Making immunization visits less stressful

Communication   |   Age: 8 months

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Making immunization visits less stressful

A regular immunization schedule for children means quite a few shots in the first year, and this can make even the chillest child lose their cool. But immunizations are hugely important in helping to keep your little one healthy and protected against serious disease.

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to help your baby feel good about visiting her healthcare provider—even when shots are involved—and to feel good about being there yourself.

How you can help yourself feel less stressed

Be prepared. Let’s be honest: a lot of parents get stressed about provider visits. And sometimes this stress can arise because there’s fear of the unknown. So if you have any questions about the visit or the immunizations, ask your child’s healthcare provider. You can be in touch before the appointment (by calling or sending a message online) or write down your questions in advance to ask day of.

Fake it ‘til you make it. If preparation doesn’t help you feel any less stressed, you’ll still want to do all you can to keep your cool so you can best support your baby, help her feel positive about the experience, and make any brief immunization ouchies just one moment in an otherwise nice visit. So if you don’t actually feel calm, it’s advisable to at least act calm and not reactive. Even very small children are incredibly observant, and if they notice that you’re tense, they may start to get worried too.

A note on needle phobia: Some people have a debilitating fear of needles, and this can make provider visits understandably challenging. If this describes you, ask your child’s provider how you can work together to help manage this fear so that you can feel as good as possible about the experience and your little one can still receive their immunizations.

How you can help your baby feel less stressed

All of this should help the immunization visit go smoothly. And even if you weren’t both able to be stress-free the whole time, stay positive and do all you can to help your little one feel good about the experience. Remind your baby—and yourself—that she did wonderful and will have a good visit next time too.

Learn more about vaccines

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