Surviving the first vaccinations can be tough on mums and dads. Whether this is your first child or your fifth, whether this is the 8 week old shots or 18 month ones, it really doesn’t get any easier to watch, even if it is good for them in the long run. However, you will know what to expect after you have got the first round of shots out of the way. So what can you do to make the process a little less painful for you and for your little one?
What Can You Expect
The first round of vaccinations are given between the ages of 6 weeks and 9 weeks, generally. You may wish to have them done as soon as possible or you may want to wait until your little one is just that little bit older. There will be three separate vaccinations – one given orally and two given through a shot, usually one in either leg. The vaccinations will protect your little one from Hepatitis B, polio, rotavirus, diphtheria, whooping cough, HIB and pneumococcal disease. They will need another set of vaccinations at four months and six months as well.
The baby will need to have their legs free so you may need to dress them in just a nappy and top or body suit with the legs free. The nurse will ask you to hold them for all three vaccinations. While you are holding them and when the needles reach their leg, you can expect them to cry. Close your eyes, hold your baby tight and wait until the nurse tells you that it is okay to pick them up. Remember- once the first leg is done, there is only one more to go!
Give Cuddles or a Feed
The calmer you are, the quicker your baby will calm down after the shots. So be prepared with a calming voice, and by patting, cuddling, and rocking your baby. If bub is really unsettled you may want to feed it as well.
Choose a Good Time
Your little one may not be on a routine by the 2 month shots but you may be able to predict when your sleep time and wake times will be. For example, if bub generally wakes at 7am, they will probably be good and ready for their first day sleep by 8:30am and thus 9:00am may not be the best time for needles. Try to choose a time when your baby is awake but getting tired so you can give them a good cuddle or feed and send them to bed. Many parents find that after the shots their little ones will sleep much better, but, don’t expect this in every case.
Almost all babies are going to scream during those first shots and as hard as it is for a mum to listen to this, it’s only for a short period of time. Be as calm as possible during this time and don’t be ashamed if you do shed a tear, or ten. This is a hard thing for both you and your little one to go through but remember, it’s only for a brief minute. You can do it!
For more information on vaccinations, go to the Immunise Australia Program website.
If your child experiences any concerning or worsening symptoms following their vaccinations please seek immediate medical attention – we have some hotlines and suggested websites for further information and advice – http://www.stayathomemum.com.au/my-kids/babies/important-hotlines-websites/
SAHM takes no responsibility for any illness, injury or death caused by misuse of this information. All information provided is correct at time of publication.