Baby immunisations: what to expect
Your first vaccine appointment is a crucial milestone for your little one, but it can also be a little daunting. It’s comforting to know that they will be protected against serious illnesses that could harm them, however, it can be a little overwhelming once you get there.
Being prepared for your appointment will help you to be able to calm your child and also know what to expect whilst you’re there as well as any symptoms or reactions to look out for once you get home.
Before the Visit:
- Make yourself aware of the vaccines they need to get
- Write down any questions you have to ask your doctor
- Pack your little one’s favourite toy or blanket to distract them
- Bring along their immunisation record or blue book to the appointment
At the visit:
- Ask all the burning questions you may have (refer to your list)
- Try to distract your child with toys and cuddles
- Soothe them with smiles and eye contact
- Keep them firmly on your lap
- If they begin to cry, rock them in your arms and do your typical calming techniques they respond to
- If they are hard to settle a breastfeed may help then to calm down
After the visit: There can sometimes be mild reactions that you should keep an eye out for. Some normal reactions include tenderness at the injection site, redness, slight swelling, or fussiness. In some cases, they might experience a mild fever and so your doctor may recommend paracetamol, however, the doctor or nurse will explain these to you in detail while you are there.
If you are worried always call the doctor if anything seems abnormal.
What vaccinations will they receive?
As early as 6 weeks to 2 months of age, your little one will need around three shots. They will be used to combat:
- Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b
- Meningococcal B (Aboriginal children only)
Your doctor will let you know the exact shots your child will need according to the current national immunisation schedule and be able to answer any questions or concerns you might have.
You may be worried about the reaction they might have, but as long as you’re present and there to comfort them, they should be happy and smiling again in no time.