Children’s doctor visit survival tips

We are always at the doctor’s office, due to a pesky little ear infection that won’t seem to go away.  Well this is by far the one place that my two-year-old hates to be.  She cries, falls to the floor, screams, and fights as soon as we enter the doors.  I have tried to come up with ways to calm her and make our doctor’s visit more pleasant, but she was not responding to some of the advice I had received.

Going around nap time turned out to be the worst time to go to the doctor office, using the iPad was also a disaster because when the doctor came into the room she did not want to put it away, and I really really really hate using food to calm her, but I tried and she made a mess with the goldfish and Cheerios so needless to say I had to do some serious thinking.

One thing that absolutely helped our last doctor visit was the scheduled time of her appointment.  Mornings are the best.  She was in a good mood, she had breakfast before we left, and she was excited to leave the house.  After her appointment she was not to cranky for me to run a couple more errands, and I was more excited to take her out for lunch.

To do listAnother fantastic discovery was bringing crayons so she can draw on the wonderful white paper on the examining table. She enjoyed drawing and spent the most time doing this activity.

drawing at the doctor's office

I have wanted to make a quiet book for the longest, but out of desperation I only made a quiet page.  It was a success because she loved it. I am new at sewing so this was a great way to practice.

quiet page quiet page

Another great distraction was her doctor kit. I brought her favorite doll and three items out of her doctor’s kit. I first showed her how the doctor would exam her and then I let her practice on her doll.  This went on forever and she continued to play once the doctor started examining her.  It was great, an exam success, free of her fighting to get away from the doctor.

doctor kit

Last but not least when all else fails I bring out the sensory calming bottles.  This holds her attention long enough to calm her down and introduce something new. Luckily we didn’t need this activity this time, but it will always go in the bag because you can never be too prepared.  Bottle one has rice and letters hidden and bottle two is water, food coloring, and glitter.

sensory bottle

Other activities that may help are:

Watching a favorite kids show about going to the doctor.  Daniel Tiger has a really good episode on going to the doctor.

Read a story about going to the doctor and bring along some story favorites to read.

Finger or popsicle puppets.  Make up a story instead of the usual children fairy tales.

I hope this helps when doctor visit day comes around.  Let me know some of your tips for conquering tantrums at the doctor’s office, I can never have too much for her to do.

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