Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Sugar may ‘comfort babies during injections’

  • 1 Comment

The sweet taste of sugar may provide some comfort for babies during immunisations, according to a Cochrane review.

Researchers found babies did not cry for as long if they were given drops of sugar solution before injections.

They suggest the sugar may help to reduce pain by triggering the release of pain-relieving chemicals in the body or by contacting taste receptors that induce feelings of comfort.

The researchers reviewed data from 14 studies involving a total of 1,551 infants aged between one month and a year. Most studies compared water with sucrose, given two minutes before immunisation.

Overall, babies given the sugary solution cried for a shorter time than those given water. However, individual studies used different pain measures, making it difficult to conclude that sugar solutions actually reduced pain.

Lead reviewer Manal Kassab, a nurse researcher at the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid, said: “Giving babies something sweet to taste before injections may stop them from crying for as long.

“Although we can’t confidently say that sugary solutions reduce needle pain, these results do look promising.”

She added that future studies should examine the effects of different concentrations of sugar solution.

“We need to see more data from well-conducted trials in children under one year, especially in relation to optimal concentration, volume and method of administration of sugar solutions,” she said.

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • i put my son straight to my breast after his first injections and he instantly stopped crying/screaming......i agree the breast is not only food for my baby but a pain reliever and comforter truly works...and would advocate this every time...:@))

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs