AAP: Parents should meet pediatrician *before* baby is born

During pregnancy, life can seem like a never-ending stream of medical appointments. This is all for good reason, of course—but the last thing many parents want to do is add another visit to a doctor's office to the schedule. Yet, in newly updated recommendations, the American Academy of Pediatrics stresses the importance of meeting with your baby's future pediatrician before baby makes an appearance.

"We encourage a pediatric prenatal visit in order to initiate a trusted pediatric relationship and the concept of the medical home during pregnancy," Michael W. Yogman, MD, chair of the AAP Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, told Infectious Diseases in Children. "We encourage obstetricians to refer all patients for these visits, especially those at high psychosocial risk and/or with perinatal depression."

According to a report published in the journal Pediatrics by the AAP, fewer than 39% of first-time parents meet with their child's future pediatrician during the prenatal period—despite the majority of pediatricians' offices offering this service. The rates of prenatal pediatric visits were lowest (5%) among low-income, urban parents.

Beyond having a meet-and-greet, these prenatal appointments allow parents and the pediatrician to discuss family medical histories, the mother's prenatal health and suggestions for early infant care and safety. The authors of the report explain "as the medical specialty that is entirely focused on the health and well-being of the child, embedded in the family, pediatric care ideally begins before pregnancy, with reproductive life planning of adolescents and young adults, and continues during the pregnancy."

It makes sense for parents to make time for it if they can.

The authors say other valuable topics of discussion during prenatal pediatric appointments include: positive parenting, community resources, delivery and nursery routines, infant-feeding plans, circumcision, safety, emotions in newborns and emotions in the parents.

Pediatricians can arm parents with vital information, and provide positive, proactive support that may make a new mom or dad feel more confident in those early days (and late nights) of new parenthood.

"This is the only routine child wellness visit recommended by AAP that doesn't actually require a child in the room," Arthur Levin, MD, FAAP, incoming chair of the AAP Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, says in a press release. "They can talk to the pediatrician before the fatigue of new parenthood sets in and there's an adorably distracting little human in their arms who may be crying, spitting up or in immediate need of feeding or a diaper change."

Then, when that time comes, you will have the introductions out of the way and can get down to the business of caring for babies and their parents.

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What questions parents should ask during prenatal pediatric visits

In addition to simply recommending the prenatal pediatric appointment, the authors also suggest examples of questions to use during the visit.

They say necessity is the mother of invention—and nothing makes you more inventive than motherhood.

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12 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.

But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.

It absolutely blows my mind how much my life has changed in the last two weeks. It's definitely not all rainbows and unicorns around here, but things are going pretty well. This is me being cautiously optimistic.

What I have done is learned a lot about myself, my kids and my new life in the last two weeks.

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