The Best Way to Soothe Your Crying Infant

happiest baby on the block painI can't even remember which friend it was, but someone passed down their used copy of Dr. Harvey Karp's The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD shortly before my first baby was born. It's ridiculous that I can't recall who gave it to me, as I would love to thank them five million times over for the relief that was provided when I followed Karp's 5 S's: swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging, and sucking. My gal would chill out and, indeed, be the happiest baby on the block (see pic).

So it's not surprising, to me anyway, that Pediatrics has come out with a study showing that Karp's methods are scientifically proven to soothe babies who have just received a vaccination. Those are crying babies who just got jabbed. So not an easy crowd.

The other surprising thing about this study is that apparently babies have been given sucrose -- or sugar water -- to alleviate their post-vaccine pain. Compared to the 5 S's (or physical intervention, as it's called in the study), that sweet stuff has got nothing on the swaddle, side, shush, swing and/or suck. Babies' crying time was shortened when using these methods, and surely mom's and dad's stress levels were shortened as well.

For us, it was the swaddle and moving our swaddled baby to the side position that worked wonders. I know some moms who immediately nurse after baby has a shot, and that does the trick as well. The point being some or all of these actions are going to make your angry baby happy.

So bust out these methods the next time your baby heads to her check-up or is melting down. And let us know if it works in the comments!

Did you use "The Happiest Baby on the Block" with your baby?


baby health, colic & crying, vaccines

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Destiny Hall Lewis

Dear Lord. A friend of mine who is totally antivax, and a chiro posted this earlier and this is what I had to say... "or if you are going to vacc anyway, you could just get it over with and not make a gigiantic production out of it... Last I checked no one has been "mentally" scarred for life over the pain of getting a shot. Sheesh. It's a wonder kids play sports with all the coddling that goes on today. ;-)"For real people. please comfort your kid, but STOP making SUCH a huge deal out of something so small. That has nothing to do with being pro or con for vaccs, it's just an observation on the amount of time and money wasted on researching "pain levels" during a shot. It hurts worse to stub your toe.  

Melis... Melissa042807

Maybe my son is a freak of nature but he's never required much comforting after shots. His first shots I was a little nervous, but I did my best to project a calm and relaxed attitude for him. And it really wasn't as bad as it had been made out to be by all the other mothers I know. I left the doctor's office going "Really? That was it?" He cried for about ten seconds, then was done, and fell asleep in his carseat before we were even out the door because it was naptime. The whole rest of the day people were texting me asking "Ohmygosh he had his shots this morning are you okay????" Um, yes, we're fine. He's fine. I'm fine. Everyone is FINE. Breathe! LOL


So from my perspective, they should add "Remain calm, Mom!" to that list. Even the smallest kids can sense their parent's stress and it affects how they feel about the situation. 

prplecat prplecat

I took a bottle along and popped it in his mouth the SECOND after his shot.  Problem solved!

Torra... TorranceMom

Whenever my kids were upset or needed to be soothed in any way, I simply nursed them and it instantly calmed them down 100% of the time.

Heath... HeatherMazzone

I JUST got back from getting my 6 month olds shots and I've been sitting here dreading night time, when her legs get sore and she doesn't stop crying. I'm gonna try all of these and see if they help. But last time, nothing did.

jessi... jessicasmom1

I  wrapped her up snug as a bug in her blaklet , it  soothed her , walked and rocked 

nonmember avatar BRMom

Heather, if those things don't work, try putting your little one in a front carrier or just hold her nice and snug against your chest, facing you as if she was in a carrier and then walk outside. That secondary pain tormented my oldest as well and that's the only thing that would get him to sleep. Hang in there though...his 6 month appt was the last time it happened and he's over 2 now! :-) It does get better!

nonmember avatar amanda

I nursed both of my kids right away. When we got home I put an ice pack on the injection sites for 3 mins on, three mins off, for a total of 15 mins. We used a half dose of ibuprofen only when they seemed to still be in pain later. I have had immunizations into adulthood and remain sore for 3 days.

BriLee BriLee

I don't use books but rather motherly instincts. I nurse during vaccines. I use Baltic Amber for teething which helps with pain from vaccines as well. None of my three boys like(d) being swaddled but nursing, holding them close to my heart and shh'ing helps.

littl... littlelambe2

I nursed during the shots. Once, dd unlatched to make a 2-second cry, then relatched and was fine.

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