Top 10 Tips for Talking to a Pediatrician


Don't Be Afraid to Disagree

Pediatricians are highly trained professionals: They go through a minimum 7 years of training, including medical school and residency. However, no one is infallible. And professionals continue to debate theories about child-rearing and the best treatments for certain illnesses.

For example, one often-debated issue has to do with the best age to introduce solid foods into your child's diet. One pediatrician might have told you to give solid foods to your first child at 4 months old, but just a few years later after your second child, a pediatrician might have told you to wait until 7 months.

It can be frustrating for both the parent and pediatrician when there is disagreement. While having respect for a pediatrician's expertise, don't allow yourself to feel intimidated about such decisions. Ask the doctor about the reasoning or research behind their recommendation, or you might want to try getting a second opinion.

Overall, it's most important to know your own child and weigh that against professional advice and reliable research.

Learn lots more about parenting and meeting with pediatricians by visiting the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Bowman, Amy Carey. "Disagreeing With Your Pediatrician." BabiesToday. (Feb. 17, 2010)
  • Broadwell, Laura. "6 Tips for Communication with Your Pediatrician." Parents. (Feb. 17, 2010)
  • Granados, Regina. "5 Tips for Talking to Your Pediatrician about Special Needs." Sacramento Parent. 2009. (Feb. 17, 2010)
  • Grijalva, Carlos G., et al. "Antibiotic Prescription Rates for Acute Respiratory Tract Infections in US Ambulatory Settings." Journal of the American Medical Association. Aug. 19, 2009. (Feb. 17, 2010)
  • Harris, Gardiner. "Journal Retracts 1998 Paper Linking Autism to Vaccines." New York Times. Feb. 2, 2010. (Feb. 17, 2010)
  • Healthy Children. "When to Call Your Pediatrician." Healthy Children. Last updated Dec. 3, 2009. (Feb. 17, 2010)
  • Iannelli, Vincent. "20 Questions: What to Ask Your Pediatrician." iParenting. (Feb. 17, 2010)
  • Matz, Jenilee. "14 Tips to Make Your Doctor Visits a Success." April 23, 2009. (Feb. 17, 2010)
  • Mendelsohn, Robert S. "How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor." Random House, Inc., 1987. (Feb. 17, 2010)
  • Nemours. "How to Talk to Your Child's Doctor." KidsHealth. Nemours Foundation. (Feb. 17, 2010)
  • Petrun, Erin. "Trusting Your Pediatrician." CBS News. Feb, 28, 2008. (Feb. 17, 2010)
  • Ramnarace, Cynthia. "Should You Take Baby to the Hospital?" American Baby. March 2006. (Feb. 17, 2010)
  • Reinberg, Steven. "Antibiotics Being Prescribed Less for Respiratory Infections." U.S. News & World Report. Aug. 18, 2009. (Feb. 17, 2010)
  • Trachtenberg, Jennifer. "Tips for partnering with your child's physician." News for Feb. 17, 2010)
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "FDA Proposes New Warnings About Suicidal Thinking, Behavior in Young Adults Who Take Antidepressant Medications." FDA. Press Release. May 2, 2007. (Feb. 17, 2010)


Should Doctors Have to Pay Patients for Running Late?

Should Doctors Have to Pay Patients for Running Late?

HowStuffWorks asks whether patients should ask doctors for reimbursement when they have to wait a long time to be seen.