6 Ways to Ease Baby’s Vaccination Pain

  1. Hold your baby close during & after shots. Physical contact and talking to baby can help distract them and make them feel safe.
  2. Feed baby during & after shots. Studies have found that babies who were fed during the vaccination cried less. Babies are only really able to focus on one thing at a time, so milk presented right after vaccinations switches their focus from “ouch!” to “yum!”
  3. Sugar water. Several studies have found that sugar can take the sting out of vaccinations. A taste of sugar is particularly helpful in babies under 6 months. Try giving your baby a little sugar water before the shots, or dip a pacifier into the sweet liquid and let them suck on it during the injection.
  4. Distraction. Distracting your baby is one of the most important steps you can take during vaccinations. Bring along an item that you know will hold their attention — bubbles, a favorite or new toy, a noisemaker, or a favorite movie on a tablet or phone.
  5. Injection site massage. After the vaccination, gently rub your baby’s skin near the injection site. The distracting stimulation from the light massage may keep your baby from feeling the pain so intensely.
  6. Tylenol. Giving your child Tylenol (acetaminophen) before the vaccinations will help lessen pain afterward. It can also help reduce fever after vaccines.

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