Prepping for Childhood Shot Appointments

Weston had his 18 month well child check up this morning. With that comes the daunting task of shots. I wrestled with the decision of shots quite a bit before he was born, but ultimately our family decided to move forward with vaccinations.

That being said, it’s still never easy. I try to DO #allthethings and BRING #allthethings to make the appointment and situation as comfortable as possible.

Here is my list of things to do to prep for your appointment.
  1. Schedule the appt with at least 72 hours of downtime after. This can be tough, but just in case there is a fever spike or rash, best to not have travel plans or a big meeting you need to deal with when all you will want to focus on is your sweet baby. 
  2. Make the appointment for first thing in the morning. Even if you have to wake your kiddo up a bit early, it’s worth it! Not only is this the time of day when most babies are in the best mood, but also the doctors office is in their “best mood” too. Meaning, they are most likely still on schedule. Last thing you want is to have what could be a 20 minute appointment stretch out to 90 minutes. What kid is happy for that long in a place where they can’t touch everything? Positive vibes all around, am I right? 
  3. Dress comfy! Not only kiddo, but you too. PJs are best for baby - shout out kickee pants! - and a nice soft shirt for momma or dada. You need to be prepared for some tear soaked, wet snuggly hugs and nuzzles after shots are complete. 
  4. Decide ahead of time if you want to use bandaids. We find the poke from the shot stops bleeding in like 5 seconds so I just hold the cotton ball in place for 30 seconds and done! Much easier than peeling  a sticky bandaid off such gentle skin. 
  5. Bring all the comfort items. Lovey, froggie, Lambie, and Cozy come with us to all appointments with shots. Most of the time we don’t need them, but if he wants to be snuggly, I want to give him every accessory to feel comfortable. 
  6. Bring snacks and entertainment. Regardless of how much you prepare by scheduling and getting there early, inevitably there will be some time in the waiting room and procedure room while you wait for the doctor and the nurse. This is the time to bust out the coveted iPad with favorite games and shows ready to go. Prerecord it just in case you don’t have WiFi! 
  7. Most important of all, Be prepared to speak up! I once was cautious when “telling the nurse what to do,” until we had a floater nurse. We had two rounds of shots prior to this and we knew the drill... this nurse did not. We had to do 3 shots and a small drink. Logically they should have done the drink first with all of the shots ready to go for wham, wham, wham, done. Right? Not that day... he prepped one shot, then gave it. Prepped second shot, then gave it. Prepped third shot, then gave it... THEN expected my sweet screaming child to drink a gross drink. Are you kidding me?? NO. I’m still mad at myself for not speaking up, but my fear of stepping on the professionals toes got in the way. Don’t be afraid to give yourself the opportunity to be comfortable in the situation. You can ask what they are doing. What shot is going where. What’s their plan. This is not insulting for you to understand what’s going on. Feel free speak up for you and your kiddo! You are your child’s advocate. YOU know what’s best for your baby.
Shots are never easy for baby or for momma, but hopefully this list gives you the same sense of comfort it gives me. 

What else do you do to prep for shots for your kiddo? I’d love to add any tips and tricks to try in the future!

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