Vaccinations are necessary for all age groups, but newborns and small children require them the most. Their small and delicate bodies leave them susceptible to a variety of infections including rotavirus, hepatitis, and polio. Vaccinations given to children at a young age improve their immunity to certain infections.
Nonetheless, the immunisation procedure can be difficult since newborns can be easily scared, and new parents may be concerned about how the process will proceed or about potential side effects.
Do’s for vaccinating your baby
Bring your baby’s health records: Scheduling an appointment in advance gives you sufficient time to gather all the necessary information about the vaccinations, including any potential side effects and the recommended schedule.
Make sure to have your baby’s vaccination history handy. These records allow your doctor to assess whether your baby is ready to receive a vaccine and has built the immunity to handle any potential side effects.
It is important to note that some babies may require additional shots based on their individual health records, so share these records with your doctor before your baby receives any vaccinations.
Dress your baby comfortably: Dress your baby in loose-fitting clothes to allow their body to move freely without restriction during vaccination to make the process smoother and more manageable.
When your baby is comfortable, they are less likely to become fussy or agitated. Loose clothing can also prevent the injection area from rubbing against the fabric, preventing discomfort or rashes.
Ask questions: If you have any questions regarding the procedure, precaution, or reason for a vaccine, ask the doctor without hesitating. This enhances your knowledge and prepares you to handle the side effects, if any, in the best way. Some common questions that you might want to enquire about include the following:
What kind of food should I feed the baby after the shot?
When should I get the next dose for the baby?
Is my baby healthy?
Do we need to administer some medicine for the side effects?
What are the side effects of this particular dose?
Don’ts for vaccinating your baby
Don’t get them vaccinated by unlicensed doctors: Unlicensed physicians may not have undergone the rigorous accreditation and training necessary to safely administer vaccines. Consequently, they may make errors that could harm your baby.
By taking the time to carefully research and select a qualified and licensed healthcare provider to administer your baby’s vaccinations, you can help safeguard their health and minimise the risk of complications.
Don’t skip a vaccination: Skipping a necessary vaccination for your baby can lead to significant health risks and may result in multiple doctor visits in the future. It is recommended that you consult with your doctor to understand the reasons why a particular vaccine is necessary and how it can benefit your child.
If you still feel hesitant or unsure, taking a second opinion is always advisable. Remember that vaccinations are to protect your baby against fatal diseases, which should not be left to biases.
Don’t give any medication before the shot without consultation: Certain medications may impact the efficacy of a vaccine. Check with your doctor before administering any medication to your baby before their scheduled vaccination.
Don’t hesitate to report any adverse reactions: If you notice any unusual symptoms in your baby following vaccination, consult your doctor immediately. It is essential to avoid attempting home remedies, as they may not effectively address the problem.
As new parents, it is natural to feel anxious when your baby exhibits unusual symptoms, but it is vital to seek medical care to soothe and comfort your baby over anything else.
Don’t compare your baby’s reactions to other babies: Each baby’s body is unique, and their reaction to vaccines may vary. Therefore, it is advisable not to compare your baby’s response to that of other babies, as this may lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Instead, focus on providing individualised care and consulting with your doctor at every step. This will help you ensure that your baby receives the best possible care and protection against potential health risks.
(Dr Sameer Awadhiya is a Paediatrician at Mylo)