Justice Goes in for Immunizations
Going to the doctor can be an adventure with little ones, especially on days when you know shots are part of the game plan. I like to use these appointments to teach my girls that they don’t have to be afraid of going to the doctor, regardless of the reason for the visit. The less stress I feel, the more confident they will be when they have to face some of life’s little discomforts.
I always schedule my daughters’ check-ups around their second feeding time in the morning. Justice usually wakes up and has a bottle at 7:30 a.m. That means her next feeding will be at 10:30 a.m. She normally has a small snack like an organic food packet of bananas and blueberries in between her bottles. I prepare a bottle for her so once she gets her shots she’ll be ready to eat. Sucking on the bottle will provide comfort and redirect her attention from the immunization. Then, ideally she’ll take a nice long nap.
I purposefully scheduled her appointment mid-morning so she’d be comforted in a moment when she may be experiencing a little bit of pain or discomfort right after her check-up and shots. Having an intentional plan that coincides with her normal routine makes these appointments go easier.
Waiting in the doctor’s office for the doctor to come in can make kids nervous. While we were waiting for our doctor to come in and give Justice her well child check-up, we spent time playing. Singing, reading and playing help keep her mind occupied and feel confident that Daddy is right there with her, no matter what happens at the appointment.
Justice was given four shots today. Afterwards she felt a little agitated, but I gave her a bottle immediately following the injections to help comfort her. Having Daddy there helped soothe her and make her feel secure in this environment. We have intentional strategies for appointments of this nature so we can reduce the amount of stress and anxiety she feels.
I love being there for my girls, but I also know it’s not always going to be like this. There may be times when they are uncomfortable or scared and Daddy can’t be there to comfort them. But right now, at this stage in their lives, I can be here and be present with them as they experiences moments like this.
Teaching Justice coping strategies at this young age not only strengthens the bond between her and I, it also also provides an opportunity to help her process her feelings in a healthy way. Even though she is not quite 8 months old, she is learning how to deal with life when unexpected things happen. She knows that her parents will be her to support her no matter what circumstances she might face.
Laying a strong foundation for unconditional acceptance is key to raising healthy kids. Being with them and calming their fears at doctor appointments, soothing scrapes at the playground or helping them articulate their feelings in an appropriate manner are just a small part of what parents do on a daily basis. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a role model that my daughters look to for love and comfort on a daily basis.
As a personal development coach, motivational speaker, author and a stay-at-home dad, Jonathan “J.O.” Oliver helps people attain success in the midst of facing some of life’s greatest challenges. He is happily married to Dr. Saran Oliver and together they have two adorable daughters, Journey and Justice. Being diagnosed with the gift of dyslexia and ADHD has allowed him to see what is possible rather than feel limited by his condition. Seeking to impact his passion to many, “J.O.” has authored two highly sought after books, “Joy In The Journey: 1st Year Chronicles From A Stay At Home Dad,” and “Impersonations.” His newest book, “To The Little Boy In Me: Learning with Dyslexia & ADHD” will be released in the Spring.