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Take The “Ouch” Out of Baby Vaccinations

Vaccines are an important part of protecting your baby from dangerous diseases. Still, that’s little comfort when it comes time for that first jab – it may be you who’s the one wailing!Here are some surprisingly simple strategies to make your trip to the doctor’s smooth sailing for both you and your bub. 1. A spoonful of sugar can actually make a difference.You may think it’s an old wives tale, but research has found giving less than half a teaspoon of a sugary solution to infants up to 12 months of age reduces crying and pain due to vaccination. 2. Cuddle up.Why? Holding your child close to you calms them and helps keep legs and arms still so vaccines can be given safely. Sitting upright helps children feel more secure and in control. 3. Get some peace with a pacifier.Pacifier, dummy, binkie – you may have another name for it – can help comfort babies getting a shot (that is, if they’re used to sucking on one!). A study in the states found pacifiers can reduce infant pain as they act as a tool for counter stimulation to compete with the sensation of the needle. 4. Breastfeed your baby.Breastfeeding before, during or after the shots comforts your baby as the sucking and the sweet taste of breast milk distract them from the task at hand. Breast milk also contains natural calming substances. If breastfeeding isn’t an option, give your baby a bottle instead. 5. A patch on each thigh will help stop the cry.EMLA, an anesthetic patch, is safe and effective for newborns and young babies as it gently numbs the site of the injection. Just stick one on each thigh at least one hour before the appointment and leave the patch on so they know where to inject. 6. Burrito your baby.Immediately after the vaccinations, wrap your baby snugly, arms at their sides, in a thin blanket. This technique replicates the secure feeling of the womb and lets them know it’s time to sleep (fingers crossed!). 7. Finally, keep your cool mum. Even if your baby is crying during the vaccinations, it’s important to keep a cool head as studies have found babies may sense or feel their mother’s anxiety during routine immunisation. So get your mantra in mind mums, it may be a tough time but the good news is it’s over just as fast as it began.