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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