Keeping up with the health needs of your infant or small child may be a basic responsibility of all good parents, but there is no need to make it more complicated than it already is. A combination of strange people and sights, along with uncomfortable procedures like immunizations, can make a visit to the doctor seem overly stressful. Fortunately, these tips can help your next visit go much more smoothly.
Tip #1: Schedule for Happiness
Children and babies tend to have a time of day when they are most alert and open to new adventure. For some this is in the morning, after breakfast but before they are ready for a nap. For other kids, this time may come after the afternoon nap and snack. When scheduling your appointment, pick the time that coincides with your child's content period, whether they are a morning or an afternoon baby. Then, make sure they are well rested and have a small snack before you head to the pediatrician's office.
Tip #2: Simplify Their Wardrobe
Save the cute outfits for grandma. A sure way to end up with an irritated baby or toddler is to dress them in multiple layers and then have to strip them down and redress them again in the doctor's office. Your child will likely need to bare skin for accurate weighing, examination, and possible immunizations. Make sure the clothing they are wearing is loose, comfortable, and easy to remove and replace.
Tip #3: Make a List
No matter how well prepared you are and how well behaved your child is, the stress of the visit can cause you to forget important things. In the days leading up to the visit, keep a running list of questions you have for your doctor. Also make note of anything you want to bring up, such as the picture you snapped of the weird reoccurring red spot on the back of your child's knee. This ensures your concerns are addressed and that the pediatrician has the info they need for a proper diagnosis. Then, during the appointment, takes notes. You don't want to forget what the doctor tells you.
Tip #4: Create a Fun Environment
There are several strategies that can help. First, for toddlers, a toy or game is a must. Also, have a drink and small snack on hand, or at least a spare bottle. Greet nurses and doctors with a smile and happy voice – your child, no matter how young, will pick up on this and respond more positively to these strange people. Try and use your tone and body language to make the exam fun, too. Making airplane noises as you lift the child onto the exam table or making silly faces during an uncomfortable part of the exam can help set your child at ease.
If you have concerns about your child's appointment, pediatricians like those at Willow Oak Pediatrics are generally more than happy to discuss them with you so that you feel comfortable and welcome by the time the appointment arrives.