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The <i>Babytalk</i>/AAP Guide to Vaccines

It's a fact of newborn life: For maximum health, those adorable, squishy arms and thighs will need to be pierced with a needle, over and over, every couple of months. And even if you think some of these diseases aren't around anymore (they are) or worry about side effects (they're rare), you still shouldn't miss a single shot; infants are among those most vulnerable to illness.

While getting her vaccinated may seem like torture  -- for both of you!  -- you don't have to sit there and "take it." Here's how to comfort your tot:

* Relieve the pain. Before the day of your appointment, ask your doc about topical anesthetics that can be applied to her skin before she gets the stick. Infant acetaminophen can be given before and after the shot to ease pain; ask about the right dose.

* Relax. Babies can sense anxiety, so try not to tense up when you see the needle.

* Distract her during the shot. Give her a paci to suck, or hold up a colorful toy.

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