Vaccinations: When you have two children

Vaccinations with two kids

Today was Kaitlyn’s 18 month well-baby check up. I took Brayden along so he could get his flu shot. Now, the advice I have to give is really going to seem like a no-brainer, but I messed up today.

When it came time for the shot, I decided to ask Brayden if he wanted to get his shot first, or if he wanted Kaitlyn to get hers first. He chose Kaitlyn. Once he did, I had the thought that it might be better for him to get his first, but I ignored it.

Kaitlyn got on the table. I stood on one side holding her hands and Brayden stood on the other saying, “It’s okay Kaitlyn, don’t be scared, I am right behind you.” She got her shot and started to cry. Brayden immediately retreated to the corner and said he didn’t want a shot. I stood Kaitlyn up and the nurse let her choose a sucker. As soon as she saw the sucker, she was cured. She happily got down eating her sucker.

Brayden, however, was not convinced. He said he wanted a sucker. I replied he could have one as soon as he got his shot. He replied, “I don’t want a sucker.” I picked him up and put him on the table. I held his hands as one nurse held his legs. He cried and cried. Later as I told my husband about it over the phone, he started to shake. Poor guy! I understand his fear; I am very afraid of shots also.

So my advice when you have two children who need to get a vaccination is this. In most cases, it will be best to have the oldest child go first–that is if one is young enough to not really know what is going on. You know your children. You can guess which order would be best. I knew the reverse order would have been better, but I ignored that knowledge.

If you think there isn’t really a “better” order to go in, you can ask the nurse if she has any ideas based on experience. Perhaps you can do the vaccinations in separate rooms or take one child out while the first gets the vaccination.

I think for most children, vaccinations will happen at different times. They have different birthdays so vaccinations are on a different schedule–unless you have twins! But in the case of a flu vaccination, typically a lot of people will get them at the same time.

Last year, Brayden and I went together. I got my shot first and was very brave, which made him completely compliant with his vaccination. Since I am currently seeing an OBGYN for pregnancy, I will get my vaccination there this year. But that is an option for you if several people need to get a vaccination at the same time.

If you have any good tips for this situation, please share!