Going somewhere new can make any of us nervous. Help your little one feel prepared when visiting the pediatrician by letting them know what to expect, helping them see what the doctor is all about, and exploring any challenging feelings your child may be having.
Let your little one know what to expect
When taking our little ones to the pediatrician, we can help calm their nerves by explaining what can be expected. Describe what a pediatrician does, like how they help children when they get sick and help prevent children from getting sick. Make sure to let your child know why they are going and if your child has seen this doctor in the past, ask them what they remember. This is also an excellent opportunity to practice naming body parts and discussing each part of our body.
Let them check things out
We all have to see the doctor for various reasons, whatever our age. We all want to stay healthy. Have your little one join you or another family member, such as a sibling, at a doctor’s appointment so that they can check it out. A trip like this can demystify what a trip to the doctor looks like and will also normalize it.
Validate the challenge
It’s OK to admit that seeing the doctor may seem a bit scary. We want to validate our children’s feelings. Encourage them every step of the way. Have your little one ask questions, let them know you see they are doing their best, and sneak in something fun after the visit to the doctor to celebrate exploring something new.
Ask your doctor for tips
You’re not alone in this. Doctors have met nervous patients of all ages! Call ahead and ask for some tips on how to best prepare your little one. We’re sure you will both appreciate such a collaborative discussion.