Preparing for your appointment

If you need to see your baby's pediatrician or family doctor, here's some information to help you get ready for your baby's appointment.

What you can do

Make a list of:

  • Symptoms you've noticed in your baby, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Key personal information, such as whether your baby goes to child care or has otherwise been exposed to someone with a common cold. Include how many colds your baby has had, how long they lasted and whether your baby is exposed to secondhand smoke. It might help to make a note on your calendar the day you realize your baby has a cold.
  • All medications your baby is taking, including doses.
  • Questions to ask your doctor.

For a common cold, some basic questions to ask the doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my baby's symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • What tests are needed?
  • What's the best course of action?
  • My baby has other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Are there restrictions we need to follow?
  • Are there over-the-counter medications that aren't safe for my child at this age?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions you have.

What to expect from your doctor

Your baby's doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:

  • When did your baby's symptoms begin?
  • Have they been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are they?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve them?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen them?
  • Has the nasal congestion caused your baby to eat or drink less?
  • Is your baby having as many wet diapers as usual?
  • Has there been a fever? If so, how high?
  • Are you child's vaccinations up to date?
  • Has your child taken antibiotics recently?

What you can do in the meantime

Take steps to make your baby more comfortable. These include moistening the air in your home and using saline drops and a suction bulb to remove mucus from your child's nose.