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Comfort Positions for Immunizations for Infants and Toddlers, Ages 12-24 Months


​Reviewed by Child Life

​As hard as you try, it can be difficult to reassure a child that the doctor's office isn't something to be afraid of. At Boys Town National Research Hospital and Medical Clinics, we want to help provide an emotionally safe experience for your child and for you. Whether it's a simple examination, a vaccine or another procedure, these comfort positions can help calm and reassure children and teens.

Comfort Positions for Infants and Toddlers (Ages 12 to 24 Months)

Little ones are often easier to contain during moments of tension or stress. It's important to talk calmly to your child during the hold and procedure. Pacifiers have been studied and recommended for pain relief for infants having minor procedures like vaccinations. Many doctors' offices also have a sucrose (sugar) solution available to address additional pain relief for infants, so please feel free to ask.

Different comfort positions for infants and toddlers (ages 12-24 months) during an immunization include:

  • Back-to-Chest
    • Wrap your arms around your child and hold their hands and arms with yours and try to keep their back and bottom pressed firmly next to you
    • If the patient is receiving a leg vaccine, use your legs to “scissor" your child's legs to help hold them still
    • Hug your child firmly and sometimes it's even possible to hold a phone with a video for distraction

Child Immunization Comfort Hold 

  • Chest-to-Chest
    • Tuck your child's arms into their chest
    • Straddle their legs around your hips
      • Ensure your child cannot kick anything behind you
    • ​Hug your child firmly and offer distraction on the opposite side of the injection

Child Immunization Comfort Hold 

  • Side-sit on Lap
    • Tuck your child's arms in front of them and hold them against their chest
    • Use your legs to “scissor" your child's legs or a nurse or provider can lean against your child's legs to prevent kicking
    • Hold your child firmly and, if possible, hold a phone with a video for distraction​

Child Immunization Comfort Hold 



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