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Immunizations: Helping your baby

Immunizations are an essential part of keeping your baby healthy. Because they are given by injection, immunizations can sometimes be a source of stress and discomfort. You are your baby’s best source of comfort, and there are things you can do before, during, and after the injection to improve your baby’s experience.


  • Apply numbing cream before the visit
  • Swaddle your baby with their arms and legs tucked into center (leaving out the leg(s) to be used).
  • Keep your baby warm
  • Breast feed if you are comfortable starting 2-5 minutes before the procedure.
  • Drops of sugar water (sucrose) are another option and can be given by staff 2 minutes before the injection.
  • For babies 12 months or younger, breast feeding and sugar water both work like pain medicine for your baby.


  • Continue to breast feed if comfortable
  • Hold your baby: Babies over 6 months are usually more comfortable if held in an upright position
  • Offer your baby’s pacifier, as needed
  • Talk softly or sing to your baby
  • Have a favorite toy, music or a mobile available for distraction


  • Hold and cuddle your baby
  • Gentle rocking or swaying motions often help them settle
  • Make sure they are warm
  • Breast feed or provide pacifier
  • Provide pain relievers based on your provider's recommendations

What else do I need to know?

 Additional parent education topics available:

  • Sucrose (sugar water, 24% sucrose)
  • Anesthetic Cream (numbing cream, 4% lidocaine)

This sheet is not specific to your baby, but provides general information.  If you have any questions, please talk with your nurse or doctor.

Reviewed 10/2015

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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