How to stop your preschooler hulking out at your antenatal appointments

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Attending antenatal appointments with a pre-schooler in tow doesn't have to be the nightmare that you fear it will be, it just involves a few minutes of forward planning.  Thing Two came with us to most of our appointments when The Preschooler was in utero and likewise the Preschooler is now with us for the majority of Moomins antenatal appointments.

A lot of the tips may seem a little obvious and I swear i'm not at all trying to teach you to suck eggs yet quite often whilst in the waiting room we witness stressed out parents and unruly preschoolers.

Generally, they're not misbehaving they're simply bored.  When you're tired and anxious it's sometimes difficult to remember this fact.  They're not being bad.  They're likely just bored because lets face it, waiting is essentially boring.

So whilst remembering your notes, a bottle of water and your bottle of wee take five minutes to add the following:

* Snacks.  One way to distract boredom is to eat, a hungry child can turn a bored child into a hulk child.  Take more than you think you'll need because you'll never know how delayed your appointment might be.  Remember to try and avoid messy foods.  Also, pack a drink!

* Pack some crayons and some paper.  If you go into your local poundshop you can get mini colouring books with crayons that fit in the back in a variety of popular character themes.  These are small and are also perfect for travelling and eating out when waiting for meals.  Try and stick to crayons as pencils need sharpening and pens are a minature graffiti artists best friend.

* Take a book or two.  Encourage quiet activities, take a couple of their short favourate books that you can read to them and they can enjoy the familiarity.

* Stickers.  Most small people love stickers, if you can't get to a poundshop to get some reusable ones, get some standard ones but provide paper etc otherwise they'll helpfully 'decorate' the waiting room.

* If they have a small favourate toy be it a doll or a fire engine let them take it, people would much rather hear a child 'brumming' a car around the edges of a room than a tantrumming bored child who's gone beyond the edge of being brought back into quieting down.

All of the above will easily fit into your bag yet will make a huge difference to your child and thus make your appointment a lot smoother!

Whilst there try some of  the following to help keep your child from hulking out:

* Play eye-spy, if your child is still only wee do colour eye spy (I spy with my little eye something that's blue) 

* Talk to your child.  We all know how anxiety and such of waiting to be seen can tie us up in knots but distract yourself as well as your child by talking to them.  You'd be surprised how many children I see just in their buggy left to somehow entertain themselves whilst their parents zone out.

* Involve your child.  Talk to them about why you're there, about what will happen.  Tell them what the doctor/midwife is doing and why.  Point things out to them and tell them what they are, what they're for etc.


  1. Urgh I don't miss lengthy waiting times at antenatal clinic! Crisps were often my saviour for keeping the kids entertained lol.

    1. At our first scan appointment, we were waiting THREE HOURS in total!

  2. This is an interesting post, not just for antenatal classes but for anywhere parents take their small children. I like the way you've added the importance of talking to the child. Its surprising what goes through their minds. #sofolo

    1. Exactly! It's often so strange to them they don;t really understand *why* they're there, *why* they have to wait and *why* it's taking so long, unless we tell them and explain to them :)

  3. This is a great post. Good tips for all appointments - I love the tip about talking to your child. It's amazing how many people don't do it!

    1. Absolutely, the amount of small kids I've seen just 'ignored' whilst waiting :(


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