Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to start by seeing your baby's pediatrician or family doctor. Here's some information to help you get ready for your baby's appointment and know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any signs you've noticed in your baby, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, such as a description of any child care setting or known exposure your child has had to the common cold. Note how frequently your child has had colds, as well as how long they usually last.
- Make a list of all medications your baby is taking.
- Tell the doctor if your child is exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your baby's doctor. For a common cold, some basic questions to ask the doctor include:
- What is likely causing my baby's symptoms or condition?
- Are there other possible causes?
- What tests are needed?
- What's the best course of action?
- My baby has these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any restrictions we need to follow?
- Are there over-the-counter medications that aren't safe for my child at his or her age?
Don't hesitate to ask any 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 begin experiencing signs of a cold?
- Have these signs 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 a decrease in nursing or bottle feeding?
- Is your child exposed to cigarette smoke?
- Has there been 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
While you wait for your baby's appointment, you can take steps to help make him or her more comfortable. These include moistening the air in your home and using saline and a suction bulb to remove mucus from your child's nose.
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Long SS, et al. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier Saunders; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-2702-9..00301-9&isbn=978-1-4377-2702-9&uniqId=399011628-4#4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-2702-9..00301-9. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Children's OTC cough and cold medicines. Consumer Healthcare Products Association. http://chpa-info.org/issues/Childrens_CC_Overview.aspx. Accessed March 11, 2013.
- When to call the baby's doctor: Print-and-go guide. National Women's Health Information Center. http://search.hhs.gov/search?q=When+to+call+a+baby%27s+doctor&btnG.x=0&btnG.y=0&site=oash_wh&entqr=3&ud=1&sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&lr=lang_en&client=oash_wh&proxystylesheet=oash_wh&proxyreload=1. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Facts about the common cold. American Lung Association. http://www.lungusa.org/lung-disease/influenza/in-depth-resources/facts-about-the-common-cold.html. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Symptom relief. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/symptom-relief.html. Accessed March 7, 2013.