Something you need to prepare yourself for is the regular trips to the nurse for immunisation injections. These injections are needed to protect the baby against a whole list of nasty diseases.
Each injection protects againast a number of diseases, which is great as it means you only need a handful of jabs to be fully protected. The flipside of that, however, is each jab is pretty srong, and when they give 2 or 3 per visit your baby’s body goes through a lot!
My work is really good at letting me go to things like nurses appointments, and I’m glad I went to all the appointments. It’s not easy watching a needle being stabbed into your baby, but it is made easier when you are both there to help each other.
Our first trip to the nurse came at around 2 months, when he got 2 injections. They gave one in each thigh. I think they usually opt for the thighs, or sometimes the bum depending on where has the most “meat”.
The best thing we did was have a bottle of milk ready in his change bag. When the nurse was about to give the injections, we gave him the bottle. He was sucking his milk as the needle went in to take his mind off it. Don’t get me wrong, he still cried. In fact he screamed and I won’t lie, it was horrible to see and hear him in pain. However, the bottle difinitely helped. He cried for about 10 seconds (it was a LONG 10 seconds) then started sucking his bottle again and soon calmed down.
I’m not sure how this ould work if you are breast feeding. Are you able to make a bottle for one-off occassions like this? I’m not sure, but for those who botle feed you need to have a bottle on hand.
Then of course, there’s the second injection. Just as he calmed down from the first one, the nurse stuck the second jab into his other thigh. The same thing happened, he screamed, cried for a bit, then soon settled with his bottle to comfort him.
After the injections, they advise you to stay around for 10 minutes or so, just in case he has a reaction to the injections. This was fine as it gave us a chance to give him the rest of his bottle in the waiting room.
When we got home he was fine, but a little tired. He definitely wasn’t as chatty and active as he usually is, but the nurse told us to exect that. His body is dealing with a lot of goodies, so he was pretty exhausted for a day or so. We gave him some Calpol to take the edge off. I don’t know if he needed it or not, but it doesn’t do any harm (in small doses).
We then went back 3-4 weeks later for another couple of injections, then back for a final time around 4 months for 3 injections. When they give 3 injections, they put 2 in one leg and 1 in the other.
Every time we went to the nurse we made sure we had a bottle made up and ready. We have a bunch of thermal bottle covers that are excellent, they keep the milk at the right temperature for ages. Perfect for going out and about, or even to have in the house for keeping milk a bit longer.
Immunisation injections aren’t very fun for you or your baby, but they have to be done. It’s such a good peace of mind knowing your baby is safe from loads of horrible diseases and infections that are in the world.