Babies and shots

Alternative names
Shots and babies


How can you ease the pain of shots for babies?

Unfortunately, routine immunizations need to be given into the muscle or under the skin and therefore must be administered with a needle. Reducing the level of anxiety for your child is perhaps the best way to help limit the pain for them.

Even if you feel sick at the mere sight of a needle, it is critical that you remain calm and avoid being anxious yourself. Hold your child on your lap facing you in a firm hug during the shot and whisper calm things to comfort her. Small children can be distracted by blowing bubbles or playing with a toy.

Some pediatricians recommend taking a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen half an hour before the shots, however there is no scientific evidence to support this. Always check with your healthcare provider before giving these medications for this purpose. See also the document on vaccinations.

Some pediatricians use a pain relieving spray or cream prior to vacinations.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 3, 2012
by Martin A. Harms, M.D.

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