Needle pricks can look a lot worse than they actually feel (especially to the parent who's watching that needle head for their baby's impossibly soft skin). Any pain your child feels is fleeting (often more like a pinching sensation than actual pain) – and it's a pain with a very significant gain (protection against diseases that would hurt a lot more). Still, there are ways to help your child feel less pain with every prick:
A little cuddle: Studies show that babies who are held by their parent when they receive their shots cry less.
A little nursing: Breastfeeding immediately before or during the shot may lessen the pain babies feel. Plus, breastfeeding offers the cuddle benefit as well.
Something sweet: A little dab of sugar water on your baby's pacifier or tongue – given right before the shot – can minimize the ouch factor.
Anything distracting: Many babies and young children can be easily distracted from anything, and that includes pain from vaccines. Singing a song, holding up a favorite toy, or reading a book can distract young children from the pain of a needle prick – or make the time go so quickly, they won't even know what stuck them. Blowing bubbles can be especially distracting, too – and once a child is old enough to mimic that blowing, the action itself could actually minimize the pain that's ............
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