NORFOLK - Are you an expectant mom or dad, parent of a toddler or grandparent of a preschooler? Do you have a lot of questions about the first weeks, first months or first years of raising your child? CHKD Community Outreach Program manager Sam Fabian has some advice and information about the Baby Expo later this month.

Tip 1: Select your pediatrician ahead of time
Whether you are expecting your first child or are new to the area, selecting a pediatrician is very important. For expectant parents its best done before the baby is born. It is important to visit different practices to meet the doctor(s) and staff. Learn about the office hours- do they have evening hours, are they open on the weekend? What health insurance policies do they accept?

Remember to also ask if they have a lactation specialist on staff and whether or not the pediatrician has hospital privileges at your delivering hospital. Will they be the one in the hospital examining your baby after he/she is born, do you have nurse on call 24/7. These are all questions to have answered before baby arrives.

Tip 2: Prepare the home and car
The most important items to buy for your baby are a crib and a car seat. It is not recommended to buy second hand cribs or car seats. It is important that the crib is safe and has the JPMA safety certification label on it when you purchase it.

When buying a car seat it is important that you have them installed properly by an expert, preferably before the baby is born or as you need to change the size of the car seat as your child grows. There are many locations in Hampton Roads that will install your car seat for you.

CHKD Birth and Beyond Baby Expo on May 11 from 10:00 3:30 pm. The free event will be held at the Founders Inn in Va. Beach. This will be a great opportunity to meet with CHKD pediatricians and other professionals to ask questions about bringing baby home, the toddler years and preparing for preschool.

The special guest will be Clifford the Big Red Dog and Healthy Bear plus many more activities for children. Parents and caregivers will be kept busy with a variety of activities and mini educational sessions about breastfeeding, selecting child care, taking care of your newborn and more. There will be free prizes and giveaways from the exhibitors and a chance to win free baby gear and a one-night stay at the Founders Inn.

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