Comforting Your Baby Through Vaccines Is Exactly Like Comforting Them Through Anything Else

baby vaccinesTween girls aren’t the only ones who tend to not respond well to vaccinations. Babies are usually not all that resilient either when faced with the pain and prickling of baby vaccines. Although doctors in the past have put babies on Tylenol and Advil for pain relief, as well as in response to fever, new practitioners in Virginia are apparently using a medication-free technique that they’re calling the “5 S’s.” But the technique doesn’t stray much from how you’d calm down any panicked tot.

CNN reports that in Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia, doctors are relying on the following to soothe crying babies post-vaccination:

  • swaddling
  • side/stomach position
  • shushing sounds
  • swinging
  • sucking

A new study in Pediatrics confirms that after employing this technique, babies usually came down from that needle panic within 45 seconds. Mothers are also encouraged to breastfeed the crying baby to promote comfort. But the 5 S’s apparently works wonders too along with a sound machine:

[Harvey] Karp recommends doctors swaddle the baby before the procedure and just leave the legs exposed (that’s where the injections in young babies are made), thus triggering the calming reflex before the procedure.  He also recommends doctors have a white-noise CD on before the shot is given.  “That will give a much faster [calming] response,” says Karp.  He says white noise is as important as swaddling when it comes to triggering an infant’s calming reflex and should be used until the baby’s first birthday.

The tactic, which is pretty much your basic How To Comfort An Infant 101,  boosted infant sleep and reduced infant obesity. Which begs the questions, who isn’t shushing and swaddling a screaming baby?

(photo: Luba V Nel/Shutterstock)

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    • Another Steph

      The 5 S’s aren’t new; Harvey Karp introduced them in his 2002 book Happiest Baby on the Block.