Seeing your baby have her jabs is not a pleasant experience and it’s normal to feel worried and anxious.
But while it’s not much fun to see your child upset, childhood immunisations are important to protect your baby from potentially serious illnesses.
Your baby will probably cry but remember that the pain is only temporary and if she is distressed, there are ways to soothe her. Being prepared before the event can help make it less stressful for you.
Ways to make jabs easier for your baby
1. Take lots of time to prepare
“This reduces the pressure on your day,” explains Dr Miriam Stoppard. Avoid getting a next-day appointment: give yourself a couple of days to get ready for the fact your baby will be having injections.
2. Plan your route and kit
“Make sure the changing bag and buggy are stocked with what you need so you’re not worrying about those small things,” says Dr Miriam.
3. Get everything you need together the night before
“Pack your bag the night before – including what you need as a mum, as this will keep you calmer, ” says Dr Miriam.
4. Do your research
“If you understand what might happen, such as the jab area going red, then you won’t be surprised or worried.”
Make sure you know how many jabs your baby will be having and where – check out our guide to injections.
One of the mums on our forum, Sarah R, found that knowing what was coming really helped. She tells us: “I was really worried about the amount of vaccinations Christopher needed.It seemed like so many.
“I was reassured that while they’d all be done on the same day, 5 of the 6 would be in one combined injection, so he would only need 2 jabs. I fed him afterwards to soothe him, too.”
5. Consider using a numbing cream
This one takes some forethought but might well be worth doing if you’re worried your baby will find the injections very painful. “Apply to the site where the injection will be about an hour before your appointment,” says Dr Miriam.
6. Once you’re at the doctors, stay calm
Even though you’ll probably be a bit anxious, do try if you can to take control of the situation. “Try to be normal, smile and talk to your baby,” Dr Miriam advises. “If you’re relaxed and calm, she will be too.”
Mum hayls-49296 on our forum found this really helped – she says: “Best advice I an give is to try and stay strong. I was such a pansy when B had her injections.
“The first couple of jabs she stopped crying before I did lol. By the next lot I told myself I needed to be strong for her, and I think she picked up on my confidence, because she wasn’t bothered at all.”
7. Bring her favourite toys to help distract her
A fave snuggly helps in lots of situations your baby might be in, and having injections is no exception, advises Dr Miriam. “Make the doctor’s trip feel like an adventure, not a visit to somewhere strange and uninviting.”
8. Carry on the happy vibe once you’re in the nurse’s room
“Don’t focus on the injection, just try to focus on each stage – the waiting, going in etc,” says Dr Miriam. And try to keep your cool even when you’re in the doctor’s room and seconds away from the jabs.
9. Prepare for tears
“Your baby will cry! For 6 or 7 seconds there will be yelling,” says Dr Miriam. “Give her lots of little kisses and talk soothingly. It’s up to you to stay natural for your baby.”
10. Plan a nice activity for afterwards
You’ve been brave and so has your baby so make sure you have a treat lined up for both of you afterwards, even if it’s something simple like going to the park or having coffee with a mum mate.
11. Be prepared for what might happen over the next few days
It’s a good idea to try and book your baby’s injections a day before you have a free, ‘no plans’ day, as there’s a fair chance there could be some after-effects of the jabs like: fever, irritability, swelling/redness and more.
It’s recommended that after your baby’s 2 and 4 month Men B jabs you give her 3 doses of Calpol as standard. If you’ve struggled to give your baby Calpol we’ve got some doctor-approved ideas on how to do it here.