Tips for Making Vaccinations Smoother for Kids

Get tips to make the vaccination process easier on your child. Find out how to help your child be calm and comfortable.

child getting a vaccination

No mom likes to see her baby poked with a needle. I, personally, have a real phobia of needles, and have had to really work my fear down so that I could hold/comfort my child during vaccinations and not pass my fear on! Here are some tips for making vaccinations easier on your baby:

  • Tylenol 20-30 minutes before the shot. You will have to talk to you doctor about this, but my pediatrition recommends doing this to minimize the pain following the shot. I am not really a huge medicine person, but I try to remember to do this before a shot. You can also continue the medicine following the shot if baby is having adverse reactions (pain, fever, etc.). If you can’t give it before, you can give it at the office or when you get home.
  • Bring along whatever comforts your child. Kailtyn didn’t take a pacifier, but I brought one along to her 2 month appointment and held it in her mouth. It seemed to help. I will hold my children’s hands and sing to talk–mainting eye-contact. They like that. Bring whatever helps. A stuffed animal, a toy, a sucker (for older kids), whatever.
  • I haven’t ever tried this, but I have heard breastfeeding a baby while shots are given can help. Apparently, a recent study has found breastfeeding to be a good pain reliever.
  • If more than one shot is being given, ask to have them given at the same time. My doctor’s office does this. Two nurses come in, count to three, and give the shot at the same time.
  • Some people spread shots out and do one every two weeks or month.
  • My office does combination shots–several shots rolled into one needle.
  • Try to overcome your own trepidation. Children pick up on your emotions really fast.
  • If you have an older child, be honest about what is going to happen. I always tell Brayden it will hurt for a minute, but it is to help him in the long run. I tell him to be really brave (it is something we say whenever he has to do something he is nervous about–it seems to help him face it).
  • Don’t plan a big outing that day or days following. Be prepared to be home in case there is sickness or some discomfort following the vaccinations.
  • Don’t pan a party soon after vaccinations. Brayden got sick after his 1 year old shots, but luckily his appointment was a couple of weeks after he turned one and after the party. I didn’t remember this when making Kaitlyn’s 1 year appointment, but the appointment will be two days following her scheduled birthday party.
  • Massage injection sight.
  • Baths.

You never know how your child will react to the vaccinations. Brayden (now 2.5 years old) got sick after his 2 month and 1 year vaccinations. Kaitlyn (now nearly 10 months old) got sick after her 4 month vaccinations. Be prepared to comfort your child and provide the things necessary to feel better. Please share any other ideas you have for helping with vaccinations!
Reader Comments:

kindra said…
Funny, I just discovered your blog yesterday, and was checking for a new post this morning when I read today’s post on immunization…what a coincidence! We were on our way to my baby’s 6 month shots! I hate shots so much (maybe more than my baby does) because she is usually whiney and wakes in the night a couple days in a row. I do appreciate your suggestions and did decide to give my baby tylenol before we left. She seems to be not as “off” this time, as she has been at her other shots. Thanks again!

Plowmanators said…
You are welcome! Glad to help

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6 thoughts on “Tips for Making Vaccinations Smoother for Kids”

  1. I did breastfeed my oldest son right before his vaccinations when he was an infant and he only cried out once getting shots and didn't do any kind of prolonged crying. Since he hated going to the doctor in general and would cry for the examination, I tend to think the breastfeeding worked to minimize pain.

  2. Any link to 45 minute intruder and the 4 month vaccinations? My son was sleeping 1/1.5 hour naps with an occasional 45 minute one. Now two days vaccinations, up like clock work 45 minutes. Still a good sleeper at night, thank goodness! Any suggestions??

    • Also, any tips for stopping the pacifier? We were away on vacation and started using so wouldn't wake up other family members. At home now, a total nightmare! It falls out and he is crying! Could this also be related to the 45 minute intruder? It falls out, he wakes between cycles at 45 minutes and wants it, so wakes up???

    • What about sleeping – since babywise is sleep feed wake – if they are tired the day after shots do you still try to keep them up after feeding – will it mess up their schedule or let them sleep because they are recovering from the vacc?


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