How do I make immunisation easier on the day?

By Kaz Cooke
From the latest edition
of Babies & Toddlers

How do I make immunisation easier on the day?

For babies, you just have to soothe and cuddle them because they won’t understand. Distraction might still work with them, too.

Babies usually just look momentarily horrified and accusing when they get their injections in their chubby wee thighs, and cry briefly until they’re cuddled and distracted, perhaps by a breastfeed or bottle-feed. Some doctors and nurses give a little dose of sugar to soothe a baby just before the injection, which helps dull their perception of the needle.

Toddlers can be more stoic or cry a little, and they too forget the pain moments later, especially when cunningly distracted. You might be surprised to see how slender the disposable needle is these days and how brief the injection is.

Have on hand tissues for tears, a distraction device or toy, a special ‘reward’ for an older baby or small child, and a comforting toy or other item.

There’s much more on how to prepare and reassure toddlers about immunisation in Babies & Toddlers: The Sequel to Up the Duff.