Childhood immunisations are highly recommended in Australia to reduce child morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases such as Whopping cough, Hepatitis B, Polio and Chicken Pox. The first of the childhood immunisations are given at 6-8 weeks and involve two injections into the leg muscles. Research has shown that vaccines are both safe and effective but do have some common side effects, which can be distressing for both the infant and parent. The most common side effects of vaccinations are mild fever, pain at the injection site and generally feeling a bit miserable.
Here are my top tips on helping your baby feel better after vaccinations:
Feed on demand – Breastfeeding combines skin to skin, a sweet taste and sucking which all provide natural pain relief in babies. An immune response from the vaccine can cause the infant to have a low grade fever so keeping baby hydrated is important to reduce the fever and risk dehydration.
Allow to comfort feed- Sucking and the sweet taste of breast milk provides comfort and pain relief. Stick on some Netflix and get comfy on the couch, let baby attach as much as they want.
Skin to skin- Skin to skin benefits are not just present in the post birth period. It can help your baby maintain it’s temperature and reduce any fevers. It also gives them easy access to the breast and provides them with feelings of protection and security.
Warm bath- A lukewarm bath can help relax your baby and help regulate the body temperature. You can even get in the bath too and combine the above 3 tips!
Babywear – Babywearing has many benefits but it’s a great tool to help soothe a miserable baby. It can provide the benefits of skin to skin (with your hands free), you can breastfeed on demand (and on the go!) and studies have shown it can reduce crying by 43%!! I was lucky enough to have the new Ergobaby Aura stretchy Wrap gifted to me prior to my 6 week olds first vaccinations. The Aura wrap was perfect for calming my little guy post injection. It was easy and quick to put on in the carpark prior to our appointment, as it has a nifty contrast stitched edge to ensure you’re not getting it twisted. Perfect for newbie babywearers!!
Once the injections were completed, I was able to slip him into the super soft fabric and position him in an ergonomic M position (we are off to get his hip ultrasound for possible developmental hip dysplasia this week, so this is super important to me to ensure he has great support).
Natural curves and chin off chest M position, Knees higher than bottom in a froggy position
The closeness the wrap provided calmed him down immediately, he could smell, feel and hear me and I was able to put him on the breast and feed him hands free while I sorted out the paperwork. The material is lightweight and breathable which is great as you don’t want to overheat a baby with a possible fever and nice and cool for summer. Once I got back to the car, the wrap folds.. ok scrunches! back into the integrated pocket easily and hardly takes up any room in the baby bag.
The wrap is one size fits most (I measure my postnatal weight loss by how long the tails are each time I wear it!) so my partner was able to wear and comfort him once I got home too. At under $100, it’s a great practical tool to help calm and soothe your baby.
Coming soon at …. http://www.babesinarms.com.au/ergobaby/coming-soon-2/indigo-aura-wr