Helping Your Infant Cope With Pain After Surgery
Even if your baby can't talk yet, he's still capable of communicating his pain to you. Once you recognize pain symptoms in your baby, you can take steps to soothe him.
How to know if your infant is in pain
When infants are irritable or uncomfortable, they may show it with:
- High-pitched crying
- Difficulty calming
- Facial grimacing
- Restless sleeping or napping
- Fast breathing
- Chin quivering
- Avoiding eye contact
- Difficulty with feeding or taking a pacifier
- Wanting to be still or quiet
How you can help your infant cope
- Remember that you're a part of the team. Talk to your child's healthcare team so that you better understand pain and its treatment. Tell them what comforts your child, ask for advice if you need it, and ask questions such as:
- What kind of pain can I expect my child to have, and for how long?
- What do I need to know about the pain medications you're giving her?
- Create a comfortable and safe environment by:
- Giving him "quiet time" and allowing for times of undisturbed sleep.
- Dimming the lights.
- Making eye contact.
- Changing wet diapers and giving him clean, dry clothing when he needs it.
- Swaddling him in a blanket.
- Changing his position.
- Use your touch:
- Rock him in a rocker, swing or your lap.
- Cuddle your child and use a gentle but firm touch to give him comfort and security. Try massaging his back in a firm, slow motion.
- Hold his hand.
- Be sensitive to her cues. Some infants prefer less eye contact, talking and noise. Notice what makes your baby happy.
- Distract him. Help your infant focus on something other than pain by:
- Playing soft music.
- Feeding him.
- Talking or singing to him in a soothing voice.