Most checkups during your baby's first two years of life will end in a shot. Seeing your child cry out in pain can be torturous, leaving you to wonder if there is any way around the needles. The answer is no, parents should follow the vaccine schedule. Another concern is if these vaccines are dangerous. Infectious disease experts say there is no evidence that they are. There is evidence however that they do prevent serious illnesses.
Don't think about delaying shots. It is not wise because it actually increases the risk of your child, and anyone he's around, of getting sick. Children are at the highest risk of contracting these potentially deadly illnesses in their first two years of life.
If you believe herd immunity will protect your baby if you opt out of shots, think again. The idea is that if enough people in a community receive immunizations against a disease, there will be less chance of individuals contracting and spreading it. But parents who refuse shots for their children aren't putting only their own children's health at risk but the health of other children who can't be vaccinated because of a medical condition or are too young to be fully vaccinated. This causes herd immunity to break down.
Many parents are concerned about vaccines because of the reported link between MMR vaccine and autism. Scientists say that theory has been laid to rest. There is no link between vaccination and autism. More than 25 reputable studies found no difference in the rate of autism in kids who received the vaccine compared with those who didn't.
To make getting shots an easier experience for your child be a mellow mom. Try to nurse your baby or offer them a bottle. You can also try acetaminophen or a mini massage. Anyway to sweeten the experience is worth a try.
For more information about the different vaccines, a timeline for when your baby should get those shots and other parenting tips, click here.
Jessica Hartshorn & Erika Wortham