By Nicholas Tan
Nobody likes getting shots when they go to the doctor. But as a parent, it can be even more difficult when it’s time for your baby to receive one. Sometimes a baby will have a mild reaction to a vaccination, and might have trouble sleeping as a result. You can help decrease your baby’s discomfort by making sure he’s comfortable and well-rested when visiting the doctor’s office and you can use home treatments to help relieve some of the more common minor reactions to vaccinations.
If your child develops a slight fever, try giving him acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil). This can help reduce a fever and alleviate any pain felt in the location of the shot. Remember to never give aspirin to your baby because of the risk of Reye’s Syndrome. The injection site might also become red and swollen. A cool compress or ice pack applied to the site for approximately 10 to 20 minutes can also provide relief. A mild skin rash might develop 7 to 14 days following the injection, particularly with the chickenpox or measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Though this type of rash can last for several days, it usually disappears on its own without treatment.
You might find your baby is more fretful and restless and refuse to eat following a vaccination. If you can keep the commotion down at home, and cuddle and hold your child when he needs it, it will help him feel more comfortable and relaxed when it comes to bedtime. Also make sure he has plenty of liquids. Keeping the house and the room baby sleeps in at a comfortable temperature will also help, as he’s more likely to be fussy and restless if he’s too warm. Try to keep in mind that if your baby does become a bit restless in the night that the discomfort is only temporary, and he’s most likely to get right back on track with his sleeping and eating schedule soon.