance.
For more health and wellness resources from the pediatric experts at CHOC, sign up for the Kids Health newsletter.
How to prevent and treat respiratory illnesses this season
Unfortunately, many kids get infected with respiratory illnesses in the fall and winter seasons. CHOC experts highly encourage all eligible members of households to receive their annual flu shots. Other preventative measures like good hygiene and staying home when sick can help protect families from illness. The following articles and guides provide more information.
From babies to teens, pediatricians from CHOC’s Primary Care Network partner with parents to offer immunizations, sick visits, sports physicals and more.