The first set of immunizations after your baby is born can be a rough experience for you and your baby. During the appointment, your baby is expected to receive three to five needle sticks and a liquid vaccination. Here are some tips for what you can do before and after the visit to the pediatrician to help ease your baby's discomfort.
There are a few things you can do prior to your baby receiving an immunization that can help him or her experience less discomfort. For instance, prepare a bottle containing a mixture of sugar and water to give him or her before the vaccination. The sweet substance can help to take the sting out of the experience.
Numbing medicine is another option that can help your baby avoid too much discomfort during a vaccination. The numbing medicine must be applied before the vaccination and allowed time to work. If you plan to request it, contact your pediatrician the day before your appointment to find out how early you and your baby need to arrive so that it can be applied in time for the vaccination.
You should also hold your baby close during the vaccination. Holding your baby serves as a distraction and also gives you the chance to ensure that your child's arm or upper thigh is exposed so that the pediatrician has a clear area to vaccinate. Once the pediatrician gives him or her the vaccination, you can immediately start to comfort your child.
Many children do not experience any problems after immunizations, but some have symptoms, such as fever and pain. If your child has a fever, give him or her liquid acetaminophen. You can also give the medicine if you believe that your child is in pain. There are several signs you can look for to determine if your child is in pain since he or she cannot verbalize it. He or she might cry more than usual or negatively react when you touch the injection site.
If your baby experiences more serious reactions to the immunization, contact your pediatrician immediately. Hives, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and a fast heart rate are all signs that your child is having an allergic reaction to the immunization. You can also take your baby to the nearest emergency room for treatment.
As your baby ages, he or she will not require as many immunizations and the reactions to them will change. However, the first ones can sometimes be challenging and leave you and your baby drained. Talk to your pediatrician about other steps you can do to make the experience easier for your baby.