Have you heard this theory before?  I’ve wondered at its truth.  Does it apply to only certain kids?

My daughter Emma has cried at every doctor appointment involving shots, and no wonder!  There have been times I was close to tears as well – it’s just hard seeing your child have to go through any amount of pain or discomfort.  And you can’t tell a baby or toddler that they are getting the immunizations for their protection and expect them to understand fully.

Do any children actually like their doctor visits?  It seems to get worse as Emma gets older, although partly due to the fact that we’ve had to switch pediatricians twice – so no familiar faces.  At Emma’s 2-year appointment, it was our first time at a new pediatrician’s office and although everyone was super nice, once we got past the waiting room (and toys), Emma was miserable and let us all know about it.  She didn’t want to be weighed, measured, or touched by the nurse or the doctor.  Even bringing a giant Winnie the Pooh bear into the room didn’t help (and she LOVES Pooh).

I was sure that with her being upset before immunization time even came, the shots would be misery as well.   She even kept running to the door of the room we were in and asking to “Go!”.  As a last attempt to calm her and keep her occupied, I gave her an Andes chocolate mint I had in my purse (I’m addicted to Andes).  She immediately stopped squirming and asking to leave and focused on the candy.  Then the nurse quickly gave her her shots.

Not one squeal!  She didn’t cry, she didn’t whine, she didn’t flinch.

I suspect that part of the reason shots can be so traumatic is because of the stiffening attitudes of the parents, the change in the voice of the nurse as she apologizes in advance, and the fact that we’re holding the child down on the table.  It all screams TORTURE doesn’t it?  lol  If we were in a room with a bunch of people who spoke a different language and were acting like that, we would be freaking out and expecting the worst as well.

I don’t think that the sugar takes away the pain of a shot, but it could definitely help take your child’s focus off of what is going on. If your child is too young for candy, you can try nursing before and after the shot.

Have you tried giving your child sugar before shots?  Did it help or not?


7 Responses to Does Giving Your Child Sugar Before Shots Help With Pain? (Our Experience)

  • I haven’t heard of this theory before. Maybe because my kid seems to love to go to the pediatrician. Haha! Well, except for the shots. I haven’t thought about giving her candy before the shots. I’ve always given her after the shots as sort of a reward. I’ll try this next time.

  • I never thought of that before, but I wish I had before mine were done having shots. I have spent many a day holding little boys down so they could get their shots. Kudos to you for coming up with a way to keep your little one calm!

  • I’ve given both of my children a 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of sugar water about 10 minutes prior to shots every since they were babies. They give babies sugar water in the NICU prior to needle sticks of any kind, and it really does help. It increases the pleasure receptors, and thus decreases the pain stimulus.

  • I’ve heard of it but can’t remember why it’s supposed to work, some kind of chemical reaction I believe. Maybe next time I’ll try a lollipop or something because Shae was fine with the nurse and resident but wouldn’t even look at the doc.

  • I have read about this in several magazines. One said that you could give an infant a pacifier dipped in sugar water right before the shot and it will help a ton. I plan to try it with Baby #2.

  • I always nursed my babies after their shots! Poor little loves :(

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