For first time parents, vaccinations can be a scary and foreign topic of conversation. Knowing just what vaccines your child will get and what they are for will help your fears to subside as you take care of your growing baby.

If you consented, your child received their first shot, the Hepatitis B vaccine, before they even came home from the hospital. After that initial immunization, the next set of vaccines isn't until their 2 month visit, and includes the following, as recommended by the CDC:

  1. DTaP: This vaccine is called a combination vaccine because it protects against three different illnesses: diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough. All three of these diseases can be deadly to small children, so this series is given to children under the age of 7.
  2. Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b): The Hib bacteria causes diseases like meningitis (infection of lining around brain and spinal cord). Epiglottitis (swelling in throat, making it hard to breathe), and Pneumonia (infection of the lungs). This is also a series of vaccines and are all given under the age of 5.
  3. IPV: The Polio vaccine was introduced in 1955, but before that Polio was common in the United States, affecting thousands of people every year. There are 4 doses of this vaccine given at 2, 4, and 6 months, and then again at 4-6 years.
  4. PCV: The pneumococcal vaccine is used on infants and adults alike to protect against diseases caused by bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, which causes pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis. They are administered at 2, 4, 6, and 12 months.
  5. Rotavirus: This disease is easily spread among young children and causes severe diarrhea, fever, and vomiting, and can lead to hospitalization caused by severe dehydration. This vaccine is the only one in the set that is given orally instead of injected, and is administered at 2 and 4 months of age.
  6. Hepatitis B: This disease affects the liver and can range anywhere from a mild illness that lasts only a few weeks to a serious illness that can span a lifetime. Since the implementation of the vaccine, there has been an 82% decline of acute Hepatitis B cases in the US. If your baby did not receive their first Hepatitis B vaccine in the hospital, they will get it at their 2 month visit.

This list may seem long, but if you look at all of the diseases that are being prevented by vaccinating your child, you will realize how important it is for your baby's health. Now that you know what to expect you don't have to worry, knowing your baby is being protected. If you have any further questions, don't be afraid to ask your doctor.