Easy ways to soothe your baby after their shots.

How to Soothe a Baby After Shots

by Kim Blakesley

Taking your child for their baby shots is not a pleasant situation for either you or your child. Even though your baby needs the shots to stay healthy, the quick pain and the medication itself may cause your baby to need soothing after his visit. Help with his discomfort by performing a few simple tasks.

Stay calm during the doctor's visit. Hold your baby during the shot to give him comfort. Talk to your baby and keep him distracted during the shot. Play with your baby's favorite toy, noisemaker, book or movie on a portable DVD.

Give your baby a pacifier dipped in sugar water or feed him sugar water from a bottle while receiving their shot. A small amount of sugar will help calm your baby and make the shot seem less intrusive.

Ask about numbing medication. If the doctor's office has some, ask if the doctor, nurse or medical assistant would rub the medication over the injection area before giving the shot.

Ask for combination injections, if possible. Combination vaccinations, are recommended, whenever possible, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Press on the spot where the injection will be 10 seconds before the injection. The additional pressure helps so the shot is less painful for your baby. After the shot, rub the area with your hand for 10 seconds.

Speak with your doctor before the visit about whether you should give acetaminophen to your baby to help with hid discomfort. If your doctor agrees, give your baby the recommended dose of acetaminophen before you see the doctor. The acetaminophen will help prevent a fever from the shot. In some instances, however, it has been found that acetaminophen may prevent the vaccine from working as well as it should.

Ask for an alternative to a shot. Many medications may be given through a nasal spray or orally. Ask your doctor if alternatives exist for the medication or vaccine your baby is receiving.

Swaddle your baby in a baby blanket. The tightness provides comfort.

Hold your baby closely. Rock or swing your baby. The movement will help soothe his pain.

Items you will need

  • Sugar water
  • Pacifier or bottle
  • Acetaminophen
  • Baby measuring spoon
  • Baby blanket


  • Holding your baby close during and after an injection provides security that is calming. During the holding process, feed your baby and talk softly to him. Stay as calm as you can. Your calmness will transfer to your baby to help him get through this painful experience.

About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images