It often feels like the most cruel thing to witness as a parent: A perfectly content infant getting pricked by a vaccination shot in the doctor’s office during a routine 2- or 4-month well-baby visit. You can feel their pain all too well as you watch their eyes go from happy to shocked to hurt as fat tears of pain squeeze down their cheeks. It’s enough to shatter your heart.
You hold them tight and kiss them all over, but the sting of the prick never goes away fast enough.
Fortunately there something you can do to help that’s now proven more effective than sugar water, which is what many have used as a way to calm a baby who has just received a vaccination. The New York Times is reporting about a method published in the journal Pediatrics (confirming what was first introduced in the book “The Happiest Baby on the Block”) where independent researchers from Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Va., studied a quick series of measures to lessen a baby’s pain immediately following a shot.
Relief for your baby is a simple 5-step “physical intervention” process known as the 5 S’s:
Re-creating the feel of the womb after a shot has been administered can help ease the pain of a shot. A light blanket wrapped snugly around a baby, ensuring their arms are at their side, is recommended. This is considered the most crucial step.
Unlike putting babies on their back when they go to sleep, hold them on their side or stomach down will help comfort them following a shot.
Make a soothing “shushing” sound in their ear to help calm them down.
Sway babies in your arms, in a sling, swing or car seat while shushing helps alleviate the sting of a shot.
A pacifier, bottle or breast on which a baby can suck is effective in lessening the pain associated with receiving shots. However, this is considered the least crucial step.
Photo credit: iStock
Source: CBS News