The 5 Questions to Ask at your First Pediatric Appointment From diapering to developments.

By Dr. Sharis Simonian, Physician and Pediatric Care Coordinator, Sollis Health LA | Photo by Stocksy

Parents often enter their first pediatric appointment with a look of whiplash. They literally gave birth five days prior and have, no doubt, spent a few sleepless nights and hazy days trying to piece their life back together with a newborn in the picture. Then they’re expected to know exactly what to ask when they make their way into their first pediatric appointment just days later.

So we tapped board-certified ER physician and Sollis Health Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator, Dr. Sharis Simonian to shed light on the essential questions parents should be asking at their first pediatric appointment so that you can be be as prepared as possible when the moment arrives. 

How much crying is to be expected? 

Babies cry. It is common for parents to be concerned about how much crying is considered “normal” those first few weeks of life. Generally, crying 2-3 hours a day the first 3 months of life is common. More than 3 hours of crying a day may be cause for concern, especially if this a new development for your baby. If your baby has developed new changes, or if you have any concerns in regard to your newborn’s crying, discuss with your pediatrician. 

How much sleep should my newborn be getting? 

Newborns sure do sleep! On average newborn babies sleep 16 to 17 hours a day, though only a couple at a time. Discuss any concerns you may have regarding your newborns sleep patterns with your pediatrician. Getting an idea of what to expect in the next few weeks for sleep development will also be helpful to prepare yourselves as parents. Discussing sleep safety with your pediatrician on your first visit is recommended as well. Your pediatrician can help guide you on any concerns you may have regarding your newborns sleep environment. Be mindful of following the ABCs of sleep; Alone, on the back, in a crib. A-Alone, B-Back, C-Crib. 

Are these diapers normal? 

Newborn stool color, consistency and frequency can vary widely, and change often in the first few days of life. Ask your pediatrician what an expectable range for frequency of wet and dirty diapers would be as well as the consistency of newborn stools. Feeling comfortable as parents with knowing what is considered “normal” for newborn stool patterns will be helpful is assessing changes as they arise. There are several acceptable stool colors; however, always make sure to alert your pediatrician if you observe red, black or white stool. 

What concerning symptoms or behaviors warrant an urgent visit to the office? 

Newborns are fascinating! As parents, it is helpful to have an idea of what concerning signs or symptoms to watch for in those precious first few weeks. Newborns often have many variable presentations that are considered physiologically normal, but often make parents concerned. Discuss any breathing patterns, irregular sleep, skin changes or other variants that concern you with your pediatrician. 

Discuss what symptoms, behavioral changes and presentations may indicate an urgent visit to the office. It is also prudent to discuss what signs or symptoms would warrant going straight to the local emergency department. 

What developments or changes are expected in the new few weeks? 

Babies develop rapidly in the first few weeks and months of life. Discuss with your pediatrician what changes to expect in the coming weeks in regard to sleep and diaper patterns, feedings and milestone developments. Knowing these developments are around the corner can help you feel less stressed and more reassured as these changes arise. 

Sollis Health is a 24/7 doctor, emergency room, and concierge service rolled into one. With sleek private medical  centers in New York, The Hamptons, Los Angeles, Miami, Palm Beach, and soon San Francisco, Sollis can handle  emergencies, common illnesses, and everything in between—day or night, with no appointment and no wait. From in house labs and radiology equipment right on site to ER-trained physicians who have seen it all to round-the-clock  house calls, Sollis brings a unique members-only approach to medicine, which means no matter what happens, you’ll  always have the ultimate luxury: peace of mind. Learn more at