Dr. Book: Authoritative Medical Advice for Parents

health advice

Not long after taking your newborn home, you’re going to have some sort of medical question. Should she be pooping this much? Is hiccuping okay? 

Your local medical cartel/care center probably has a pediatric or nurse hotline that you can call into to get answers to short, non-critical questions. It can be a good resource when you really need professional help, but there are some things (like the hiccuping) that feel silly to ask medical professionals about.

Don’t Ask The Internet Medical Questions

But this next bit is critical: do not ask the internet medical questions. That way lies darkness and strife. You’ll find yourself reading some whackjob mom blog or forum post that suggests that the hiccuping might be the result of some rare Amazonian brain parasite. You’ll tell yourself “nah, probably not a brain parasite.” But in the back of your mind, you’ll be thinking “buuuuut…. Maybe brain parasite?” It isn’t a fun time.

Enter the American Academy of Pediatrics and their book “Caring For Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5.” In the first months of Belle’s life, we ended up consulting it enough that we just started calling it “Doctor Book.” How high does a fever need to get before it warrants calling the doctor?” “Ask Doctor Book.” “How much should this kid be pooping?” “Ask Doctor Book.”

To be clear, Doctor Book shouldn’t serve as a total replacement to competent medical advice. But for these sorts of baseline questions, it can serve as a great resource to put your mind at ease in the middle of the night. It also provides good insights about when various developmental milestones tend to arrive, and what’s going on in your kid’s brain at various points along the way. It also makes a good registry gift for someone else who is expecting.