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Easing the pain of vaccinations

A new report published in Archives of Disease in Childhood shows that babies who consume sugar during or immediately after receiving a vaccination cry less. The report was based on an analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials. Although previous studies have shown that sugar helps ease the pain in newborns, the authors of this article suggest that healthcare providers consider giving sugar to babies who are up to a year old to help ease the pain of vaccines.

The findings in this article are in line with findings of previous studies that have shown that sugar or breastfeeding can help ease the pain of vaccinations. Whether it’s the sweet taste or the comfort a baby gets from breastfeeding, it will probably be worth it to your child if they are allowed to nurse while they receive the shots. This might be an unusual request at your doctor’s office, so be sure to discuss it first with the doctor before the nurses come in with the shots. Each doctor and nurse has a different procedure for administering shots.

If you don’t breastfeed, ask your doctor what options he has available for easing the pain for your baby. The Northeast Cincinnati Pediatric Associates offers a recipe for a sugar solution to give to your child before his vaccinations. You might call ahead of time to ask your doctor if you can make arrangements to take pain-reducing measures for the vaccines. If you make your own sugar water concoction, be sure to discuss this with your doctor first.

I will be honest here and tell you that I have never breastfed during immunizations, nor have I ever taken any extra steps to reduce the pain of my son’s shots. During his first set of shots when he was two months old, he barely let out a peep so I really haven’t worried much about the pain he endures during shots. The nurses at my doctor’s office will also come in together and administer the shots at the same time rather than sticking my baby multiple times. He will sometimes cry, but the nurse will make a funny face and he’ll be over it within seconds. Maybe I’m just a mean mom because I don’t breastfeed during the immunizations, but he’s going to have to put up a bigger fight, I guess.

I know children have a wide range of pain reactions during their vaccinations, and if your child seems to be in a lot of pain during vaccinations, try breastfeeding or an appropriate dose of sugar to take the edge off.

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Published in Health