Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Helping Children During Immunizations

Helping Children During Immunizations

Overview

Helping your infant feel better

Your infant (newborn to 12 months) is less likely to be uncomfortable or upset after getting a shot if he or she is not hungry or tired. You can also help your baby during and after the shot by providing gentle comfort and reassurance.

The following strategies may help you.

  • See that your baby has a good nap 2 to 4 hours before getting the vaccine.
  • Feed your baby 1 to 2 hours before the shot.
  • Provide your baby comfort and reassurance during and after the shot.
    • Breastfeed.
    • Wrap your older baby snugly in a blanket, offer a pacifier, or hold and soothe him or her.
    • Distract your baby with toys or soothing conversation.

Helping your toddler or young child feel better

The following strategies may help decrease discomfort related to immunizations in your toddler (12 months to 3 years) or young child (3 to 9 years).

  • Talk to your child about the upcoming doctor visit.

    Talk generally about the visit, but don't talk about the immunization.

  • Talk to your child about the immunization at the doctor's office, right before it happens.
    • Tell your child that he or she will feel a little prick that may sting. Don't be overly reassuring.
    • Avoid words like "shot" or "hurt." These can have strong meanings to young children, which can raise their fear of immunizations.
    • Never suggest that vaccines are being given as punishment for misbehavior.
  • Act calm and confident to put your child at ease.
    • If your child complains, don't criticize your child or apologize. Say that you understand, but that it's important to get vaccinated.
  • Ease tension by distracting your child during the shot.
    • Blow bubbles.
    • Read a book to your child.
    • Talk about fun activities.

Helping your older child or teen feel better

When your school-age child or teen needs immunizations, talk with them about what to expect. Address any misconceptions. This may help reduce the discomfort of injections.

  • Ask your child what has helped in the past.
  • Teach your child to use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or thinking about pleasant things.
  • Help distract your child.
    • Suggest bringing a book or computer game along.
    • Talk about subjects that interest your child.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Immunizations

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details