Newborns (0-3 months)

Congratulations! You are a new parent. There is so much to learn about parenthood, and so many questions you probably have. How does my baby keep healthy? Why are all those vaccines so important? At birth, infants have protection against certain diseases because antibodies have passed through the placenta from you to your unborn child. After birth, breastfed babies get the continued benefits of additional antibodies in breast milk. But in both cases, the protection is temporary. Immunization( vaccination) is a way of creating immunity to certain diseases. Vaccines do not give your baby the disease, they help protect against them. Vaccines do this by using small amounts of a killed or weakened microorganism that causes the particular disease enabling a baby to build up a resistance. Basically, the vaccine allows your baby’s immune system to recognize when the real disease comes around, and therefore is better able to fight it off.

Immunizing Your Baby
No one enjoys getting a shot. Newborns have no idea what is happening. The may be scared and feel some pain from the shot(s). Remember that the vaccines they receive are protecting them and the shot will only hurt for a little bit.

To prepare yourself

  • Bring your child’s immunization record to the visit with you.
  • Ask the doctor or nurse about the vaccines your baby will be getting. Each one protects against a serious disease.
  • Take a look at this video for How Vaccines Help Babies Fight Infections.
  • Know what vaccines your child should be getting.

Tips that help your baby

  • If you’re breastfeeding your child, consider nursing while the baby receives his/her shots or immediately afterwards. Breastfeeding is a powerful pain reliever because it combines cuddling, skin-to-skin contact, and sucking – all soothing antidotes.
  • Another option is distraction. As soon as the shots are over, soothe your baby by rocking, talking or singing. Catching your baby’s eye with a fun toy could help as well.

It can be more comforting to hold your baby while getting vaccinated. Ask your doctor or nurse if you can use the comforting restraint during the immunization process.

Infants (4-11 months)

As baby begins growing, some parents feel like they are in their pediatrician’s office every other day. If it’s not a well-baby visit, it’s an ear infection or a cold. At many of these visits, you will have the opportunity to protect your child from many childhood diseases.

Immunizing Your Infant
Although you may feel that the vaccine schedule never seems to end, keep in mind that the vaccine is protecting your baby from a disease that would be much more painful and longer lasting than a shot.

To Prepare Yourself

Tips that help your infant

  • Bring along a favorite toy or blanket.
  • Talk reassuringly to your child. Also, make eye contact with, smile at, and cuddle your child leading up to and immediately following the immunizations.

It can be more comforting to hold your baby while getting vaccinated. Ask your doctor or nurse if you can use the comforting restraint during the immunization process.

infants thumb



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