Baby Vaccinations

Baby vaccinations are never fun but they’re necessary for their long-term wellbeing. Between birth and your child’s second birthday, they would have received more than 20 injections and oral drops. These vaccines help strengthen their immune system to ward off life-threatening diseases.

Here’s a breakdown of what to expect after these vaccinations, from mild side effects that blow over after a few days to the rare serious ones that require medical attention.

Early Baby Vaccinations

  1. BCG
  2. Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV)
  3. Rotavirus
  4. Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV)
  5. Pneumococcal conjugate
  6. Pentavalent – Combination vaccine for Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP), Hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type b disease (Hib)

This group of vaccines will be given either once (BCG) or multiple times (Rotavirus, IPV), between 6 to 14 weeks.

baby vaccinations

Possible Side Effects of Baby Vaccinations

Remember when we said baby vaccinations aren’t fun? This is because it’s common for babies to experience reactions, from mild to worrisome.  According to paediatricians, these are signs that the baby’s immune response is working.

Vaccine side effects might include the following:

  1. Crankiness
  2. Redness, swelling, and soreness at the injection site
  3. Mild fever
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Vomiting and diarrhoea

Usually, babies will experience these mild reactions within the first 24 hours after they are vaccinated. The redness, swelling, and soreness can last from around five days to a couple of weeks with vaccines like the DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) vaccine. If it’s a fever, it usually resolves in two to three days.

During this period, you can provide relief by applying a cool, damp cloth to the injection site or give a sponge bath to reduce mild fevers. Some nurses also advise running lukewarm water over the injection site for a couple of minutes. 4 If your baby seems to be in a lot of pain, you may want to use an over-the-counter pain reliever. However, we recommend talking to your baby’s paediatrician first, because dosage is based on your baby’s age and weight.

Covid still life with vaccine

Serious side-effects: when to see a doctor

It is important to note that serious side effects from baby vaccinations are rare. However, look out for the following:

  1. Crying inconsolably for more than three hours
  2. Seizures
  3. Trouble breathing
  4. Swelling of the face
  5. Limpness
  6. Extended fever in babies less than 12 weeks old.

For any of these or other concerning symptoms. get immediate medical help.

That said, there’s a rare allergic reaction that impacts breathing called Anaphylaxis. However, allergic reactions like these usually start about 20 minutes after the shot, or as much as two hours later so be observant. Ensure that you get your baby medical attention immediately if they are having trouble breathing, swallowing, waking up, moving or if they display signs of extreme weakness.

In addition, seek immediate medical assistance for severe vomiting, developing a rash after shots, spreading redness around the injection site, or if they seem to be fussy for longer than three days.

With these tips, you will be better equipped to approach your baby’s vaccination with knowledge and confidence instead of anxiety and worry. Cheers to the journey ahead!

Also Read: Post-Vaccination Relief: 5 Ways to Comfort Your Baby

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