Halloween Tricks, No Treats

Theodore's doctor appointment was at 10:45am today. After they checked height, weight, and head circumference, Dr L came in to do a physical. He asked if I had any questions. I lamented that Eric was a work, since he's the deep well of curiosity. As Theo's examination went on, I found that I did have a few questions. I asked when oral and vision checkups with specialty doctors should happen. Dr L stated that dentists should see babies around age two to three years and that optometrists could wait to be seen until around three to four years old, when schooling starts in earnest. Once Dr L finished his exam and I'd asked all my questions, his assistant D came in to give Teddy his shots.

D directed me to hold Theodore's head so she could drip the rotavirus vaccine into his mouth, drop by drop. He wasn't too interested in swallowing that and D had to use some tissues to dab his mouth and we massaged his jaw and throat a bit to encourage swallowing. Then D told me how to restrain Theo by holding his arms next to his chest. Babies love grabbing everything as a general rule and needles are something where that's discouraged (surprise!). Also, once pricked, they'll usually have a bad reaction which includes much flailing and jerking of arms.

We prepare Teddy and D uses disinfectant wipes to clean the tops of his thighs. Of course, Theodore cried once the needles poked him, three shots in all. His face turned super red since he stopped breathing in protest. But when D blew in his face, he started breathing again, loud-crying for all he was worth.

I've taught Theo that I won't pick him up unless he's quiet. This means that when he's crying his head off, I don't pick him up until he's slightly calmer. I position my hands under his neck and bottom, giving him support and making it easy for me to lift him. Usually once he feels my hands in position he'll start quieting, but if he's really in a bad mood, I'll gently rock him side to side and remind him in a calm tone that "mommy only picks up quiet babies." Now I have to be fast on the uptake and lift him up as soon as he either takes a breath (it's difficult to make noise when you're sucking in air) or begins quiet-crying. Sometimes he'll quiet-cry in order to get picked up and then continue with loud-cries once I'm holding him. He's feeling so much at this stage of life, I can't blame him. When this is the case, I place him into Kangaroo carry and rock/bounce him for a few seconds, while soft talking, until he realizes that what upset him is no longer occurring.

Back to the office visit - Teddy calmed down pretty quickly after his shots. I tried nursing him afterward and he wasn't really interested in that. He fell asleep in the car and woke up once we were home. I tried to lay him in his crib, but he wasn't having that either so after several attempts, he ended up just lying swaddled on the couch next to me. Overall I'd say that he seems to be taking his shots pretty well. Hopefully he doesn't have any side effects from them.