I have a little secret. We are total idiots when it comes to our children.
Very early one morning when my son was about 24 months, he spiked a fever and threw up some clear liquid. Since we happened to be near the doctor's office, I had my husband take him to the doctor. Guess what? They said that there was no treatment for that, except for (cue the dramatic music) Tylenol.
When my son was 6 months old, he had an allergic reaction to the first formula he ever had. He got a rash all over his head and had some very mild respiratory problems. While I was running all over the house yelling, "Call the doctor! Call 911! Call the ER!" my husband was on serious STOP mode. He was calling the ambulance station to find out what truck would be coming and where they were. Finally, my child vomited the tiny amount of formula he had ingested and his breathing cleared up. We talked to the doctor in the ER and he asked if we had given him any Benadryl. Benadryl? That would have been just too obvious.
My son got some junk in his eyes and I decided that it was pink eye. I even posted about it. They called in a prescription and we gave him some drops, but I'm afraid that what he had was just sinus congestion, not the dreaded "pink eye" that I had imagined.
How many more examples? Probably a bunch, but I can say that I know for sure that there are more to come.
Our pediatrician knows that and expects that. I'm sure they all do. I'll bet none of them are the doctor of their own children. After all, when they are home, they are Mommy or Daddy too, not Doctor Mommy or Doctor Daddy. I once knew a pediatrician who said that when her first baby developed diaper rash, she called one of her colleagues at 11 pm just to check to see if she was doing the right things.
So, in response to the question "to doctor, or not to doctor", I say the answer is YES to both. When in doubt, at least call.