Vaccinations are crucial to prevent the several serious illnesses that threaten your child’s health and well-being. Unfortunately, they come with some pain and discomfort. The distress experienced by the baby after vaccination is painful for the child and the entire family. These tips will help you and your baby cope with the distress of vaccination:
Apply a cold compress
The vaccination may casue that spot on the skin to become inflamed and sore. Application of an ice pack on and around the site may numb some of the pain and reduce the swelling. However, take care not to apply ice directly on the vaccination mark as this may increase the irritation to the already inflamed delicate skin. Instead rub ice on your palm for a few seconds, and hold the palm against the wound or apply the icy water left on your palms. Once your baby is comfortable with the cold feeling, wrap and ice cube in a towel and hold it against the wound.
Do not worry if your child develops fever
Many children experience a slight fever after vaccination. Check with the doctor in adavnce if any medications should be administered in case of a fever. Make sure you do not exceed the dose prescribed by your doctor.
It is a proven fact that a loving touch carries with it the power to heal. An assuring caress or a hug can go a long way in making your baby comfortable and secure and help him recover sooner.1
Nurse more often
Your baby may be irritable, lose her appetite and may refuse meals after a vaccination. In these cases, try to nurse her more often. Breastmilk provides not only nourishment for your baby, it also provides comfort. All aspects of breastfeeding like holding the child, skin-to-skin contact, the sweet-tasting milk and the act of sucking may individually and unitedly reduce pain. Breastfeeding often after a vaccination also helps hydrate and satiate the baby.. If your baby has been weaned off coax him to drink more fluids and prepare light meals that he enjoys. 2
Spend quantity and quality time
Your child’s world revolves around you, spend time with your baby after a vaccination. Cuddle him, tell him a favourite story or sing to him. These little activities will distract him from the pain and distress.
Do not force her to walk or move
Your baby’s thigh or arm may be swollen and painful after a vaccination. It is better to keep it immobile for some time and give it the time to heal. Hold your baby in your lap till the pain subsides and he gets more comfortable. Encourage your toddler to play quiet games in the house till the pain from the vaccination abates.
Choose painless vaccinations or combo-vaccinations
Like everything else in medicine, there are constant innovative in vaccinations too. Check with your doctor for options which may be pain free or least painful for your child. Inquire about combo-vaccinations to reduce the number of pricks that the child has to bear.
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- Riddell, R. P., Racine, N., Turcotte, K., Uman, L. S., Horton, R., Osmun, L. D., … Lisi, D. (2011). Nonpharmacological management of procedural pain in infants and young children: An abridged Cochrane review. Pain Res Manag. 2011 Sep-Oct; 16(5): 321–330.
- Taddio A, Appleton M, Bortolussi R, Chambers C, Dubey V, Halperin S et al. Reducing the pain of childhood vaccination: an evidence-based clinical practice guideline. CMAJ. 2010 Dec 14; 182(18): E843–E855.