Choosing a Doctor

Your baby will need a doctor within the first three to five days after birth so it is important to choose one in advance. Here are some tips from Today’s Parent magazine on selecting your baby’s doctor.

  • You may wish to continue with your family’s doctor. Having one doctor for your entire family can have its advantages, or
  • You may wish to take your baby to a pediatrician who has more specific training in childhood illnesses. Interview a few to ensure you have similar ideas about certain issues (i.e., use of antibiotics, vaccinations, etc.)
    Ask for a recommendation from someone who is happy with their baby’s doctor and consider these important questions:
    • Is the doctor’s office close to your home, work or babysitter?
    • Is parking or accessible transit available?
    • How difficult is it to get the doctor on the phone?
    • What are the office hours?
    • How long will you have to wait for an appointment?
    • Is there after-hours help available?
    • At which hospital does the doctor work?

Childhood vaccinations

Do you have a legal obligation to have your child vaccinated to protect against certain diseases? Some provinces, such as Ontario, New Brunswick, and Manitoba require children to be vaccinated in order to attend school. There are, however, exemptions to this rule should you choose not to immunize your child due to medical, religious, or philosophical reasons. All other Canadian provinces have not enacted legislation requiring vaccination for children attending school. Visit Vaccines and immunization for more information.

Visit the Vaccination Risk Awareness Network website for a summary of provincial legislation pertaining to vaccination requirements for your child, along with exemption forms where applicable.

If your child has been vaccinated, use this updateable chart to track vaccination records: Publicly Funded Routine Immunization Schedule for Children.

Provincial 24-hour Health Lines

There may be a time while caring for baby when you could benefit from helpful advice from a health professional. In the event that your baby's doctor is not available and you have a question for a health professional, the following provincial 24-hour health lines are available:

Alberta: 1-866-408-5465

British Columbia: 1-800-661-4337

Manitoba: 1-800-782-2437 

Newfoundland and Labrador: 1-888-315-9257

New Brunswick: 1-877-784-1010

Northwest Territories: 1-888-255-1010

Nova Scotia: 1-800-566-2437

Nunavut: 867-975-5700

Ontario: 1-866-797-0000

Prince Edward Island:  902-368-6130


Quebec: 811

Saskatchewan: 1-877-800-0002

Yukon: 811

For all health emergencies, you are advised to visit your local hospital or call 911.