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Baby Vaccinations

Updated: Jan 7

As a first time mom, immunisations for your baby are more stressful for a parent than probably a baby as we do not like to see our baby suffer.

In London immunisations are given to babies at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age.

At 8 weeks of age your baby will receive 3 vaccinations: 1) Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and hepatitis B

2) Men B

3) Rotavirus

Two out of these 3 vaccinations are in baby's legs and one is oral.

In my personal experience, our baby had a fever after receiving these 3 doses. Usually they get really upset and cry more often than usual. I would suggest to take Calpol (Paracetamol - please see the link below) with you right away and have the nurse give the first dose while you are receiving all the vaccinations. The reason being is that you can then see how nurse gives the paracetamol syrup to your baby (giving into cheeks, rather then straight into baby's throat) so when you are home you can continue to give the same doses. It is recommended to give 4 doses every 4-6 hours. We gave our doses even preventatively regardless if our baby had a fever or not.

At 8 weeks since this was the first dose of vaccinations our newborn had a fever up to 39 so we continued with paracetamol for 48 hours. After 48 hours passed the fever was gone. You will experience that your baby will be more fussy, will cry more and you will want to hold your baby more often than usual. Cuddles are very important since your baby will be very sensible. It is also important that they sleep more than usual, because they also heal faster while sleeping. In addition to fever your baby might also experience some redness, swelling or tenderness where they had the injection. As a home remedy treatment we put cold gaze on the legs just so we can try to reduce swelling around the skin when injections were given.

I personally continued with daily routine throughout the day. We gave bath to our baby at the usual times (5pm) but this time with mild water (I would personally avoid hot water since they are hot from the fever). After bath, I gave one last feed before settling my baby at around 6.30/7pm. The nights can be difficult since they will wake up more often than usual, but again important to feed them or simply hold them to help them back to sleep.

As a general guidance, fever can be expected after any vaccination at 8, 12 and 16 weeks. The nurse told us that at 12 weeks the fever will be the mildest. The fever shows the baby’s body is responding to the vaccine, although the level of fever depends on the individual child and does not indicate how well the vaccine has worked. As mentioned, giving infant paracetamol will reduce the risk of fever, irritability and general discomfort (including pain at the site of the injection) after vaccination.

As 12 weeks your baby will receive same vaccinations. Second time around the experience might be different (i.e. no fever, or very mild fever) as your baby is now stronger and more immune. Personally I kept the same routine of giving 4 doses of paracetamol every 4-6 hours and helped my baby sleep throughout the night. Some of the symptoms were the same, like 38 temperature and tenderness around the injection area but again, I put a cold gaze and gave paracetamol to treat these symptoms.

Finally, it is also important for your new born to get some fresh air. When you think the temperature has passed please do take them out for a walk in the park. With first time vaccinations I waited 48 hours to pass, since we had a temperature for 48 hours , but second time around we were out in the park much earlier.

We are still due third dose. I will continue to write on the 3rd dose as well, once we had it.

BCG vaccination: BCG protects babies against tuberculosis (TB). In the UK, like many other countries, BCG is only offered to babies who are more likely than the general population to come into contact with someone with TB. This is because they either live in an area with high rates of TB or their parents or grandparents came from a country with high rates of TB.

The vaccination is usually offered around the first month after birth, so we also received BCG vaccine as well. This vaccine is give into baby's arm and there is no fever after receiving this vaccine. Your baby will only have a small red mark on their arms but usually the symptoms after receiving this one are very mild.

For now I hope you find this experience helpful and if you have any questions please do reach out.

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