When you hold your tiny baby, there is nothing more terrifying for a parent than thinking of the many inoculations, or injections, that your little one will have by her first birthday. The number of vaccines has jumped substantially in the last five or ten years, and today babies are receiving for or five injections at every check-up.
Not only are injections scary for mum, they sting when administered to baby. Often the scariest part of the injection process is restraining your little one so that the injections are administered smoothly. But there are ways to make the process simpler, and possibly less painful for both mother and child.
Some parents swear that giving baby pain medicine before the appointment helps to reduce pain and complications from the many injections. Many doctors recommend pain medicine following the injections to reduce the small fever that often follows inoculations. Be sure to discuss any pain medicine with your doctor to be sure this is a good option for your child.
Being along a baby’s comfort item such as a pacifier or blanket to help soothe her through the process. If she’s comfortable and able to grab her favorite item after the injections, the worst of the crying will pass quickly.
Sucking or Feeding
A baby, especially a young one, is most comforted by feeding. In some cases, doctors and nurses are willing to administer injections while a mother is breastfeeding the baby or feeding a bottle. The baby is restrained in the mother’s arms, is severely comforted by the feeding, and might not even register the pinpricks if she’s content enough and otherwise engaged.
If you can’t actually feed baby during the injections, have a bottle or breast ready following the injections. Food is an excellent comfort and distraction from any lingering pain or outrage.
Babies feed off your emotions, so stay calm throughout the process. If you’re tense, that tension will transfer to your little one. Remind yourself that injections are terribly common and the anticipation is usually what makes them so scary. Keep your baby focused on happy things both before and after the process and the injections will simply be one bad minute in an otherwise happy outing.
If you’re concerned about the number or purpose of the injections your little one is receiving, talk to your pediatrician and read the materials she like provides with each round of vaccines. Research the injections if it makes you feel better that you know exactly what each injection is for and any possible side effects so that you’re better prepared to face them.
Go to Bed Early
Injections make anyone tired and cranky, especially if the site of the injection is irritated and sore. Give your baby an extra long soothing bath, carefully apply lotion, then put her to bed early. As soon as you can, go to bed yourself. Many babies sleep very well following a round of injections, but many more have a restless and grumpy night, so you need to be ready to comfort and soothe during the night as many times as your little one needs you.