Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids

Vaccines provide protection against a host of childhood illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a comprehensive vaccine schedule for children from birth through adulthood, with appropriately timed and spaced immunizations to provide maximum health benefits. Here’s a brief primer on vaccines for babies and older kids.

Commit to Vaccines

There’s quite a bit of discussion about vaccines, despite the fact that they are safe and effective. It is critically important that you commit to vaccines and get them for your children on the approved timeline. The CDC has a standard timeline as well as a delayed one. Some parents with concerns about immunizations for very young children opt for the delayed schedule, which spreads required vaccines out over a longer period of time. However you choose, commit to completing each series of vaccines. Starting then stopping an immunization program poses health rises from decreased immunity, among other things.

Discuss with Your Pediatrician

Discuss immunizations with your pediatrician. They can discuss recommendations based on your child’s individual medical records and answer any questions you may have. It’s important to make decisions as soon as possible – even before the birth of your child – as some immunizations are given at the hospital immediately after birth.

Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids

The Vaccine Schedule

There are interactive immunization schedules available at a variety of sites online. The CDC site includes the standard schedule for babies through 6 years, a full schedule to age 18, and a catch up schedule if you’ve fallen behind or decide later to have your child immunized. Become familiar with the schedule so that you know when you visit your pediatrician when shots are to be given.

Well Child Visits

Take advantage of well child visits – a series of doctor visits during the first six years of life to ensure proper growth and development of your child. Most insurance plans cover well child visits with no deductable or co-pay.

When Vaccines are Administered

Some of the stress around childhood vaccines centers on access to medical information. Take a proactive stance regarding vaccines: know which well child visits include shots, research or discuss with your physician the possible side effects for each and monitor your child closely for 24 hours after each immunization. For some vaccines, such as Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), the reaction is delayed by 7-10 days. While it’s not an official recommendation, many parents opt to have immunizations early in the day so they can monitor the child for possible side effects for several hours before bedtime.

Make the decision to get all of the recommended vaccines for your baby or older children. You’ll be protecting their health as well as the health of others who and weakened immune systems and cannot get vaccines. This collective protection is called “herd immunity” and it’s only effective if the majority of individuals receive their vaccinations on schedule. If you have questions or concerns about vaccines, discuss them with your pediatrician or health care provider.

 

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The Ultimate Parenting Tips to Care for Newborns

care of your baby

Congratulations! You’ve brought your new baby home and started life as a family. And now the fear sets in if you’re a new parent.

You’ve heard all the horror stories about sleepless nights and even worse days. Relax. We’re here to give you the ultimate tips on caring for your newborn.

Parent a Newborn without Losing Your Mind

We know that sounds sort of extreme but the non-stop needs of infants can make you crazy.

Stop listening to every piece of advice you’ve heard or read about and take care of your baby instinctually. Listening to your own voice will help keep you calm.

Don’t even think about housework in the first couple of months after you’ve brought home your new child. Take the time to bond with your baby and get to know each other.

Say yes to family or friends who offer to help. You won’t get a medal for going this on your own if you’re a single parent. And make sure Dad pitches in too and that includes giving you a break to get outside for some “me” time.

Syncing Work with a New Baby

This actually applies more to the parent who goes to work each day outside the home but can apply equally to household chores. Ask your partner to take some family leave time from work and let them have some alone time with the baby.

Split the everyday chores like cleaning and hitting the market.

Let your husband take over some of your parenting duties to give you some time off. And don’t be afraid to let him do things his own way -- even if that means making some mistakes.

Amp Up Your Bag of Tricks

You’re going to have times when your baby is fussy so be prepared to increase your bag of tricks. Trial and error will be your friend in the first few months as you learn what your baby needs.

If diaper changing time means a nuclear meltdown, it may be because she’s cold and that’s a problem for her. Try warming up her wipes to keep her nice and cozy.

Music is also a universally instant soother for Mom and baby.

Sleep Deprivation is a Given

Yes, you’re going to lose sleep in the first few months of being a mom. Although newborns sleep about 16 hours a day, it isn’t 16 straight hours so you may find you need to be on alert a lot more than you did before you had your child.

Sleep when she sleeps. We know that’s an old adage but it’s absolutely true.

And do the work in shifts with your partner. If you’re up at night, let him do the work in the morning so you can sleep in. Then he can nap later on while you’re on duty.

If your baby is the one having trouble sleeping, do whatever it takes to help them rest. Don’t fret about any bad habits at this point. Sleep is the most important part for good development.

You’ll be a newborn expert in no time by using these few simple tips.

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