How You Communicate

Babies take their cues from you!

Even though they may not understand your words, they will respond to the tone of your voice, your emotions and the tension in your body. Touching, holding and talking will help comfort them when they don’t feel well. It will also create positive associations with going to the doctor.

You can reassure them with your loving presence and a comforting, soothing tone. While you don’t know how many of your words they understand, it’s important to talk anyway. You might say “The medicine will make you feel better,” or “Mommy is here to help you get well.” This kind of talking helps relax the child and calm the parent.

When going to the doctor, your child might like to bring along a comfort object such as a favorite stuffed animal, doll or toy. Toddlers may enjoy playing doctor with these familiar objects. They might act out their fantasies and concerns, before, after or during the visit.

Be brief when talking about going to the doctor, even with 2-year-olds. Too much explanation may produce more fear than anything else.

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