Research shows – for infants less than 12 months of age:
1. Breastfeeding before, during and after the injection reduces pain in babies. For best effect, begin breastfeeding 2-5 minutes before the needle.
2. If you are not breastfeeding, giving small amounts of sugar water before and during pokes reduces pain in babies. For best effect:
- Hold your baby securely and comfortably as instructed by your doctor or nurse
- About 2 minutes before the 1st injection, give your baby a small amount of the sugar water from the syringe, just a few drops on the tip of the tongue
- Then, right before the poke, give your baby another small amount
- Repeat just before 2nd injection and again for each needle afterwards
- When the vaccines are finished, cuddle and distract your baby with colored and interesting toys
Remember — Be Sweet to Babies during immunizations!
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), CHEO Research Institute, University of Ottawa Be Sweet to Babies team (led by Dr. Denise Harrison)
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