Top Tips To Calm Your Baby Before Their Injections

You’re sat in the waiting room at the doctor’s surgery, your baby in their pram happy and content - unbeknown to them as to what they are about to be walked into. While you’re is sat feeling anxious as anything. 

The childhood vaccination program was and still is one of the hardest bits for me as a parent. The dread I’d feel leading up to my sons’ vaccination appointments was on another level! Even after having three children, it doesn’t get any easier.

But fear not - There are a few things you can do to help keep your baby calm before their injections.  Below are some tips that I found really helpful with my children!  

Do Your Research

Take some time to familiarise yourself with the childhood vaccine programme - after my first baby I spent time looking up what vaccines my baby would be having and when.
I also made sure to read up on the post-immunisation side effects and whether there was anything I could do to help keep my baby calm during the appointment.

I found that it helped me to better prepare my little one as I knew what to expect prior to the appointment. 

Stay Calm Mama

Every nurse we’ve ever had has told me, “it’s always so much worse for you as their parent than it is for them” and from my experience, I have to agree that our littles seem to get over the trauma a lot quicker than we do.  

The calmer you are, the calmer your baby will be. I know that’s easier said than done as it’s natural for us as their mothers to feel anxious about the next 15 minutes - but your little one will, without a doubt be able to pick up on your energy… so remember to breathe!

It’ll be over before you know it! 

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Distract Your Baby

If your baby has a favourite toy or book, you may want to bring it along to the appointment with you (top tip - take the toy / book away a few days before the appointments to have a greater impact when it comes to using it as a distraction) 

If you don’t think their favourite toy will cut it - you could also try singing songs, making funny faces or even just talking to them, to keep them occupied while the nurse is administering the vaccines. 

Feed Your Baby During the Appointment

My husband and I found that feeding our boys during the appointment was the best way to keep them calm - we would always make the appointments for around the time they’d be due a feed. We’d hold off feeding them until we were in the room for the appointment, and then feed them while the injections were being done. 

Although it didn’t stop the crying as the actual injections were being given - we found they cried less as after the shock wore off, they’d quickly go back to feeding and would re-settle.

Breastfeeding mums - your breast milk contains endorphins, hormones that naturally suppress pain and will help to further comfort your baby. 

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Give Them a Dummy

If your baby uses a dummy for comfort, you can offer their dummy to suck on during the appointment to help keep them calm. 

Keep Your Baby Warm

Our skin becomes more sensitive when it’s cold, so keeping your little one warm while having their injections may help lessen the pain at the injection site. 

Dress Them Appropriately

For babies under 12 months, injections will be given in their thighs.

I remember taking my eldest son for his eight-week jabs in a button-up onesie as he was a baby who hated being undressed. It turned out to be the best choice I could’ve made, as trying to dress an upset baby isn’t always the easiest of tasks - if you know, you know! 

Simple, loose fitting clothing will make the appointment so much easier as they are easier to remove for their injections - without drawing too much attention to them.
You’ll feel so much calmer, too, as there won’t be any faffing around with socks, tights, or trousers while your little one is crying out. 

Apply Pressure/Rub Their Skin

Once the injection has been given, rub your little one’s skin gently around the injection site for 10 seconds to help distract them from the sting/pinching pain.

Plenty of Cuddles

Your baby craves your comfort and reassurance. Offering cuddles post-jabs and comforting words of reassurance will help to calm your little one. 

There’s absolutely nothing worse than hearing your baby crying - unfortunately, during the vaccinations this is often unavoidable. But your cuddles and kisses will help your little one a great deal. 

Of course what works for one baby, won’t work for another! But I’m keeping everything crossed that your little one’s upcoming appointment goes as smoothly as possible. 

You’ve got this mama! 

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