How to Soothe Vaccination Pain in Infants

Pain After Vaccination in Babies – Tips to Ease It

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Arti Sharma (Paediatrician)
View more Paediatrician Our Panel of Experts

Vaccinations offer protection to your baby from many dreadful diseases. Babies are more vulnerable to viruses as their immune system isn’t completely mature. This increased output of viruses, along with typically lesser attention to hygiene, makes children more likely to spread their infection to others. The possibility of transmission is further enhanced when many children are gathered together, such as in child care centres and schools. Hence, it is imperative that your baby gets all the recommended shots on time

Many moms become upset on seeing their babies in pain after a shot. Vaccinations are for your baby’s good shouldn’t be avoided. However, you can certainly make the experience less stressful for your baby.

Infographics: 10 Ways to Ease Pain After Vaccination in Babies

10 Ways to Ease Pain After Vaccination in Babies10 Ways to Relieve Your Baby’s Pain After Vaccination

Here are a few things you can do to ease your baby’s pain during and after a shot:

1. Cuddle Your Baby

Cuddling baby during vaccination

Cuddle him! Babies calm down and cry less when they’re cuddled by their parents. That’s because familiar touch helps them feel protected.

2. Feed Him

Babies focus on one task at a time, so feeding your baby after vaccination can help take his mind off it and also lower the pain considerably. Breastfeeding your baby more often after the vaccination will also keep him hydrated and prevent fever from setting in.

Sugar water pacifier

3. Distract Him

Distract your baby with his favourite toy while he’s getting injected. This can help to keep his mind off the pain.

4. Apply a Cool Compress/Ice Pack to the Injected Area

A cool compress can reduce the swelling or soreness at the site of the injection. Soak a cloth in cold water and place it on the injected area. You can also use an ice pack instead to relieve the pain.

5. Inquire About Numbing Creams

You can ask your paediatrician to use a numbing cream or spray before the injection. It’s best if you clarify this beforehand as you may need a prescription for the same.

6. Opt for a Painless Injection

Painless Injection

Painless injections or an acellular vaccine, as opposed to whole-cell vaccines, cause no symptoms and little or no pain, as they come with fewer antigens. You can ask your doctor if this option is available and decide if you would prefer going for it.

7. Check for Combination Shots

Vaccinations for different diseases can be combined together in a single shot to reduce the number of injections that your baby has to take. You can check with your paediatrician about this.

8. Rub Your Baby’s Skin

Gently massaging the area surrounding the injected area before and after an injection can relieve the pain.

9. Stay Calm

Your worrying will only fuel your baby’s fear and make him distressed. Stay calm as you hold your baby, to prevent him from feeling stressed.

10. Use the 5 S’s Approach

You can also use these 5 S’s to calm your baby down after a shot.

  • Swaddle him immediately after vaccination.
  • Place him on the side or the stomach
  • Make shushing sounds
  • Swing him in your arms or an infant swing
  • Give him something to suck, for example, your breast, a milk bottle or a pacifier

11. Inquire About Pain-Relief Medication

If your baby cries a lot due to the pain or develops a fever after getting a shot, you can speak to your paediatrician about giving medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.

It is important for your baby to get vaccinated as it is the best form of protection against life-threatening diseases. So, stay calm and remember that your baby will feel the prick only for a little while. With the above steps, you can try to make the experience less distressing for your baby.

Also Read: Child Immunization & Vaccination Schedule

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