Is there anything I can do to comfort my children when they get their vaccines?

Short Answer

Here are five simple techniques – called the “Five S’s” – for soothing a baby after he or she gets immunization shots:

• Swaddle – wrap your baby snugly in a blanket

• Side/stomach position – place the child on his/her side or stomach in your arms

• Shushing – make a soothing “shhhhhh” sound

• Swinging – rock the baby gently from side to side

• Sucking – offer a pacifier, bottle, or the option to nurse

It’s also helpful for parents to stay calm while the doctor is giving the shots; babies pick up on their parents’ feelings and will be soothed more quickly if everyone else in the room seems at ease. A non-aspirin pain reliever might also help reduce some of the infant’s pain; check with the doctor for their recommendations.


These techniques were the subject of a study published in the April 2012 issue of Pediatrics. The full study can be seen here: