An important part of keeping your baby healthy is taking him or her to a pediatrician for "well baby" checkups. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you take your baby for at least nine checkups during the first three years. A doctor should see your baby at two weeks, one month, two months, four months, six months, and 12 months. At each visit the doctor will weigh and measure your baby to make sure he or she is growing at a healthy and steady rate, check his eyesight and hearing, and talk to you about his temperament and behavior. These visits also give you an opportunity to ask your doctor any questions you might have about your child's development.
The following are the vaccinations your baby will need over the first 15 months of life:
- Hep-B: protects against hepatitis B, a serious liver disease
- DTaP: protects against diptheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough)
- Hib: protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b
- Polio: inactivated (injected) vaccine (IPV) and oral vaccine (OPV) protect against polio
- MMR: protects against measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles)
- Chickenpox: varicella zoster vaccine protects against chickenpox
An Immunization Schedule
The following is an immunization schedule. The ages indicated are approximate and should be used as a guide. Your doctor will determine a specific schedule for your child.
- Birth to 2 months: Hep-B
- 2 months: DTaP, Hib, Polio
- 4 months: DTaP, Hib, Polio
- 6 months: DTaP, Hib, Hep-B
- 12 months: MMR, Hib, Polio, Chickenpox
- 15 months: DTaP
Your baby must be immunized. If you don't have a pediatrician, your local health department can help you find a clinic that provides immunization services. Public health clinics usually have supplies of vaccines and may give these shots for free.
From Your Healthy Baby, by I am Your Childblog comments powered by Disqus