Helping your baby feel less pain during vaccination

Vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect children and adults against many serious diseases. Since most vaccines are injected, their administration may be painful. Here are some tips to make vaccination less painful for your baby.

As babies react to the emotions of their parents, it is important to stay calm and have a positive attitude. If you have difficulty controlling your emotions, you can ask someone else to hold your child during the injection (e.g. spouse, grand-parent).

Hold your baby in your arms during the injection, unless otherwise instructed by the healthcare professional.

Breastfeeding is a good way to comfort a baby. Start to breastfeed before the injection and continue until it is over. Distractions can be used to divert the child's attention during the injection. You can give him a toy, tell him a story or sing a song, for example.

If the last injection seemed to be painful for your child, you can consider different approaches to reduce pain during the next vaccinations. For example, you could apply an anesthetic cream on his skin to dull the pain where the needle enters the skin. This type of product is sold without a prescription, and is safe for children, even babies. It should be applied to the skin 30 to 60 minutes before the injection. You must therefore know where the vaccine will be administered. Contact the clinic to obtain this information.

To reduce pain after the vaccination, you can give an over-the-counter pain medication. Ask your health care provider for advice. Make sure you know your child's weight to determine the correct dose.

Don’t hesitate to talk to your pharmacist if you need advice about pain medication for your child.

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