And just like that I have entered a new era of motherhood! And it’s happened so quietly and unceremoniously I barely realized what was occurring… It’s not a milestone that people write much about in books or even mentioned in The Bump & What to Expect baby emails I still receive every so often. But here we are post 24-Month Well Baby Checkup and now my kid doesn’t have to be back to the doctor until she is three! (that is unless she gets sick within the next year, of course!)
This is so exciting but also a bit bittersweet! We’ve been to her pediatrician for checkups 10 times in the past two years and in a way bringing her to the doctor has become a way of life. It’s something hubby and I have done so regularly since she was born, actually
scratch that, since before she was born (while in the womb), and now times are changing. Now we’ll spend less time in waiting rooms (more on that in a sec), but most importantly once a year visits means that she is healthy!! and I’m so grateful! But no doubt with this change comes a little bit of sadness because it’s one of the last baby things we are doing away with along with all the adorable baby fat. Early on those “well-baby” visits were so reassuring and informative. And as a new mom, for me, they provided much needed relief some months knowing my baby was gaining enough weight, getting enough nutrients, and developing on target. Wow! Now the training wheels have been taken off and I guess this means we are out of new parent bootcamp!
So while I’ll soon forget the tiny bit of sadness I feel now knowing that my baby is growing up and no longer has to see her pediatrician so often anymore, I wanted to provide a few tips on how to navigate those visits, and how to keep an active baby entertained while waiting to see the doc. Here’s a few tricks I learned to keep up my sleeve to keep our visits as seemless as possible.
1. Don’t Arrive Too Early
Although Connor’s pediatrician is pretty good, we almost always have to wait an additional 30 mins between the time we check-in, get her weighed & measured by the nurses, and in the exam room. In this case, it’s usually best not to arrive too early if it’s likely your doctor won’t see you much earlier. Of course, you’ll want to be punctual but as best you can don’t arrive to the waiting room more than 10 mins before you’re appointment time.
2. Bring a snack
Snacks are a great distraction for toddlers/kids in almost every situation. ha! Pack a dry and relatively mess-free snack for them to enjoy once you arrive like cereal, dried fruit, or crackers. This can also give them positive associations with the doctor and put your little one in good spirits before any pesky shots.
3. Crayons, small books, flash cards
This is also a great time to bring out any pocket, soft books, flash cards and (my favorite) travel size crayons! I pack Connor’s goodies in a compact dollar store tin pail that helps with easy clean up and storage. And guess what? no coloring book needed once you make it to your exam room. You know that white tissue paper they throw out as soon as you leave the room, that’s your canvas! It’s a fun time teaching Connor new colors, shapes and numbers!
Be sure to wipe/wash those little hands during and especially directly after your doctor visit. Because let’s face it, they will want to play with those doctors office toys! ha! — It took one good time for us to come home (from a check-up) with Roseola to always remember to pack the kiddie friendly disinfectant wipes!
5. Introduce a new toy or bring along a toy they haven’t seen in a while
Purchase a new small toy or bring along one that you haven’t seen him/her play with in while. Sometimes this just buys me a few mins of toddler fascination but it’s worth every min I can keep her away from the germy toys the doctors office provides. If you allow your baby tablet/phone time, this might also be a good time to allow them a few mins to watch their favorite video or app (like Snap Chat).
There you have it! I guess if there was indication that Connor is so over these visits is the fact that she fell asleep during this weeks appointment! Lol! Onward, and upward to big girl things!