Updated: Jan 24, 2019
As any parent knows, taking baby for those all-important immunization jabs is almost as difficult to watch, as it is painful for baby to receive. Double-jabs (usually one in each thigh) affect a parent the most because their baby begins to understand just what is going on by the second leg and looks to their parent to stop this stranger sticking a needle in them. They establish plaintive eye contact with you, you smile reassuringly back (whilst no doubt looking a bit guilty) and JAB! it happens again.
I will always remember taking my (then) 5 year old son for his pre-school booster jabs. The practice nurse was very sweet and apologetic to my son throughout, she produced reward stickers and told him he was a very brave boy. As we left her office I said my goodbyes and out of habit said to my son "What do you say?" (I expected him to say "Goodbye"). He glared at both of us and then said quietly but angrily to the nurse: "You stabbed me. TWICE!"
Have a look at this Dr in America giving an adorable baby girl her jabs.
At first I thought how lovely it was that he takes his time doing this awkward job, that he entertains her and sings to her; certainly her parents seem less unhappy than I remember being whilst holding my kids still for jabs... But in the end, perhaps inevitably, baby cries from the pain of having liquid pushed in to her leg with a sharp object. And I began to wonder, from a trust-issues perspective, whether perhaps it's better to get it over with quickly after all!
What do you make of it? Either way, it's certainly a novel approach.
Not giving Baby Massage over a recent injection site is important. The area may be red or mildly swollen and it is likely to be quite tender to the touch. For that reason we leave it well alone until any sign of the injection has disappeared (usually about 48 hours). If baby is otherwise happy and receptive to massage, it's fine to massage other parts of their body. Sometimes however, some jabs can make babies feel a bit cranky and out-of-sorts, possibly drowsier than usual, and if that is the case we do not massage until s/he is feeling back on form.
If you attend a baby massage class and your baby has recently had injections and is not feeling up to participating, if s/he is asleep, why not ask to borrow one of the massage demonstration dolls and practice on that? If your baby is awake, s/he might just enjoy some lovely extra cuddles whilst you observe the class.