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Baby’s First Shots: Cue the Tears

“It’s worse for mom and dad than it is for baby.”

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Austin is officially ten weeks (and two days) old and we finally feel like we’re starting to get the hang of this whole parenting thing. Each day brings new challenges but also new developments in Austin that are super cute and sweet. Austin loves to smile at us now and he has a couple of toys that are his favorite to look and coo at. I am loving this new stage he’s in and am so excited to see how he grows in the next couple of months.

Since he’s a little over two months old now, Austin had to endure his first vaccinations this past week. The majority of parents won’t actually know a baby’s “hurt” cry until his or her first shots. We thought we knew what sound Austin was going to make since he’s been colic for a while now. We felt so prepared and strong going in – but hearing those cries was so sad! Think about the saddest cry you’ve heard from your little one; mix that with a little bit of shock, scared, and a “my puppy just died” sound and you’ve got your match.

IMG_6830I think it was especially sad because there was literally nothing we could do and we knew how confused he must have been. Luckily our pediatrician told us to be prepared with a bottle afterwards and that helped tremendously. The next two days after his shots were off days for Austin. The first day, he slept almost the entire day. He would still flinch if you touched his legs and we could tell he did not feel well. The second day, he barely took any naps and wasn’t as interested in eating. Finally day 3 and Austin was himself again.

While the shots were painful for Austin, I have no doubt it was worse on us than it was on him. He was such a trooper and showed how tough he was. Meanwhile, Jay and I were trying to hold back tears when he heard him cry. Don’t worry moms and dads: your baby will survive the shots, he will be healthy and happy because of it, and you won’t be judged for your over-dramatic reaction in the doctor’s office.

Tips to Survive Newborn Shots

  1. Be prepared to feed.
    • Right after they hand your little one back to you, be prepared to let them eat! In addition to your cuddles, eating is very soothing for them and will help them forget about the pain.
  2. Have Children’s Tylenol on hand.
    • Money Saving Hack (thanks to our rock star pediatrician): Buy Children’s Tylenol instead of Infant Tylenol. These two medicines have the exact same ingredients. The only difference is that the infant version comes with a syringe and the children’s one comes with a cup, making the infant version much more expensive.
    • You can use a MediFrida Pacifier to give your baby the medicine. This paci is truly a lifesaver. It dispenses the medicine to your baby’s cheeks and bypasses his taste buds. Plus, you can reuse this for a long time, instead of just for the Tylenol.
    • **Be sure to ask your doctor for the correct dosage!
  3. Let your caretaker know.
    • If you’re working, be sure to let your caretaker know about his vaccinations. This way they can be prepared for different behaviors and can be sure to watch for rashes and/or fever.
  4. Give your baby a warm bath. 
    • A warm bath will do wonders for their sore little legs! Also, if your baby is anything like Austin, they will have so much fun in the water that they forget they’re sore.
    • Exercising your baby’s legs can also help with pain. We tried to keep his legs moving as much as possible so they wouldn’t get too stiff and sore.
  5. Snuggle that baby! 
    • Give him a little extra dose of snuggles and love over the next few days after shots. Cuddles will help baby’s legs and your emotions feel better!

Overall, if you’re worried about anything at all, ask your pediatrician. They are there to help transition you as a new parent and to take good care of your little baby. You’ve got this – just make sure you’re prepared with a little extra caffeine that day.