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Comfort Holds for Your Child

​​As hard as you try, it can be difficult to reassure a child that the doctor's office isn't something to be afraid of. Whether it's a vaccine, another procedure or a simple examination, these comfort holds can help if your little one is struggling to remain calm.

Comfort Holds for Infants

Little ones are often easier to contain during moments of tension or stress. It's important to talk calmly to your child during the hold and procedure. Different holds for infants include:

  • Chest-to-back (Photo A)
    • Wrap your arm around your child and hold their hands with your hand
    • If the patient is receiving a vaccine, hold the leg not getting the injection with your other hand
    • Hug your child firmly
  • Chest-to-chest (Photo B)
    • Tuck your child's arms into their chest
    • Straddle their legs around your hips
      • ​Ensure your child cannot kick anything behind you
    • Hug your child firmly
  • Cradle (Photo C)
    • Tuck one of your child's arms under your arm
    • Hold the other arm firmly in your hand
    • Wrap your other arm around your child's legs and hold firmly to your body

Comfort Holds

Comfort Holds for Older Children

Older children may receive injections in either their arm or leg. Boys Town Child Life recommends the same holds for either injection, with some minor modifications to account for the injection site or your child's size.

  • Back-to-chest (Photo D, D1)
    • Hold hands and arms of child in tight hug with your arms and hands
    • For leg injection, use your leg to wrap around the child's leg not receiving the injection
    • Hug your child firmly
  • Chest-to-chest (Photo E, E1)
    • Tuck your child's arms under your arms
    • Have your child's legs straddled around your hips
      • Ensure your child cannot kick off any objects behind you
    • Hug your child firmly
  • Side sit (Photo F, F1)
    • Tuck your child's arms in front of them and hold them against their chest
    • Nurse or providers leans against your child's legs to prevent kicking
    • Hold your child firmly

Comfort Holds

Leg Injection Holds​

Comfort Holds

Health and Safety;Immunizations Pediatrics