Menu
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.

You might also like:

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.

14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

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

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Detective set

Plan Toys detective set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

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.

$30

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.

$100

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.

$40

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.

$121

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.

$100

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.

$45

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.

$179

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.

$100

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.

$33

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.

$88

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!

$75

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.

$30

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

A Montessori-inspired gift guide—for newborns to 6-year-olds

There are plenty of Montessori-friendly toys that are beautiful and engaging, but also appeal to children's developmental needs.

With so many toys out there, it can be hard to find intentional gifts for our children that are both fun and meaningful. Using a Montessori approach to your shopping doesn't mean your choices need to be academic. There are plenty of Montessori-friendly toys that are beautiful and engaging, but also appeal to children's developmental needs.

Montessori toys are usually made from natural materials, non-electronic and foster independent play, creativity and concentration. Montessori materials are simple and somewhat minimalist in general, and this is especially true for infants and young toddlers. The world is so stimulating for these little ones already, that simple toys made of natural materials spark the child's curiosity without being overwhelming.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

Kate Hudson’s kids prove that siblings with a big age gap can still have a close bond

These pics of a big brother and baby sister are too sweet.

Ryder Robinson

To be born close in age to your siblings is a special experience. You have a built-in playmate and BFF for life, but being born after an age gap certainly has its benefits, too.

Parents who are expecting again when their older children are already into double digits may wonder what the sibling bond will look like when the kids have more than a decade between them. Well, look no further, because Kate Hudson's oldest son, 14-year-old Ryder Robinson took to Instagram to show the world that while he and baby Rani Rose may not be playmates they have an equally powerful sibling bond.

Keep reading Show less
News