Vaccinations offer protection to your baby from many dreadful diseases that have been rampant in the past or are still a potential cause for concern. It helps strengthen your little one’s immunity and make it well equipped to prevent a disease and also fight it when required. Babies can be vulnerable to external viruses as their immune system isn’t completely mature and they lack enough stomach acid, facilitating the viruses to multiply faster if they enter the body. Hence, it is imperative that you get your baby all the essential shots at the right time.
However, many mothers fret at the thought of their baby going through all that pain. It may be painful to watch and it may cause some level of distress to your baby, but, vaccinations are for the greater good of your baby and cannot be avoided. However, you can help make the experience a little less stressful for your baby with some simple acts before and after the needle pierces the skin.
Side Effects of Vaccination Shots
There may be a few side effects that your baby experiences after vaccination that is usually not a cause for concern but are caused quite often due to the pain. These side effects may include:
- High temperature or fever
- Tenderness or sensitivity at the spot where the injection is given
- Redness and swelling at the spot
While there’s nothing to worry about, but you should consult your child’s paediatrician in case these symptoms persist for a long time.
10 Ways to Relieve Baby’s Vaccination Pain
Soothing your baby after shots can help ease the pain to some extent and allow your baby to settle down a little faster. Here are a few things you can keep in mind the next time your baby is getting a shot.
1. Cuddle Your Baby
The best way to facilitate your baby’s injection pain relief is by cuddling with him or her. It is found that babies are calmer and tend to cry a lot less when they are held by their parents. This may be due to the fact that your familiar touch helps your baby feel protected.
2. Feed Your Baby
Babies tend to focus on a particular task at a given moment, so feeding your baby after vaccination can help take his or her mind off it and also lower the pain considerably. Breastfeeding your baby more often after the vaccination will also keep her hydrated and prevent fever from setting in.
3. Give Your Baby Some Sugar Water
This works great for babies under 6 months of age. Dab a little sugar water on your baby’s tongue or dip the pacifier in sugar water and let your baby suck on it during vaccination. The sweetness can lower the intensity of the sting and keep the baby calm.
4. Distract Your Baby
Babies are easily distracted and this can work in their favour after an injection. Get your baby’s favourite toy, bubbles or play peek-a-boo while your baby is getting injected. This can help keep his attention off the pain.
5. Apply a Cool Compress or an Ice Pack to the Injected Area
A cool compress can reduce any swelling or soreness that might have been caused by the injection. Just place a clean and cool, washed cloth on the area. You can also use ice water and gently dab it on the skin to relieve pain.
6. Inquire About Numbing Creams
Check with your doctor if using a numbing cream or a spray is right for your baby to prevent pain during the injection. It is best if you do this beforehand, as you may need a prescription for the same.
7. Opt for a 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 decided if you would prefer going for it.
8. 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 May Want To Check With Your Doctor About The Possibility Of This.
9. Rub Your Baby’s Skin
Stimulating the area around the injected area can help relieve the pain, as the gentle massage tends to distract the baby from the pain. You can also massage the area before the injection.
10. Don’t Forget to Stay Calm
Parental worry will only fuel your child’s fear and make him or her more distressed. You will need to stay calm as you hold your baby, in order to avoid triggering any stressful behaviour in him. It is important for your baby to get vaccinated as it is the best protection you will be able to give him or her against any potential diseases. So, stay calm and remember that your baby will feel the prick only for a little while and with the above steps, you can always try to make the experience less stressful for your baby. That little sting will go a long way in keeping your baby free of diseases.
Also Read: Child Immunization & Vaccination Schedule