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Child Dev. 1989 Aug;60(4):781-92.

Soothing pain-elicited distress in infants with swaddling and pacifiers.

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  • 1College of Nursing, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801.


The effectiveness of pacifiers and swaddling in reducing pain-induced distress was compared in 2-week-old infants who underwent heel-sticks and 2-month-old infants who received injections. Crying, state, and heart rate were measured on 32 infants at each age during baseline, the stress of heel-stick or injection, and during 3-min soothing intervention and postintervention periods. At 2 weeks, infants' HR levels and crying declined significantly more rapidly in the pacifier than in the swaddling condition. At 2 months, both conditions produced similar rates of decline in HR and crying. At both ages, infants in the pacifier group spent significantly more time in an alert state than did swaddled infants. Following termination of the intervention at both ages, HR and crying tended to rebound more in the pacifier than in the swaddling group. Swaddling and pacifiers thus reduce pain-elicited distress differently.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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