Try to find a doctor you like and trust. It helps if your baby sees the same doctor or nurse every time. That makes it easier to keep track of your baby’s needs.
If you don’t know where to take your baby for care, call your local health department. The phone number is in the “government” listings of the phone book. You can also ask a local hospital.
Ask a close friend or relative who has children whom she takes her children to for health care. Ask if she really likes her children’s doctor and if the doctor is good at taking time to explain things and answer questions.
If you are eligible for Medicaid, your baby can get free checkups. You can call your local social welfare, health or family services office to see if you qualify for Medicaid services.
If you don’t have health insurance for your baby, you can learn about resources in your state by calling the U.S. department of Health and Human Services’ Insure Kids Now program at 1-877-KIDSNOW. You can also visit their Web site at www.insurekidsnow.gov for more information about free or low-cost health insurance for children. Many public libraries offer free access to the Internet and provide help for first-time users.
One way to notice changes in your baby’s health is to keep a record. You can keep a health notebook. Write down your baby’s length and weight as he grows. Write down things like your baby’s schedule for shots and checkups. Write down dates of illnesses, and describe the symptoms. Ask for a copy of your child’s shot record. You will need to have this shot record when your child starts day care, Head Start or school.
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