First things first. This isn't meant to be a debate post. As a family we are pro-vaccine and do them all when they are scheduled (no delays). I'm not saying there is anything wrong with delaying. Andrew and I just made the decision as parents to keep to the recommended schedule. If you'd like to know more on why we do it this way, feel free to email me. I'll be happy to respond to your questions.
There is no way around it. Delayed or not, doctor appointments with shots are tough. The following are my five tips for those appointments, specifically with little babies. Aria had her four month shots today and she is currently sleeping peacefully. How is that possible you might ask? Well here are my tips for a better vaccination experience for you and your little baby....
1) Motrin/Tylenol 30 Minutes Before
~ 30 minutes before the appointment I give the baby the smallest dose of children's Motrin or Tylenol. The medicine usually gets ahead of the vaccine. Then baby is less fussy and usually doesn't even go near a fever. When I don't give medicine beforehand I always notice a difference. Fussy, feverish, sore little chunky thighs...The works.
2) Essential Oils
~Going into the appointment, I rub a mixture of Frankincense, Lavender, Eucalyptus, and fractionated coconut oil on the baby's feet. Then I do it again immediately after the shots and repeat every hour for the rest of the day. Last time I did this with Aria, she was acting like her usually happy self all day. I couldn't even tell she had shots (well besides her superhero bandaids).
3) Nursing During The Shots
~I am well aware that not all mommas breastfeed and that's OK. But for those of you that do, nursing while the baby gets the shots helps a lot! If you don't breastfeed, even just asking to hold the baby in a bottle feeding position makes a huge difference. In a lot of offices they have you "hold the baby down" and it's so heart breaking. Ask your doctor and the nurse administering the shots if you can hold or nurse the baby during the shots. It makes a huge difference. The baby gets to be in their "happy place" (literally) while getting those little pinches.
~Like most moms, I love a few hours of being "hands-free" and having the baby in the swing or sleeping in her crib. After shots though, the baby loves to be held and kept close. So baby-wearing baby-wearing baby-wearing. Baby gets to stay close to momma's heart and momma still gets to use both hands. It's even a good time for some skin to skin!
5) Bath Time
~After a day of shots, baby just wants to sleep. But if they're anything like my babies, sometimes sore legs wake them up. After we get home from the doctors I give the baby a soothing bath. The baby is calm and relaxed, as well as tired out from the bath. Then usually a 3+ hour nap will follow bath time. Good for baby and good for momma.
*Bonus* The Reward
~This is a bonus because it applies to older kids and not so much for babies. When I was younger my mom started a tradition where we would get McDonald's milkshakes after shots. She trained our brain to associate McDonalds with pain. Pretty smart right? To this day I still make the association. So this kills two birds with one stone, kids cooperate with shots in order to achieve said milkshake, and learn to loath McDonald's even though they have no idea why.
I hope these help! Again, if you have any questions on our vaccination journey please feel free to shoot me an email. Keep thing polite and civil please and thank you.