All babies in the newborn period have blood tests which can be painful.
Current research suggests that a baby’s early experience of pain may affect how they react to pain later in life.
Our neonatal services advise the use of a sugar solution (sucrose) in addition to other measures such as cuddling or using a pacifier, as a means to minimise pain.
Your baby will be about to undergo a blood test or procedure which is likely to cause a degree of discomfort.
We would like to offer you the opportunity for your baby to have a small amount of sucrose given by mouth, which should help with pain control.
How will it be given?
A small amount of the sucrose solution will be given into your baby’s mouth via an oral syringe. We encourage your baby to suck at the same time, as this will make it more effective. If your baby has a dummy, then the sucrose can be put onto it – though dummies are not usually recommended for babies who are breast fed.
Your baby may not feel as much pain if they have sucrose and they may settle easier following the procedure.
Risks and side effects
There have been no known side effects for short term use of sucrose.
You could give your baby a feed together with a cuddle. However, these methods are not as effective on their own compared to using them as well as the sucrose.
Date of Issue: March, 2021
Review Period: March, 2024