I will never forget the day when my son got his first shot in his thoughs! It was a private hospital in Calicut and there was no one outside the vaccination room when we reached there!
The nurse who was appointed to give the shot first tried to soothe my 6 week old son, then asked my wife to lay him down on a table, and hold his thighs firmly.
She then asked one of her friends to hold the baby’s head and hands while she administered the shot.
By the time my son finished crying, there were like 10 parents waiting outside the room, all of them shocked after listening to the loud roaring cry of my little son.
Later, I realised that the nurse was not trained to give vaccines to babies. She should have asked my wife to hold the baby in her lap while giving the shot and that’s a basic step!
That day, I did some research and found out some tips to reduce the pain my son felt when the cold needle pierced his muscles.
So, this is the post where I share those tips, to make vaccination a mildly painless experience for your baby as well as you, the next time!
Going through your baby’s vaccinations is a distressing and a painful ordeal. Here’s a quick check-list that you should be preparing to help your baby as well as yourself to make the next vaccination day an easier one with hopefully reduced pain too!
Tip #1 Take the Vaccination Card with you
Are you wondering how this step can reduce the pain?
But, it can avoid a lot of confusion and protect your child from getting unwanted shots! Believe me , this one is really important!
Another way this tip can help is by choosing the combination vaccines. Did you know that DPT vaccine is a combination vaccine? When we add Hepatitis B and H. Influenza B vaccine to DPT , that becomes a pentavalent vaccine. So, you can go for vaccines which has more number of individual vaccines in it, so that your baby can avoid getting an extra shot.
So, just ask your doctor about the availability of combination vaccines. It might be expensive, and might not be available at government hospitals, but if you can afford it, that’s an important step to save your baby from getting unnecessary pain!
Tip #2 Make sure Parents accompany baby on the vaccination day
If you are a new parent, take leave from work or reschedule all those meetings, because you need to be there. Don’t ask your parents , the child’s grandparents to take your baby to get her vaccines. It’s totally unfair and it will definitely worsen the pain your baby feels! Do you think that your baby won’t be able to recoganise you? Think again!
There are multiple scientific studies which proves that even newborn human babies can identify their parents, by touch, smell and other senses. So, how will they feel if you are not around?
Parenting is a commitment and you need to make this an important responsibility, for the sake your child.
Tip #3 Buy some topical anaesthetics before going to the vaccination centre
What are topical anaesthetics? These are numbing medicines that can be applied on the skin of your baby, at exactly the point where the needle is going to be administered.
There are many such creams and gels that are available in the market, and you will easily find one in your local pharmacy. Just make sure that it is meat for pediatric (child) use.
If you don’t buy this and keep it with you , you will forget about it at the time of getting the vaccine.
Don’t think that you will buy it from the hospital, what if they don’t have this cream?
A peanut size application on your baby’s thigh would be enough! It’s effective and really helps! But, you have to plan well in advance to buy it and keep it ready for the D-day!
Tip #4 Be calm and take the position
Several studies have shown that when parents are anxious and distressed, their children also become anxious and distressed. It spreads! Yeah, really!
So, when you reach the vaccination room, be calm, stay relaxed and try to soothe your child. Even if she’s 1 month old, tell her that a small injection is going to protect her, it won’t hurt much, sing her a song, or talk to her.
Try to make your child released, even if she don’t understand a word, she will be able to understand your emotions!
Next, hold your baby in the breastfeeding position. This is the best position to hold small babies when they are going to get the shot. Don’t make them lie on a bed or table, don’t ever do that!
If your baby is hungry, feed her. Breastfeeding before vaccination can help lower the pain!
Your baby’s Immunization or vaccination card. This one is the most important as a quick glance at this card can tell you how many shots are scheduled for the day and when is the next vaccination day. If you have any doubts, simply carry this card with you and get your doubts cleared at the vaccination centre itself.
If you are looking for a pediatrician, I recommend you to subscribe to Dr Gibby’s child growth and development package It’s really good!