Soon after birth, babies are poked with a needle about 15 to 20 times during vaccinations. The vaccination process is painful but essential to protect children from dreaded diseases. Nonetheless, the vaccination pain can be upsetting for the child.
There are certain ways that medical experts, as well as parents, can follow to make the experience stress-free and easy for babies, and for older children and adolescents, who are about to receive their vaccinations at school.
Following are simple yet effective tips to help you ease the trauma of vaccination for your baby:
1. Hold your baby
An ideal option is to hold your baby in a way her upper arm or thigh is exposed and the doctor can inject easily. This will make the infant feel secure in your arms and help you calm her down as soon as the needle is pierced into the skin. The children who are little older, they can sit on your lap facing you for warmth and comfort.
2. Taste of sugar
According to some studies, sugar not just helps the medicine go down, but taste of sugar is particularly helpful for babies under 6 months to bear the pain of vaccination. Try giving your baby little sugar water before vaccination, or dip a pacifier into the sweet liquid and let the baby suck on it during the injection.
3. Distract your baby
Another useful step is to distract your baby at the time of vaccination to reduce the pain. So, bring along an item that you know will hold your baby’s attention. You can bring your baby’s favorite toy, noisemaker, or a portable DVD player to divide the infant’s attention away from the injection.
If you're very concerned about vaccination pain, ask your doctor if a numbing cream is available. You may ask the medical practitioner to apply numbing cream like Dr.Numb® to dampen vaccination pain. Numbing cream can take 30 minutes to cause the numbing effect. However, there are even numbing sprays to provide faster numbing on the area.
5. Rub your baby’s skin
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 vaccination pain so intensely. Massage the area near injection site very gently so that no friction is created on the site, or it will worsen the pain.
6. Try Tylenol
You can try giving your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) just before the injection to reduce vaccination pain afterward. It can also help reduce the slight fever that happens after a vaccination.
7. Inquire About Combination Shots
Vaccinations for several diseases can also be combined with a single shot to reduce the number of injections your baby requires. Some of these combination shots include diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP) vaccine, which is available in combination with polio and hepatitis B vaccines or polio and Haemophilus influenze type b (Hib) vaccines.