How to Prepare For Your Child’s Pediatrician Appointment

Everything is easier with a bit of preparation, including your child’s pediatrician appointment. Whether you’re heading to an annual checkup or a sick visit, the following tips will help make the experience as smooth and stress-free as possible for you and your child.

Set the Schedule Strategically

If you have flexibility in your schedule, it can help to set your child’s appointment based on its overall purpose. Routine check-ups, for example, are best on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays. These are often calmer days at the pediatrician’s office compared to Mondays and Fridays, when parents of sick children are rushing in immediately before or after the weekend.

Alleviate Your Child’s Worries

Your infant may not need a pep talk before her doctor visit, but your toddler or older child may need encouragement and reassurance before seeing the pediatrician. There are a few topics you can discuss with your child to minimize problems when you arrive at the doctor’s:

  • Separation: Discuss whether you will stay in the room with your child or leave during the exam
  • Pain: Discuss the possibility of getting a shot and reassure your child that it will be over quickly
  • The Unknown: Your younger child might use his imagination to envision a vast array of possible situations at the doctor. Explain exactly what will happen and what your child should expect

Walk Your Child Through a Routine Checkup

If your child feels hesitant or nervous about his routine checkup, it can help to walk him through the process and explain what the doctor will do. You can even act out the doctor’s visit with your younger child to make the process more familiar. Be sure to include using a blood pressure cuff, looking in the mouth, eyes, and ears, tapping on the knees, and looking at the feet.

Pick the Right Pediatrician

There are many pediatricians in your area, but you only want to trust an experienced, compassionate, and attentive pediatrician with your child’s health and wellness.

Dr. Stephen Nelson has been caring for children throughout St. Petersburg and Largo for more than 30 years. He can provide the pediatric care for your child of any age, newborn until college. Call (727) 525-2161 to make your child’s appointment today.