Immunisation Tips For Pēpi & Tamariki

Immunisation Tips For Pēpi & Tamariki

Talking, cuddling, and holding your tamariki will help distract them from the injection and soothe them afterwards. If you are confident, your pēpi will be too.


Immunisation tips

Choose comfortable clothes

Choose clothes that you can remove or roll up to make the injection easier. Babies under 12 months have all their injections in the thigh. From 1 year, tamariki have their injections in the arm or thigh.

Bring food, drink and a favourite toy

Bring any kai or drink you'll need. 

Bring your child's favourite toy, blanket, game, or book along as a distraction and to keep them busy afterwards. 

If you're nervous, have support

If you're nervous, bring a whānau member or friend for support. 

Tips for pēpi and tamariki immunisations

Talking, cuddling, and holding your tamariki will help distract them from the injection and soothe them afterwards if they're upset. 

Try to stay calm. Babies and children can tell when their parents are feeling anxious.

Feeding your baby (including breast or bottle feeding) while they're being immunised may help them feel more comfortable.  

If you need extra support

When you make an appointment, or when you arrive, make sure you let the team know if you or your tamariki might need some extra help.

They may be able to help by:

  • providing a space away from other people
  • supporting you with other tamariki you bring to the appointment
  • accessibility arrangements and mobility assistance
  • arranging for a home visit (this may be through another health service)

If your child is scared of needles

Let the vaccinator know if your child is scared of needles. They're trained to make you as comfortable as possible. They can provide distractions and techniques to help reduce pain and anxiety.

After the immunisation 

You'll need to wait up to 20 minutes after the immunisation to make sure your tamariki is feeling OK.

Some tamariki have mild reactions after immunisation. They may develop a fever or have tenderness, swelling and redness where the injection was given. This is the body's normal response to immunisation. It shows the vaccine is working.  Symptoms usually settle after a day or two. If you do not have any side effects that's OK too. The vaccine is still working.

If you're concerned about any reactions after your child's immunisation, contact your GP practice. You can also call Healthline any time on 0800 611 116.

See more about preparing for an appointment at the Immunise website

See more KidsHealth content on immunisation

Check out KidsHealth's section on immunisation

Screenshot of KidsHealth website immunisation section

This page last reviewed 27 March 2023.

Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night for free health advice when you need it