Your toddler needs regular healthcare, including visits to the doctor and dentist. Here's some advice to make those trips less stressful for both of you:
- Talk to your toddler about what's happening. Explain where you are going and why. Use simple language: "The nurse is going to give you an immunization in the arm. It will sting for a minute, but I’ll hold you on my lap the whole time."
- Answer your toddler's questions simply and directly.
- Book healthcare appointments during times when your toddler is well rested and not hungry.
- Demonstrate what a health caregiver might do, such as listening to your toddler’s chest or looking in his ears.
- Encourage your toddler to play "doctor" or "dentist" with a toy.
- Bring along items that will make your toddler more comfortable, such as a favourite blanket or toy.
- Read children's books about visits to a doctor, dentist, optometrist, or nurse.
- Praise your toddler's behaviour and efforts to cooperate (even if she cried the entire time). "You held so still when the doctor looked in your ears!"