Baby immunisation pain reduced by keeping warm

Babies kept warm cried and grimaced less during a vaccination than those who were given a dummy or sucrose.

The researchers in Chicago, USA, monitored the crying, facial expressions and heart rate of 47 newborns, before, during and after hepatitis B immunisation. 

The newborns who were placed into a hospital infant warmer prior to receiving the needle stopped crying and grimacing earlier than the other babies. A quarter of them did not cry at all.

The heart rate of all the newborns rapidly rose after the injection and then decreased similarly for all three pain relieving interventions.

“With infant warmers universal in hospitals today, this warming treatment is natural, easy, and performed better than the currently used analgesic treatments,” said the researchers.

Pain 2012, in press