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Stress-Free Doctor Visits

It could be a hit reality show: Horrors of the Pediatrician's Waiting Room! (featuring crying newborns, emotional new moms, feverish babies, and tantruming toddlers). Here's how to curb the drama, from Mt. Kisco, NY, pediatrician Pete Richel, M.D.

Schedule Smart. Snag the first appointment of the day or right after the lunch break, so that you get in before the waiting room fills up. The exception: Monday, when all the kids who got sick over the weekend pile in.
Pack Well. Bring anything you think your child might want (even though the only thing that will actually make him happy are those wooden tongue depressors).
Bring a List of Questions. Write down your concerns a week before the visit and stick them in your diaper bag.
Dress your Baby Simply. Stick to easy-on, easy-off clothes like sweatpants, tees, and sweatshirts.
Keep your Baby on your Lap. Once your little patient is about 8 months and his stranger anxiety kicks in, ask your doctor to examine him while you hold him.