How can I make a pediatrician visit with two kids go smoother?

Q: I take my 3-month-old daughter and her sister, who's 2, together to the doctor for checkups. Any advice on how I can make these visits easier?

A: "Two in a family" visits that include a toddler typically don't work as well as individual appointments. But if you can't do it any other way, make the experience smoother for all involved by following these tips:

Dress to undress No putting your baby in bodysuits that have to be snapped and unsnapped; dress her in a shirt that pulls over her head easily. Avoid leggings or tights for your older daughter; put her in underwear she's proud of (if she's out of diapers) so she'll be happier to get undressed.

Keep snacks and toys handy If you're nursing, your baby will have the "anytime cafe" of your breast milk available to her; if she takes formula, be sure to pack extra bottles. Also bring along a snack and drink for your older daughter, as well as books and her toy doctor's bag, if she has one.

Don't lose the snooze If your appointment will interfere with your older daughter'snaptime, see whether you can reschedule. A doctor's office would rather be inconven-ienced than subject your cranky daughter (and the entire staff) to a miserable hour.