What to take to vaccination appointments

It’s no secret that we’re a pro vaccine family. This isn’t a debate about that. It’s simply to share what we do pre, during and post vaccines to make sure it all goes as smoothly as possible. Keep reading to see more!

Pro Vaccine & Proud

It’s a scary world and without vaccines it would be even scarier! Just look at Covid-19! Here’s what I do pre, during and post vaccine to make sure the kids are a) protected and b) everything goes smoothly. It also goes without saying that I’m not a doctor this is just what we do and how we do it.


Pre Vaccines

  • Doctor who? Since moving to Dubai and having private medical care, choosing our Doctor was a really tough decision. I always make sure that whoever we see has trained and practiced in the UK as we still follow the UK guidelines in addition to the UAE vaccines. (We go to Dubai London Clinic, their clinic is close by, never too busy and always clean)
  • Diary reminders – Keeping on top of dates, next vaccines etc is key for us. I always ask the doctor a) when we need to come back for boosters, etc and b) which vaccines are next. I then whilst I’m there jot these down and make a note in my phone diary with a week early alarm to remind me to book the appointment… because lets face it… I’m not going to remember it 6 months down the line!
  • Appointment slots – I plan their appointment around nap times and their schedule. First thing in the morning is my preferred appointment slot. It’s less busy and gives me the rest of the day to keep and eye on the kids and make sure they’re ok. Also an important note is that unlike the UK where you get your vaccine and leave. Here in Dubai you need to arrive early to complete paper work and allow time before you leave to complete the payment. Sometimes if Jon is available we go together and afterwards he stays to settle the bill and I whizz home with the kids. Although compared to other clinics London Dubai Clinic seem to be very efficient and speedy. Not much waiting around at all!
  • Preparing your child – With babies it goes without saying that not a lot of prepping can be done, unfortunately they don’t understand and it’s all a bit of shock. Lots of cuddles after are all we can do. With toddlers and older kids it’s easier to prepare them for why we need a vaccination, it will just be a little scratch then we can go get ice cream for example. Transparency is key, I find that with Mason being honest and transparent is far better than trying to trick him and then losing his trust and risking developing a fear of doctors.


On the day

  • What to take – Here’s what I pack in the bag for Baby vaccinations; their vaccines record book, milk, water, snack if they’re eating, nappies, wipes, favourite toy, paracetamol. And here’s what I take for Toddler vaccines; vaccine record book, change of clothes, water, snack, toy, book, lollipop or treat for after, paracetamol to sometimes just give a little as a placebo.
  • What to wear – This might seem obvious but I try to wear comfy clothes that I can move around in modestly and hold a wriggly baby in. I also put the kids in clothes where their arms/thighs can be easily accessible for the vaccines.
  • Take note – The medical jargon and names of vaccines are so confusing. I always ask and the Doctors at Dubai London Clinic are really good and patient with explaining everything. I always ask when the next vaccines and boosters will be too and make sure I make a note of it whilst I’m there so I don’t forget!
  • Regional differences – Each country has different mandatory vaccinations and like many expats we often travel between two so it’s important for us to give the kids the best protection for wherever we go! Some are covered and some aren’t and some vaccines like MenB aren’t available here in Dubai so when we have trips booked for the UK we book in with a clinic to get vaccinated whilst we can. Organisation is key but often at private clinics last minute appointments are available.
  • In and out – I try not to faff about too much in and out and of course the biggest cuddle after and distract them with something, anything. The crying is over before we know it and I sometimes think it’s worse for us than it is them!

Post Vaccine

  • TLC – I always keep an extra close eye on them after vaccines. regular temperature checks, if they’re sleeping too long etc. Some side affects are increased temperature it shouldn’t last too long and any concerns we always call the doctor! Our doctor at Dubai London Clinic is always more than happy to speak to us over the phone or have us come in urgently if we need!
  • Treats – This applies more to toddlers than babies but rewards for being brave always soften the blow.


Mama Knows Best

Trust your own instincts and know that everyone is different. The optional vaccines are just that, optional. Make the decision that’s right for you and your family. No one else can do that but us! Heavy is the head that wears the crown and we are all queens of our own little kingdoms! I will do anything to protect my babies and although it breaks my heart when they have the vaccines and cry I know that it’s for the best!

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