Your Baby's Best Shot

 

Parents today have no shortage of information and input on raising a child. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially for new parents. We want to ensure our children have all that they need to grow and develop normally, but sorting through the mountains of recommendations can be daunting, to say the least. For parents of newborns, a frequent topic of discussion during well visits centers around vaccines. Which vaccines does your child need and when should they receive them? Let’s breakdown the most frequently asked questions around vaccines for our littlest patients.

There are a lot of vaccines out there, does my child need all of them?

Just because a vaccine exists, doesn’t mean it is recommended for your child. Your doctor will discuss with you the routine vaccination schedule, which is based on current recommendations from the American Council on Immunization Practices. This schedule applies for all children living in the U.S. Additional recommended vaccines based on travel, disease outbreaks, or other unique circumstances, can be discussed with your doctor on an individualized basis.

Watch for these common differentiators between a cough caused by a virus and one caused by asthma.

Why does my baby get so many vaccines before they are two?

Vaccines are given based on a thoughtfully developed schedule to ensure children are protected when they are most vulnerable or likely to be exposed to an illness. Pertussis (whooping cough), for instance, can be life threating to an infant, so three doses of the vaccine are given in the first year of life. For illnesses that may not impact a child until adolescence, the vaccine is delivered at a later time.

Is it safe to give my baby several vaccines at one time?

Safety is of the utmost concern when giving a young child vaccines. That’s where the Centers for Disease Control’s Recommended Vaccine Schedule comes in. Extensive study and analysis have demonstrated conclusively that there is no risk or harm in giving multiple vaccines at once. Specifically, the Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule in the U.S. has been carefully examined and has been proven to be safe and effective.

Does my child need vaccines?

Definitely. In addition to protecting our own children from serious, life-threatening illnesses, we all need to be mindful of the risks we pose to others to when we don’t vaccinate. We’re constantly interacting with others in public (for example at school, playgroups, parks) and there are many people that are not able to receive vaccines. These individuals include infants or those with compromised immune systems from chemotherapy or other conditions, are at mich greater risk of severe illness or death when exposed to some of these diseases. When you have your child vaccinated, you are helping to eliminate the risk of a harmful disease resurfacing. This not only protects your child, but also helps to protect others who are vulnerable to the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases.

How do I know which vaccines my child will receive for the first two years of their life and beyond?

Your baby’s provider can discuss the vaccine schedule which is right for your child. Talk with your pediatric provider about which vaccines your child needs, and when he or she should receive them.

  

It's easy to schedule an appointment with your pediatric provider – simply visit our online appointment tool, scroll to find your pediatric provider, and click to schedule an appointment at a time that works for your family!

 

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New Parents and Sleep Deprivation

 

There’s nothing magical about the pitter patter of little feet at two o’clock in the morning. When a toddler isn’t sleeping well, it affects the whole household. Toddlers ages 1 to 3 years require 12 to 15 hours of sleep per day, and that sleep happens both during the day and at night. Oftentimes, a good night's sleep will setup daytime sleep nicely, so that your child will be able to take their regular nap. So, how do you get a toddler to achieve a good night’s sleep? Start with these 3 steps:

1. Consistency is key for toddlers.

Create a bedtime routine, and follow it. Every. Single. Time. Start your routine at the same time every night and for every nap. Follow the same order of events, for example: bath, brush teeth, books, sip of water, song, lights out. Once this is a regular routine in your home, your child will come to expect each step and know when it’s time for bed.

2. A child's bedroom should make them feel safe and comfortable.

Your child may benefit from a night light or some other ambient light that allows them to feel more at ease in their bedroom. Some calming music on a timer may also help them transition to sleep. Lastly, make sure the temperature in their bedroom is nice and cool. You don’t want them waking up from feeling hot.

3. Make a plan for the inevitable: at some point your toddler will show up in your bedroom in the middle of the night.

Parenting is hard, and doing it in the middle of the night doesn’t make it easier. Create a plan around how you will approach a toddler asking to come into your bed at night, and stick to it (see point number 1). Start by reassuring your child, and then place them back in their bed. Your middle of the night encounters should be brief and to the point – it is time to sleep. Avoid encouraging them to exit their room by playing with them or fulfilling requests for a glass of milk.

If you’re struggling with your toddler’s sleep schedule, there may be other sleep problems affecting your child. Make an appointment to discuss your concerns with your pediatric provider.

It's easy to schedule an appointment with your pediatric provider – simply visit our online appointment tool, scroll to find your pediatric provider, and click to schedule an appointment at a time that works for your family!

 

Make An Appointment

 

New Parents and Sleep Deprivation

 

Before a mother gives birth, she’s likely to hear the advice “sleep while the baby is sleeping.” Maybe more than once. Sleep deprivation is one of the greatest challenges for new parents. A newborn is on their own schedule for sleeping and eating, and it’s a 24-hour cycle. New parents will find themselves exhausted from getting up with their little bundle every two to three hours throughout the night. A foggy, scattered feeling sets in and memory lapses become a daily nuisance. Did I turn off the coffee pot? Many don’t take the advice to sleep when you can. It’s tempting to try to catch up on housework, answer an email or text or fit in the newest episode of their favorite show. Plus, when exhaustion sets in, it’s hard to believe an hour of sleep will make a noticeable difference.

Myth: An hour nap won’t make a difference.

In reality, frequent naps throughout the day really do add up, just like they do for infants. If parents can adjust their schedule to grab some ZZZs while the baby is getting their required amount of sleep, it can improve the quality of life for everyone in the house.

If you’re struggling with nodding off on demand, try setting the mood for sleep. Darkening shades can help create a dark space for a mid-day snooze. Turn off the TV and face bright devices away from you. And that sound machine in your baby’s room? It may also provide some much-needed distraction from the noises of the day.

This sleep schedule can present new challenges when it’s time to return to work. Most offices don’t feature napping pods. Work with your pediatric provider on sleep training your infant, so you and your little bundle are getting the most rest possible during the night by the time maternity leave comes to an end.

Adjusting to a new baby can be difficult. If you are worried about your newborn's routine, your pediatric provider can help. 

It's easy to schedule an appointment with your pediatric provider – simply visit our online appointment tool, scroll to find your pediatric provider, and click to schedule an appointment at a time that works for your family!

 

Make An Appointment