Requested by T.T.

WHAT PEDIATRICIANS WISH THEY COULD SAY TO PARENTS

(In my humble experience) Thanks, @TT! This was a good exercise in realizing how much I do say to my patients already, just in less colorful language.
  1. If you care enough to be asking, you're not doing everything wrong.
    It's okay to not be sure of what to do or say or feed your kid or how to punish them or treat them or why their poop looks like that. And it's okay to make mistakes. We have been raising kids since literally the beginning of humanity. They're pretty resilient.
  2. I google things on the reg.
    It's not about knowing the answers, it's about knowing where to find them. For you, it's your friendly pediatrician. For me, it's UpToDate (basically doctor Wikipedia). For nobody, it's WebMD. That place is a nightmare factory.
  3. Your 2 week-old is not "spoiled," your 6 month-old is not "greedy," your 3 year-old is not "nosy," and your child of any age is not "bad."
    I hear these descriptors at least once a week and it is ultra disheartening. It says so much about the negative attitude of parents toward their kids, and almost all the behaviors they're describing are developmentally appropriate. Babies want to be held, infants need to eat, toddlers are interested in their environment, and children misbehave without malicious intent. All normal. Stop hating on your kid.
  4. Your child got that behavior from somewhere.
    [side-eye]
  5. Fevers aren't going to melt your kid's brain.
    As long as they're older than 2 months and the fever hasn't lasted more than 3 days, I kind of don't care. They don't need to be treated, but if your kid is miserable, give them some Tylenol. (To be real, I actually say this one a lot)
  6. Stop threatening your kid with "the needle" if they're not good, you jerk.
    FFS. I don't order shots and blood work based on your child's behavior and you just made my job a thousand times harder because they're flipping out. Plus, what about when they're well-behaved and they get "the needle" anyway? You're killing me.
  7. Vaccines absolutely do not cause autism and the benefits far, far outweigh the risks (I actually wish I could yell this one at them).
    Sorry, don't mean to cause a firestorm here but I can NOT with anti-vaccination. Leaving it at that.
  8. GTFO the Emergency Department unless your kid is so sick or injured you truly believe it is an emergency.
    Those places are cesspools and your kid is probably going to get sicker from sitting there. Plus, it takes attention away from the kid who can't breathe when you roll into here in an ambulance for "want strep test" or "child asked to go to hospital" (that is a true story).
  9. Which one of you fuckers is a smoker?
    I smelled it immediately when I walked in the room. YOU'RE NOT FOOLING ME. Your kid has asthma and is super sick (90% of the time that this comes up). Wash your damn hands and change your clothes, at the very least.
  10. No.
    Regarding anything said by Jenny McCarthy, Dr. Oz, your weird ass cousin, that YouTube your friend showed you, and especially anything having to do with "Born In The Wild" on Lifetime.
  11. Them bitches be crazy.
    See above.
  12. What works for your kid is what you'll do.
    This is especially relevant for parents of newborns, who are getting unsolicited advice from everywhere they turn. A lot of the time all they want is for me to give them a definitive answer and so I will. But there are a million ways to raise a baby, and a whole lot of them are just fine. Again, kids are resilient and most of the time, they're going to do great.