Signs Your Toddler’s Doctor Isn’t A Good Fit

It’s normal for toddlers to be nervous about the doctor. This makes it important to find a physician who’s patient with children as well as friendly and inviting. It can make doctor’s appointments a lot smoother for the whole family.

Unfortunately, not every doctor is going to be a good fit for your family. Whether their communication style doesn’t translate well or they rub your toddler the wrong way, sometimes it’s in your best interest to find a new doctor. Be on the lookout for the following signs that can indicate your toddler’s doctor isn’t a good fit.

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10 The Doctor Doesn’t Listen

Fatherly explains the relationship between pediatrician and parent needs to be collaborative. You won’t want to feel like your concerns are being dismissed or ignored. A good doctor will work with your family to determine the best course of action for your toddler.

9 You Leave Feeling Worse

On a similar note, you shouldn’t feel bad or worse when leaving the doctor’s than when you arrived. Your child’s pediatrician needs to be reassuring and supportive, not making you as the parent feel ashamed or blamed.

Likewise, if your toddler is upset or anxious after leaving the doctor’s office, it’s an even stronger sign that something needs to change.

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8 You Seek Advice Elsewhere

If you’re constantly looking for medical advice elsewhere – whether online, from loved ones or from another professional – it’s a sign your pediatrician isn’t a good fit. They may not be working alongside you or addressing your concerns. If you can’t trust or rely on your doctor’s advice, they’re not a good fit for your family.

7 Little Experience With Kids

Some families choose to consult a regular doctor versus a pediatrician. It may be more convenient since all family members can see the same doctor.

But you need to make sure your toddler’s doctor is someone who has experience and skills working with kids. If their patients are usually adults, the doctor may not be in-tune with the needs of such a young child, such as the style of communication they use.

Toddlers can’t be treated like older patients, so make sure you choose a doctor who’s good with kids.

6 Not A Child-Friendly Office

Even if your doctor is great with kids, the office may not be compatible. If the environment is sterile and uninviting, it can heighten your child’s anxiety and make their experience negative.

A child-friendly space will go a long way. Look for a doctor’s office that has a play area in the waiting room for children. It doesn’t need to be fancy – a small table with some books or toys will do. The more welcoming the office is for kids, the better your toddler’s experience will be.

5 You Dislike The Office Staff

Even if the office is child-friendly, it doesn’t mean the staff will be a good fit. If you feel frustrated or off-put by the doctor’s administrative staff — or they say something out of line to you or your kid — it may be a sign to go elsewhere.

The receptionist is the person you’ll always have to go through to book appointments, and this can cause you a lot of unnecessary stress. Find a clinic where you (and your child) feel comfortable with everyone.

4 Child Is Anxious Beforehand

If your child is expressing anxiety before a doctor’s appointment, they may not be comfortable with the pediatrician. Anxiety symptoms manifest differently in children, and may not be apparent the younger they are.

Psych Central Advises parents to look for the following symptoms of anxiety in toddlers:

  • Moodiness

  • Aggression

  • Tense muscles

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Change in eating habits

  • Frequent crying, tantrums

  • Withdrawn from social situations

  • Complaints of feeling sick (ie stomach ache, headache)

If your child exhibits these symptoms before, during, or after a doctor’s appointment, you may see an improvement from seeking out a new doctor.


3 Meltdowns At Doctor’s Office

Children tend to have tantrums when they feel anxious, frustrated, or out of control. If your toddler routinely has meltdowns on the way or at the doctor’s office, it’s a sign the situation is stressing them out. They’re likely not comfortable with the doctor and are looking for an out.

You can’t expect a young toddler to vocalize the reason for their tantrum, but use age-appropriate wording to help them express their feelings.

2 Your Time Isn’t Respected

Sticking to a schedule is especially important when you have a toddler in tow. If they’re made to wait too long, they’ll quickly become restless, hungry, and grumpy, which can lead to a tough situation.

You want to find a doctor that respects your time. You don’t want to be kept waiting long past your scheduled appointment, and likewise, you don’t want to be rushed in when you finally see the doctor.

If the doctor’s office doesn’t respect your family’s time, then they may not be a good fit.

1 You Have A Gut Instinct

Finally, it’s important to remember that the instincts of parents are powerful. If you feel that it’s not working with your toddler’s current doctor, then trust your gut. Take the first step to finding a new doctor. You’ll never know if it’ll make a difference until you try.

Sources: Fatherly, Psych Central, Us News,


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