Nobody likes to see a little one cry but, when it’s time for vaccination shots, it’s inevitable. Things can be made better for baby. Reflexology applied before the inoculation reduced crying time and pain afterwards as shown by research.
Before the inoculations, researchers evaluated the pain levels of two groups of 1 to 12 month old infants using the Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability (FLACC) Pain Assessment Scale. Scores were similar for both babies in the group who would receive reflexology and those in the control group who would not.
Reflexology was applied for 20 to 30 minutes before the inoculations with time depending on the size of the infant’s foot. After the vaccinations, a statistically significant difference was found between the pain scores of infants in the reflexology groups and those in the control group.
The FLACC pain score was found to be 5.47 (± 2.11) in the reflexology group and 9.63 (± .85) in the control group. The infants in the reflexology group also had lower heart rates, higher oxygen saturation, and shorter crying periods than the infants in the control group.
To try this, gently press on the sole of your baby’s bare or socked foot. As described in Reflexology for Children, “The feet and hands ar natural candidates for playing with an infant. Saying ‘This little piggy went to market’ while pulling or squeezing toes is a staple activity to get an infant’s attention. A few presses here and there and some movements and you have a reflexology session that is an extension of a childhood game.”