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Baby’s First Shots: 3 Tips to Prepare and Soothe Your Little One

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Mom comforting her baby

By Brandi Jeter Riley, a paid spokesperson for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®

I will never forget the first time my son smiled at me. I will always remember his first bath, his first laugh, and the first time he latched on without crying. There are so many events in his life that I looked forward to experiencing for the first time. There is one first, however, that I wasn't looking forward to – his first shots.

As much as I hated knowing that he was going to cry, I know that immunizations can help keep my little guy healthy. And I also know that there are things that we can do as parents to help make the experience easier for our sweet babies. Of course, be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

1. Be ready to give extra snuggles. Not that we need any excuse to give extra snuggles to our babies, but after a trip to the doctor is a great time to hold them close. If you nurse them, they may want to be close to the breast a little more after shots. Clear your schedule, and be prepared to hold your baby on your chest while they nap to help them feel comfortable. The worst part about immunizations for babies is the surprise element of it. They've probably never experienced pain like that. Giving them extra snuggles let them know that they are safe, and you're still there for them.

2. Expect a little more fussiness. Whenever I take my baby to get shots, I schedule the appointment in the morning. I know that he is going to be fussy afterwards for a bit, and I want him to feel better by the time he goes to bed. If your baby is crying or whining a bit after they get shots, keep an eye on them, do what you can to make them comfortable, and they should be back to their normal, sweet little selves in no time.

3. Plan to ease discomfort. Getting a shot is never fun, whether you're a baby or an adult. With babies, though, they can't communicate their discomfort. There's a chance that their chubby little thigh will be sore at the site of the injection, or that they will get a mild fever afterwards. I have Infants’ TYLENOL® on hand. Be sure to ask your doctor if you have questions and also for the right dosage of Infants’ TYLENOL® for your child if they are under 2 years old.

Then, consider swaddling the baby after they receive their shots, and plan to stay in the pediatrician's office for a few minutes afterwards – the swaddle, some deep cuddling, and a little bit of milk will help them feel good so that you can get them home comfortably.

As parents, we only want the best for our babies. Getting them immunized, even though there is some brief discomfort, can have so many benefits in the long run.

Brandi Jeter Riley is a paid spokesperson for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®

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