3 Things You Shouldn’t Let the Pediatrician Do
I am normally someone who follows the advice of people of authority without question (within reason!). I figure they're the expert, they obviously know more than I do, and that's usually true.
In a large majority of cases, that includes doctors — with a small caveat. They know more about the medicine, yes; however, I know more about my kid.
And the kid dictates the diagnosis.
Don't let them make snap judgments.
Just because your 3-year-old hates having their ears touched and throws a tantrum at the pediatrician's office when the doctor tries to look at their eardrum, don't let the doctor try to throw a diagnosis of Oppositional Defiance Disorder at you. That's a true story, and one I laugh about to this day.
Yes, my tiny blonde, blue-eyed little girl has ODD. The one who looks so remorseful if I even gently remind her to share with her brother, and whose lip quivers as she says, “I'm really sorry 'bout that, Mommy.”
Sure, sure. Thanks, doc.
Don't let them scare you with milestone charts.
Most new moms live and die by those dang charts when, really, we should stop looking at them altogether. Yes, there comes a point when your child really is delayed, and believe me, you'll notice when they are.
But for most of the population, there is an incredibly wide range when it comes to hitting different points of development. Some kids focus more on gross motor skills (sitting up, crawling, and walking) while others are more interested in developing those sounds and babbling and talking. Trust your mommy gut and enjoy your baby, and don't freak out if they aren't checking every single box by the recommended time.
Don't let them shame you into doing something that doesn't feel right.
There's that mommy intuition again. Your child has a summer birthday, and the doctor automatically tells you to hold them back? I don't think so. That's a personal and family decision to be made. They tell you your child should be drinking out of a regular cup instead of a sippy by now? Well, sure, they can, but the floor of your car and your living room carpet would look very different by now if you didn't keep a lid on that cup. They're a doctor, not the lifestyle police.
Don't forget that you see your child for 15 hours a day, and the doctor may see them for 15 minutes sporadically every few months or longer. You have seen them learn and grow, and you know what triggers a bad mood and how to get the day started right. You know that if they lie down for an early nap they are happier the rest of the day, and sweet potatoes make them gassy. You know them inside out. The only thing you don't know is if they have strep throat or a cold.
Pediatricians are special people. Most of them become doctors because they love medicine and they love kids, and they want to help, and 90% of the time, they do help. It's during that last 10% when you really have to rely on your intuition, step in, and say, “I really think we need to take a step back and look at this again, because I don't agree.” Good doctors will take the time to listen.