8 Ways to Make Your Child’s Vaccination Visit Less Stressful

8 Ways to Make Your Child’s Vaccination Visit Less Stressful

It is completely normal for babies to cry or be uncomfortable when they need to get their shots. After all, that little pinprick can seem like a lot to your little one. However, babies don’t understand how important it is that they get these shots and can easily be frightened by the entire experience.

While it can be hard to see your baby upset, it is important to remember that you are going through this process for your baby and to help their health and their future. Here are 8 easy ways to help make your child’s vaccination visit less stressful for you and your child.

  1. Come Prepared– Make sure that you bring all of the necessary paperwork to your doctor’s visit. It is important to be prepared so that your appointment is quick and smooth and you don’t need to be at the doctor’s office any longer than necessary.
  2. Bring Back Up– Make sure to bring your child’s favorite toy or comfort blanket with you. Or a book if they really like to read. This is a great way to put your child at ease before their appointment.
  3. Tell the Truth– If you have an older child getting a vaccination, such as a preschooler, make sure that you tell them the truth. Say it will be a quick pinch and over before they know it. Only tell them right before the appointment or that morning, so they don’t have days to worry about it and ask questions.
  4. Ask Questions– It is important for your little one to be comfortable-but you need to be comfortable as well. Don’t be shy about asking questions. Make sure that you ask about possible symptoms to look for and potential reactions after the shot so you feel confident and prepared.
  5. Comfort Your Child- Whether you are singing, reading, smiling and maintaining eye contact or just distracting your child with a toy. Try to keep their eyes on you and off the shot. Many breastfeeding mothers also find that nursing right after the vaccination can help calm babies down.
  6. Hold Your Child Properly– Make sure you are holding your child in a secure and comfortable position. This makes the process easier for everyone. If you have questions about the best way to hold your child, ask your doctor for suggestions during your visit. Your Nurse will direct you on the best technique for your child’s age, size, and the number of shots
  7. Be Ready to Soothe Your Child After– Support and understanding can really help your little one after their vaccination. Holding or cuddling your child, or telling them they did a great job, can help put them at ease. Scolding your child for crying too hard or too loud will only make things worse, especially during your follow-up appointments. Its ok to cry! Your doctor and nurse do shots to keep your child healthy, but its ok to cry, and we don’t take it personally! As a parent, if you stay calm, happy, and know there is no need to be sad, scared, or frightened, your child will be calmer as well. If you ask Dr. Mandal why she likes immunizations, she has one answer – it protects her precious babies. Smiling as a parent immediately calms your child, so don’t just fake it! Believe that this a happy reason for shots and being at the pediatrician’s office.
  8. Minimize the Side Effects– If your child experiences a mild reaction to the vaccine, such as pain at injection site or a mild fever, be ready to step in and play nurse. It is also important to keep your child well hydrated. Slight side effects are normal and should go away in a few days. THEY ARE NOT AS COMMON AS EVERYTHING THINKS. So don’t expect a reaction, but be prepared in the rare event that it does happen.

While vaccination appointments for your child can be scary for little ones-these tips can go a long way in helping your child be more comfortable during their visit. Make sure that you are staying on track with your vaccination schedule by making an appointment at Continuum Pediatrics by calling 817-617-8600.