Want to prepare your toddler for shots? Want to help your child be calm during a shot visit? I’m going to help you do just that. I know that it’s not your child’s first rodeo in the shot wagon. But, he was just a baby when he got his first shot which means he most likely does not remember any of it.
Now that your child is bigger and has an idea of what a shot is, now’s the time to start preparing your toddler for his first actual shot visit and experience. Believe me, is going to be rough if you do not plan ahead of time. Teach your child not to have fear of injections and to be calm when getting a shot. I’ll show you how!
I have three children and I learned from my first daughter what things not to do with my twins when it comes to vaccinations. My hubby is a huge help and every time they have a shot appointment, I make sure my hubby goes with us. Imagine me with three kids getting shots? Um no thank you, I’m good!
Ready to prepare toddler for shots?
How can I soothe my toddler after a shot?
Honestly, just take him out to the park. Let him forget about the pain he is in. Believe me kids forget right away, so don’t make it a big deal. Instead encourage your child to go on about his day.
Of course you can cuddle with your toddler and if you think your child needs pain or fever medication, you can do so.
What to expect after a vaccination?
The most common thing you can expect to happen after a shot or vaccination is swelling on the area. It may get red and hard to the touch. Your child may also have a mild fever afterwards.
All of these things may go away after 1 or 2 days.
Did you know that many little ones rack up more than 20 vaccinations by the time they’re 4 years old? (source)
10 easy ways to prepare your toddler for shots
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Make sure you are prepared before heading to the doctor’s office. Being prepared beforehand means that you are emotionally ready for it. You have already spoken to your child about getting a shot. Maybe bring in your toddler’s favorite teddy bear or blanket to comfort him. Whatever you need to do to prepare, do it!
2. Pep talk
Pep talks also works on little and big kids! It’s amazing what it can do to your child’s self esteem and confidence even if he is just a toddler. Hype them up like my hubby likes to say, tell your child he’s a big kid and that he is going to do great!
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Another great tip to prepare your toddler for shots is to demonstrate to him what having a shot feels like. My hubby would also do this with our kids because it helped them understand better the “pain”. We tell them that it feels like a pinch, and my hubby would pinch them. Obviously soft, and they would say “wow that doesn’t hurt”.
Shots really just feel a pinch.
4. No promises
Do not make promises to your child about them not getting a shot on the day that they are indeed getting a shot. This will make your child not trust you and make them be more nervous than if you would just tell them the truth. Be upfront with them and it will be less stressful. Believe me!
Imagine you tell your toddler there would be no shots and then when he realize he is going to get a shot, all hell breaks loose? Gosh, you do not want that mama!
5. Look the other way
One thing that I always make my kids do, is to look away from the needle. Just do not let your child look at it, unless of course he enjoys those type of things and is not scared of it. Even I look away as an adult when I’m getting a shot or blood is being drawn from me. It helps ease the situation and the fear of shots!
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6. Distract her/him
Distractions distractions is key to helping your toddler with shots. You can simply talk to your child about a fun experience you guys recently had. Ask him questions, make him laugh and things like that. Distracting your child while getting a shot will help the situation go faster and he might not even feel the pain!
7. Encourage to be brave
It’s totally okay if your child cries during a shot. But it is also great if you can help your toddler be brave. Encourage him not to cry and tell him that he is a big boy. That he is strong and that taking a shot is nothing compare to how strong he is. This will lift his self esteem and he is going to try his best to not cry! My kids hardly ever cried when they were toddlers because my hubby and I encouraged them to be brave!
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8. Do not get emotional
Okay, so this one I had to learn on my own because I would get so emotional when I would see my little ones getting a shot. I noticed that if I was scared and nervous I would transmit that energy to my kids. And I did not want that. So, what I do now is put on a brave face, be calm and my kids would feel my energy. They would also become calm. Try it!
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9. Do not use shots as a punishment
Do not ever use “getting a shot” as a punishment to your child. For example, if they are not listening to you do not say ” okay I’m taking you to the doctor to get a shot” to get him to behave. Because this will only make your child fear vaccines even more and not have a positive association to it. Getting a shot should be a positive thing because it helps your child not get sick.
Doctors always reward little ones after a shot with a lolly pop, isn’t this true? Why? Because it helps them calm down. It’s that simple! What my hubby and I like to do is take them to the park or a restaurant to eat. Tell them they did a great job! You do not need to buy a toy every single time you take them to the doctor. You will become broke!
A simple ” You did amazing” and an “I’m so proud of you” works well and it truly makes them happy. Reward them with hugs, kisses and words of affirmation.
Doctors visits does not have to be a stressful experience at all. Preparing your toddler for shots is crucial in how everything else after that will unfold. Shots does not have to be scary for children, as long as you know the right tactics to take.
Toddlers are very smart and quick to catch on things. That’s why is best if you stay calm and transmit a positive vibe. Always be truthful and supportive of your child. Shots are painful but letting your child know that he/she is brave and “big” will help them ease their vaccine fears.
I hope you found these tips helpful!
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