Toddlers at Mom’s Dr. Appointment: Appropriate or Not?

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Lainey helping Dr. B find the baby’s heartbeat

Is it appropriate to take your toddler to your doctor’s appointment? I say absolutely! I struggled with this at the beginning of my pregnancy with so many OB appointments. My doctor wanted me to see him every three weeks, and my toddler was only in school two mornings a week. I had reserved one open day to volunteer at the elementary school and did not want to spend my other “free” day at the OB.

Talking to a friend one day, she encouraged me to book all my appointments on days when Lainey was not in school. So I did, and of course, some of the appointments were difficult. Her behavior was not always the best, and I would stress for the 45 minutes we were there. Another friend suggested that I occupy her with my iPhone. The problem is I am probably the only person on the planet without a smart phone! I decided to try bringing her the LeapPad instead, and it worked, she behaved the entire appointment.

Something just felt weird, though. My sweet girl, who is always very social, went the whole appointment without making eye contact with anyone, face down on the LeapPad. I decided to re-evaluate. I began to really encourage her to behave, follow the rules of the office and pay attention to what was happening around her and how exciting it was. Believe it or not, we never had to bring the LeapPad again.

It was the best thing I ever did. The visits became pleasant, and she really learned to behave. Most importantly she developed such a sweet relationship with everyone in the office. Ms. Sheila gave her lollipops and let her carefully choose one for her brother and sister. Ms. Sam always came to say hi while we waited to check out. Dr. B allowed her to assist him at almost every checkup. These are moments I will never forget, and I feel certain the time she spent preparing for baby brother will help them bond now that he’s here.

And now, what do you think Lainey wants to be when she grows up?

Do you take your kids to your doctors appointments?

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Kathy Waller
Kathy is a Georgia girl who followed her surfer husband Chuck to the beaches of Jacksonville where she became mom to elementary-aged twins Sophie and Will, preschooler Lainey, and baby Henry! Stay at home mom and avid volunteer, Kathy truly believes in teaching her children to embrace the community, to depend on each other, and to serve one another. Kathy served for a decade in the Junior League of Jax and is in her third year serving on the executive board of the PTA where her children attend school. She is very active in her church, Neptune Baptist and has been involved in the MOMS Club of Jax Beach for over eight years. Kathy has learned so much in her career as a software consultant for Oracle, but is always amazed at the skills she has acquired as a mom and community volunteer. Kathy also enjoys running and completed her last marathon (#9) in 2011, but always wonders if she shouldn't just do another to have a good even 10 under her belt!

6 COMMENTS

  1. Yael, you are right. I think it is important to consider the dr and office staff. For me even if they aren’t as great engaging the kids, say maybe they just are not stressed by your kids, then I will bring them!

  2. My oldest went to every appointment with me for my second pregnancy. It was definitely common to see lots of little ones running around the waiting room. I always brought snacks and he played with balloon gloves (blown up surgical gloves) MANY times while we waited. He was too little to know what was going on (my kids are less than 2 years apart) but I imagine, being a full time SAHM, I will have to haul both of them to appointments when I have my third.

  3. Dr Bordelon just delivered my second son 6 weeks ago. He is such a wonderful man and his staff was always fantastic. My 2 year old came on just about every single visit and they always made the experience a pleasant one. Glad to see someone give them some accolades! They definitely deserve it. 🙂

  4. I think it’s interesting to even talk about this topic. As a mom of 3 and a medical professional I thought everyone knew it was totally ok to being kids along as long as you aren’t planning a vaginal or breast exam or potentially hear bad news ( for example, I waited until we got the first healthy ultrasound and then announced the pregnancy to my kids…then coming with me to appointments was expected!)
    No, don’t expect the staff to entertain or engage your kids like preschool does… Yes, do expect them to be understanding and polite to your kids. And DO expect your kids to be kids! Bring a book, water, a snack, etc. Tell them how patient and quiet they are being early on and that all the other mommies and staff really appreciate it!
    So far I’ve learned that kids behave better when you talk to them about where they are and why they’re waiting. They ask feat questions and learn so much about everything from science to socializing, just by living!!! Talk to your kids! Share life with them. Don’t hide them at home, behind a screen, or in a group of toddlers and then think they will just learn how to be engaged, mature citizens. 🙂
    Glad this blog was written ! You learned a very important lesson and passed it on… That parents REALLy are the 1st and most important teachers. ❤️❤️

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