Immunizations and your baby

by Kaiser Permanente |
A mother holding her baby girl as the nurse gives the toddler a shot.

Immunizations offer your new baby excellent protection against disease. Infants receive their first shots on a set schedule, which helps ensure that they get the highest possible level of protection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a recommended immunization schedule for children and adolescents 18 years or younger.

It’s generally not a good idea to space out or delay vaccinations. Doing so may mean your infant is less protected against some diseases.

Your baby’s first vaccines

Immediately after you give birth, your newborn will receive their first hepatitis B shot. This protects your baby’s liver against this serious disease.

Your baby will receive more shots at their 2-month well-baby visit. Your infant will get vaccinated against:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough).
  • Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib).
  • Hepatitis B.
  • Pneumococcal infection.
  • Polio.
  • Rotavirus.

Common side effects

Just like any other medications, some vaccines might cause side effects. Your baby may have:

  • A low-grade fever.
  • A mild rash that goes away on its own.
  • Less interest in eating.
  • More fussiness or sleepiness than usual.
  • Pain or soreness where the shot was given.

Research shows that vaccines don’t cause conditions like autism. Serious side effects from vaccines are rare. Let your baby’s clinician know immediately if your baby develops a high fever or trouble breathing after getting a shot.

To help your baby feel more comfortable after a shot, their clinician may suggest giving them acetaminophen (Tylenol). They will tell you how much is safe to give your baby. Do not give your baby aspirin or any other pain reliever unless instructed to do so by their clinician.

This article has been created by a national group of Kaiser Permanente ob-gyns, certified nurse-midwives, pediatricians, lactation consultants and other specialists who came together to provide you with the best pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and newborn information.

Some of the content is used and adapted with permission of The Permanente Medical Group.