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How to Soothe a Baby After Shots

Vaccines provide important protection for a baby; they can prevent many serious and fatal diseases. Even though shots are necessary, it is still hard to see your little one in pain. Babies under a year old need to get a few shots every couple of months, which accounts for many painful pokes. By soothing your baby right after the shots are given, you can help him forget about the pain and go back to his normal routine.

1 Hold your baby right after the shots are given. Talk to her in a calm voice and tell her you to love her. Sing nursery rhymes or children’s songs to help your baby feel safe. Feeling you close will help her know that everything is going to be fine. Your baby can feel your anxiety, but if you are calm, she will be too — eventually.

2 Give your baby some sugar water or a pacifier dipped in a sugary solution before the shot. Use a small amount, just a couple of drops. Sugar can help your baby feel less pain during the vaccine. Give sugar water throughout the procedure if the baby is getting multiple shots so that the effects last. Buy sugar water or make your own at home by mixing boiled water and sugar.

3 Feed your baby as soon as possible after a shot. Feeding will distract the baby and comfort him. Give him a bottle or breastfeed before leaving the doctor’s office. The sucking motion will relax the baby and help him fall asleep.

4 Distract your baby with toys during and after the shots. Use a rattle, a musical toy, or your baby’s favorite stuffed animal. Keep her entertained. Distraction can help her forget about the pain. Blow bubbles or play simple games, such as peekaboo.

5 Rub your baby’s leg to help ease the pain. Massaging it will also help prevent swelling and redness. Do this for a few minutes. Do not press too hard because the site might still be sore. Gently massage in circles or up and down his leg.

Fever is normal after a shot. Your doctor may recommend giving the baby acetaminophen to control a fever before or after the shot.

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