Tips to Comfort Your Baby at the Doctor

african mother and her son in doctor's office with doctor and nu

We understand that the first two years of your baby’s precious life can feel like a roller coaster ride full of doctor’s visits. We have some comforting tips to help you tackle the rocky road ahead, whether it’s an immunization shot, taking blood, receiving injection, or going to a regular doctor’s appointment for your baby.

Regardless of the occasion, take a deep breath and remember to relax. It’s surprising how much your baby can sense tension and anxiety from your touch. We highly recommend using a comfortable hold on your baby to make them feel safe and secure during these stressful doctor visits. If your child feels like they are about to slip out of your grasp, make sure to tighten your hold for their safety. If your baby is going in for a shot, it’s helpful if your baby can lay their arm down on a table.

How do comforting holds help in stressful situations?
• Control over their baby’s body to insure they don’t slip or fall
• Improve parent’s role in doctor’s visit and become a part of the procedure
• Help the doctor/nurse administer their medications safely while the parent can focus on holding their baby
• Safely hold baby during the child’s injection and relax them
• Provide comfort and security to your baby during doctor visit
• Makes your child more comfortable being in your arms/hold (as a non-threatening position for medical professionals)

Newborn Holding Tips:
• Hold your baby in the cradle position
• Gently hold and secure both legs down and together
• If a shot is being administered to your baby’s leg – you can leave this leg out and help keep your baby’s leg still during the shot
• As your baby gets a little older around three to five months you can switch from a cradle position to a sitting position
• Help your baby feel comfortable in a sitting position, facing forward while you hold them from behind
• Use the most comfortable option for you and your baby!

Older Children Holding Tips:
• Once your child has grown, you’ll find that the sitting on your lap facing forward position will be easiest for you and your baby
• Again, help your baby feel comfortable in a sitting position, facing forward while you hold them from behind

Bonus Doctor Visit Tips:
It helps to bring some comforting items along with you during your doctor’s visits. Whether it’s a pacifier, blanket or baby bottle, make sure your baby is happy it’s nearby and accessible. You can always nurse or feed afterwards to help your baby feel better.

Give your baby options when they are available, for instance, “do you want to close your eyes during the shot or do you want to look away?” This helps give your baby perspective on the situation and makes them feel like they have some control.

There is the rare case that your baby isn’t scared of needles, in this instance, you might be able to simply hold their hand through the procedure!
Written by Alexandra Gamache

 

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