Kaleb had a runny nose, slight cough and sneeze. That sounds like nothing at all to normal parents but I don't play around with even a small cold. I took him to his Pediatrician just to be safe and know for certain that it was only a cold. It turned out to be just as I thought and Kaleb is feeling much better today. I'd rather be safe than sorry and even though Kaleb was not wheezing, I didn't want to give it potential to be more.
I realized at that doctor visit that I have become a pro at his appointments! It's no wonder really with all the doctor appointments Kaleb has racked up! His CF appointments last hours sometimes so I guess a parent just adapts. Doctors and nurses always comment on the things they see me bring to his appointments. His nurse this time did the same, telling me, "What a great idea, most kids are bored in here." This made me think I should pass along the way I pack for a doctors appointment.
I know parents have to dread taking their kids to the doctor. Even the simplest Pediatrician visit can be draining! I started packing smarter after hours long CF appointments that Kaleb had. So, here we go....
Survival Guide Packing for Your Child's Doctor Appointment:
1. Get yourself a pretty bag you enjoy carrying and actually like. If your gonna lug this stuff around you might as well like the bag and not settle for some diaper bag decorated with baby cartoon characters that comes in only powder pink & blue.
2. Pack plenty of diapers & wipes-I have learned the hard way that you never know how long the appointment might go. For the Pediatrician I pack 5 and have always been safe. CF Center I pack 8...Sounds crazy but once he was having "CF blowouts" one after the other and I actually used 4 diapers in a row!! I was thankful to know I still had 4 on stand by.
3. I always have a change of clothes in the bottom of my bag.
4. I always have a crumpled up plastic grocery store bag in the bottom of the bag too. Just in case the reason you changed their clothes was a stinky or messy one, you have somewhere to put the dirty clothes. It doesn't take up much room and comes in handy.
5. I always have one of those receiving blankets folded under the clothes. You never, believe me, never know where you might have to change a diaper. Every bathroom you go in does not have a changing table. Every gas station on the way to appointments or wherever your going are not the cleanest. I like knowing I have something to lay under him if I need it.
6. Sippy cup with juice in it or just throw a juice box in a pocket of the bag. For CF appointments I always bring his Sippy cup full of juice and a juice box to refill if needed. I also always bring a bottled water for myself.
7. Ziploc bag full of crackers, cookies or cheetohs. If your a CF mom you know what this calls for you bringing as well...
8. Enzymes & apple sauce. If your child has CF they can't eat without the trusty enzymes & apple sauce. I use a gallon size ziploc bag and place his bottle of enzymes, a small container filled with apple sauce, a spoon, medicine cup to mix enzymes & apple sauce in, a few paper towels folded up small into the bag. I put the paper towels in to wipe the spoon and cup out if no water is around so they don't get everything icky. I ALWAYS bring this everywhere we go, I don't care if I think his appointment will last 20 mins. I still bring it. I learned the hard way about not bringing enzymes because you don't think you'll be gone long. It takes only a few minutes, might as well just pack them and be prepared.
9. Ziploc filled with crayons. I also tear out a few pages from his coloring book and fold them up small enough to fit in the bag. I let him draw all over the white paper stuff they roll out onto the table where they have the kids examined. They sometimes get bored with that so I have the coloring pages to fill a little more time.
10. I always fill a gallon ziploc with small toys. I bring some hot wheels, draw a road on that white paper thats on the examining table and drive the cars on the roads we made. I'll throw a few other small things like his little plastic tiger, lil farm people, a little ball we can roll to each other, small book into the bag.
11. I also always have a ziploc bag that I keep in the pocket part of my bag filled with medicines. I keep tylenol, thermometer, gas relief medicine, salt and benadryl cream. The tylenol has come in handy plenty of times when he was getting vaccinations and I forgot to give him some before we left the house. Kaleb always swells up if he gets bit by a mosquito so I keep the benadryl cream in the bag. I know the salt sounds strange but CF moms will understand. I like knowing I have it, if we are out in the sun and he is sweating a lot, I can just dump a small bit in his juice.
12. Last but not least I'll throw a small favorite stuffed animal in the bag. If he has to have a shot he can hold it or cuddle up with it if he starts getting sleepy while waiting.
Yes, ziplocs are my best friend! lol I use them quite a bit, they are just so handy and make it so easy to find everything. I know this list might sound over the top but while were listening to the kid in the next room screaming and crying cause he's bored or wants out...my son is actually having fun in our room. The doctors always say how well behaved Kaleb is and he is...but I think it has a lot to do with keeping him entertained, happy and comfortable. If he's not bored and feeling trapped in the room he seems calmer, which in turn makes us mommas more calm! I have been trapped in a doctor's office with Kaleb while he's screaming, crying, super cranky and bored. Chasing him around the room, while he tears everything up, bangs on the door....Oh yes, I've been there. Doctor walks in and were both a little sweaty, frustrated and ready to go. He thrashes the whole time the doctor tries to exam him and your like a caged animal...all you want it OUT! lol I have sooooo been there and thats why my list is extensive! It works I tell you! :) Happy bag packing!