My 16 month-old is in terror, like trembling-puppy-in-a-lightning-storm terror, at doctor appointments. Especially when she's really sick. When our doctor approaches, she screams hysterically.
At our most recent appointment, we did two things differently that kept the trauma to a minimum.
First, whatever the doctor did to my daughter, she did to me first. (Me in gentle voice: "See, sweetie? The nice lady is looking inside mama's ear. Thank you, doctor! Now, your turn. We are going to look at baby's ears. Here we go…").
Second, we brought the portable DVD player that recently saved our butts on a six-hour road trip. We held it so she could watch her favourite DVD while being examined up on the table (hysteria headquarters).
She still cried, but she never lost it completely and she stopped trembling. Not sure who enjoyed more relief, me or her.
Ooh, I feel your pain. I was that kid…when I was little, I screamed uncontrollably at the doctor's office. What I can recall about that anxiety is that it could not be reasoned away; it could simply be blunted by distraction or the promise of an ice cream after the fact. As a parent, I try to walk that line between comforting my kids when they're afraid and paying as little dramatic attention as possible.
How do you calm your fearful kids at the doctor's office?