Babies given a sugary solution before receiving injections are less likely to cry, a study shows.
Sugar appears to comfort babies and has the potential to act as an analgesic.
A team of researchers from Brazil, Canada and Australia analysed 14 clinical trials involving 1,674 jabs for children up to the age of one.
According to the study, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood journal, some were given nothing before the injection, others were given water and some a solution with sucrose or glucose in. Infants receiving a 30% glucose solution were 20% less likely to cry following a jab, results showed.
Sucrose and glucose solutions also led to a 10% reduction in the proportion of time a baby spent crying.
The babies were only given small amounts of sucrose or glucose - between a few drops and half a teaspoon.
Researchers said health workers should consider giving youngsters a sugary solution before giving their jabs, although the best dose could not be determined from the study.
They concluded: “Infants aged one to 12 months who were administered sucrose or glucose before immunisation had moderately reduced incidence and duration of crying.
“Healthcare professionals should consider using sucrose or glucose before and during immunisation.”