Whimpering, wailing and whining. They’re all reactions to be expected from your baby when he has his vaccinations. But, we’ll let you into a secret, there are ways to calm him down…
While your baby is in his first year or two, he will be poked with a needle countless times. And while you know this is all for his own good – try telling him that! But, there are ways to help distract him from the pain.
Your baby is too young to understand being rewarded for being good, so sadly keeping him calm isn’t as easy as slipping him a tenner. Instead, you can use these crafty techniques to keep him chilled out when it comes to vaccination time…
>> READ: YOUR BABY’S IMMUNISATION CALENDAR
1. Distract him
Give your baby his favourite toy to play with (try hiding it for a few days before for ultimate impact), pull silly faces, sing that embarrassing song he loves or look through a picture book together.
Use whatever method or game your baby usually loves to take his attention away from the big needle heading towards him.
Your biggest goal? Keeping him still!
2. Keep him warm
Our skin is even more sensitive when we’re cold, so it makes sense that if your baby is warm when he’s having an injection. Then it won’t feel quite so bleurgh!
3. Lots of cuddles
Babies love, and crave, reassurance. Your little man wants you to cuddle and kiss him and tell him he’s OK once the horrid injection is over and done with.
‘Of course your baby will cry out when he is injected, but cuddling your baby close and talking to him should help calm him,’ says midwife and baby skincare advisor Sharon Trotter.
>> EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE RED BOOK
4. Feed him
If you’re breastfeeding your baby, now is the time to get doing it. It involves skin-to-skin contact and lots of mama love – which your baby can never get enough of.
‘Breastfeeding your baby is the best way to keep him calm while he’s having an injection,’ says Sharon. ‘Breast milk is full of endorphins, hormones that naturally suppress pain and help comfort your baby.’
5. Give him his dummy
If you don’t breastfeed, giving your baby his dummy to suck on can be a great problem solver.
6. Rub his skin
Rubbing your baby’s skin gently, close to where he was injected, for about 10 seconds, will help. The sensation will distract from the sting of the injection and may help your baby feel the pain less.