Reason #32 to say: More milk, please!

shotsThere is an amazing trick that makes taking your baby to get those dreaded shots at the pediatrician’s office much much easier.  I learned it from the nurse who did my home visit 2 days after Willow was born.  (Home visit over a Dr office visit in the days after birth is huge a perk of the birthing center I went to.)  During this visit, she needed to get a blood sample from Willow’s heel for the newborn screen.  What she told me was that drinking milk is a natural pain reliever for babies.  (Who knew? haha)  When she was doing the newborn screen, which involved the heel prick, she directed me to breastfeed Willow the whole time while she did it. Willow cried a little right at first, but then just fed away and didn’t react much after that. When I later took Willow for her follow up screen 2 weeks later, which involves a repeat of that heel prick test, it was at the pediatrician’s office.  Breastfeeding during the process wasn’t really an option. Without that secret weapon, it was much harder for us both.  We both cried.  I tried to feed her in the room, once the nurse had finished and left the room, but it didn’t work very well…at all.  Frustrated, I packed up and carried my crying newborn to the car.  I felt so badly.  Anyway, jump to 2 months later.  Around this time, we were headed back to the pediatrician for her 2 month shots.  Remembering the trauma of the last procedure, I planned ahead this time.  Here is what I did: After they finished weighing her and taking her measurements, instead of leaving her in just a diaper, I put a swaddle around her upper body.  Her legs needed to stay out, since that is where the shots go.  The swaddle held her arms securely and made her feel secure.  I also brought a bottle of breastmilk.  The key here is that I let her start drinking it once the nurse arrived with the shots, before they went in.  This was as opposed to waiting until after she was given the shots.  The nurse was actually surprised when I did this, she said she never saw someone give the bottle during.  If you think about it, a mind distraction makes perfect sense.  And since sucking and drinking milk are the ultimate comforts for a baby, it’s just so logical.  I am not kidding when I tell you she cried under 2 minutes total, despite getting 4 shots, 2 in each leg.  I did it again at the 4 month shots with the same success.  Anyway, we have shots coming up next week for the 6 month birthday (what a present!), and you better believe I will be ready with a swaddle and a bottle!  Try it out next time you go.  You and your baby will be so happy you did!

Leave a Comment