Posted: Aug 9, 2012 12:55 AM
Updated: Aug 9, 2012 12:57 AM
The next time you need to schedule a vaccination for your baby, schedule an afternoon appointment instead of a morning one. A new study found that infants slept more following the next 24 hours if they receive their shots later in the day. If that wasn't enough of a benefit, research has also shown that a long, sound sleep boosts a vaccine's effectiveness.
The study took 70 2-month old babies (and their moms) and directed moms to follow specific advice models. About half of the moms were told to give acetaminophen (Tylenol) before and after the shots, while the others were told to follow their pediatrician's advice, which was usually to give acetaminophen only if the child developed a fever or fussiness. They found that regardless of whether or not the baby was given acetaminophen, infants vaccinated after 1:30 p.m. slept longer during the next 24 hours.
The jury is still out on whether or not parents should preemtively give acetaminophen because babies whose temperatures rose about half a degree slept longer than those who did not experience a temperature change. "A slight increase in temperature is a sign that they body is responding as it should to the vaccine," says study author Linda Franck, a nurse scientist at University of California, San Francsico.
Overall advice from this study: It's a good idea to make sure your baby is well rested leading up to and after getting immunizations. "Sleep is really important to immune function," says Franck.
Have you seen a change - either positive or negative - in using acetaminophen prior to immunizations?