Going to the doctor’s office can be a scary experience for any child. It’s not surprising, as a doctor’s office is full of sights and sounds that are unfamiliar to them. Read on for 5 ways you can make going to the doctor a more enjoyable experience for your child.
Find a Good Pediatrician
One of the ways to make these visits easier for your child is by bringing them to a provider who is good with kids and has friendly staff. Finding a good pediatrician early on who you can keep bringing them back to will make it less scary for your child to see them. To find a pediatrician who is a good fit, start by asking for referrals or looking online. Search ‘Aurora Pediatrics’ or the area you live in to get a list of local providers. From here, you can go through their reviews and services to find one who you think will be a good fit. You should schedule initial visits with multiple providers to see which one your child gets along with best. Although it can be difficult to bring them to multiple appointments, it will be worth it to find a provider that they won’t mind going to over the years.
Schedule at Appropriate Times
As their parent, you know when your child is usually in a good mood versus when they are more likely to be fussy. Although you can’t do this for sick visits, you can schedule wellness visits for a time of the week and day that is best for your child. This means, don’t schedule it at a time where they are usually napping or will be tired or hungry. Completely switching up their schedule for an appointment will make it harder for them.
Talk Them Through it
Even if they are still young, your child probably understands more than you think they can. Try to find a way to explain what is happening in their terms. Warning them early on about the appointment and explaining to them what will happen will allow for them to mentally prepare and reduce the chance of any surprises. Make sure to not make any promises that cannot be kept at the appointment, such as promising they will not have to get shots. This can cause them to lash out and be less trusting of you bringing them to the next doctor’s appointment. If they ask if they will get shots you can reassure them that they might get them, but it will be over quickly.
Make sure you come to the appointment prepared with distractions and snacks. You never know how long you will have to wait to see their provider and distractions can prevent them from becoming too fussy. Bringing a book or table can help them forget that they are waiting at their doctor’s office. Bringing snacks in case of longer wait times for you and your child can make sure you both don’t become irritable from hunger. You can also bring a comforting item such as their favorite stuffed animal or blanket for them to hold in case they are getting shots or are feeling overwhelmed.
Reward Good Visits
Offering a reward for your child can help them behave throughout their appointment. Whether this is offering them a treat or spending time doing their favorite activity, it will be worth it to have a successful visit with their doctor. Make sure to not punish your child for a bad visit as well. Instead, try explaining what happened and asking about what upset them. This way, you will know how to better prepare and calm them down for the next visit.
Despite your best efforts, your child still may cry every time you bring them to the doctor. Luckily, it will become easier for them to go to the doctor as they get older and have more visits. Until that point, we hope using these strategies helps to make the doctor’s visits a little easier for everyone involved.