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Preparing Your Toddler for Healthcare Visits
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!"
Last Updated: August 11, 2013