‘Tis the season for holiday lights, family time, and dare I even say it…the dreaded seasonal flu! As a mom it pangs me to have a sick kid, but nothing is worse than a toddler with a full blown flu. Moms, are you with me? Personally, I am an advocate for getting children vaccinated as I believe the benefits outweigh the risks.
With that being said, taking my sweet daughter in for her vaccines are something I dread doing. I hate the fact that she has to get poked by a needle to prevent diseases and illnesses. However, over the past 3 years I have learned how to make those cringe-worthy doctor visits less painful – for both of us!
Here are some tips for how to handle this season’s flu shots like the momager that you are.
I cannot stress this more. My checklist to manage flu shots like a pro includes the following:
Make sure you have all the necessary documentation needed for a stress free appointment.
The night before, put the immunization card and your medical cards in your purse/diaper bag.
Plan on leaving 15 minutes earlier than anticipated. Leaving a small cushion for time allows for small mishaps without getting flustered.
Also, try to schedule the appointment so that it won’t interfere with the nap time routine.
Lead By Example
If you’re taking your little one in for a flu shot, take the lead and get yours first (if permitted). I did this recently for a vaccine my daughter and I both needed. The entire time I talked through the experience with her. From the cleaning with the alcohol wipe, to the injection, to the band-aid. She saw first hand how I was brave and it didn’t hurt…all that much.
Don’t bring up the fact that you’re taking them to the doctor for shots before the appointment. This can cause elevated stress levels, because they are full of angst and anticipation. I never mention that she’s getting a shot until the nurse is actually in the room ready for the injection. I don’t do this out of deception, but to keep her calm and relaxed as much as possible.
On doctor visits where I know shots are required, I always pack Charlotte’s favorite treats. Since she was newborn, milk has been her go to. She always asks for milk when she’s upset. Knowing that I always come prepared with milk for her.
Since she is getting older, I decided to bring a couple different options to see how she would do with them. Right before the nurse was about to give her the shot, I gave her a fruit snack. The shot was done before she even finished chewing her first little gummy. She cried for a brief second. I asked if she wanted milk, juice or more gummy treats. She calmed down right away and asked for more snacks.
Another suggestion would be to bring a soft baby or favorite little lovey to snuggle up to. If your kiddo likes cartoons, you could always play a quick snip-it from a show they love on your phone as an easy distraction.
As always, do what works best for your family.
These are just some tips and tricks to handle flu shots like a pro that I’ve learned along the parenthood journey. I’d love to hear what works for you and your little ones when you go to the doctor during flu season.
*Disclaimer - I am not a medical professional, these are my personal beliefs. Please consult your doctor for professional medical advice.
Originally posted on December 5th at Orange County Moms Blog