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YOUR BABY AND YOU

Welcome to the world of parenthood! You are now proud mothers and fathers. But with the ‘little bundle of joy’ comes a big parcel of responsibilities. Adjustments and compromises are expected of you and will have to be made.This section will help you in taking care and spending cherishable moments with your little one!

What does Your Baby Need?

Your baby’s basic needs are:

  1. Food.
  2. Sleep.
  3. Clothing.
  4. Cleaning.

And a whole lot of love and affection from its parents.Along with these basic needs, one also has to take care of immunization, regular follow-up with the child specialist and other minor ailments that the baby may have.

Your Duties as A Mother

As a new mother you have responsibilities galore.To help you out, here are a few suggestions for the various chores that you have to do during the initial days (1st month).

(i) Food for the baby:
Upto 4 – 6 months breast milk alone is sufficient for the baby. On no account is any extra fluid in the form of water or honey is necessary, even in summer. No vitamin / nutrient supplements are necessary except Vitamin C and Vitamin K (given at birth). Though many a child specialists do prefer to give multi-vitamin drops for supplementation. Feed your baby every 2 hours or adlib (as per the baby’s demands) and at least twice in the night. Another thing that is important is burping the baby adequately after feeds. Place the baby in an upright position on your chest and pat the back gently, till the baby burps. Babies are prone to take in air along with milk, during sucking. If not burped, the baby will vomit out the stomach contents when lying down. Remember, however, that a breastfed baby does not swallow much air (unlike abottle fed baby) unless the baby is in an unfavourable position while feeding. So don’t worry if the baby doesn’t give the big ‘dhakkars’.

Cartoon of a burping baby. 

(ii) Sleep:
The baby has been having its quota of sleep and wakefulness in the uterus. So also now. A newborn baby is most alert in the 1st ½ hour of its life. Afterwards, the baby goes off to sleep. It may sleep for 14 – 18 hours / day. It usually sleeps for 2 – 4 hours at a stretch before waking up for ‘meal-time’. You may have to wake up the baby after 3 hours for a feed if it does not get up spontaneously. At nighttime if the baby is fed before it goes to sleep, your night sleep will not be disturbed more than once or twice. Slowly over the next few days, the baby will develop a rhythm and its own sleep pattern. To encourage your baby to sleep more at night:

  • Do not let your baby sleep all day. Feed it; talk to it in daytime. Do not give bottle in the crib. Do not nurse your baby to sleep.
  • Put your baby to bed in a separate dark room, if you have an adjacent one. If not you will need a ‘baby alarm’ or ‘a baby call system’.
  • Put it in the crib while awake; let your baby learn to put himself to sleep.
  • Give a chance to your baby to go back to sleep on its own, if it wakes up at night. It will do so. But if it cries continuously, do the needful.
  • Night feeds of breast milk may be necessary for the first 4 – 6 months. This also helps to maintain lactation. After weaning try to reduce night feeds.

(iii) Stools and Urine:
During this 1st month, the baby initially may pass frequent stools. Sometimes passing stools after every feed (and up to 10 – 15 times / day). Soon it will settle to a routine of 2 – 4 times / day.  

More frequent stools should not worry you unless;

  • The baby loses weight excessively.
  • The baby looks dehydrated or passes urine less than 4 – 5 times a day.
  • The baby has fever / excessive crying / reduced sleep, etc.

The colour of the stools will vary from dark green immediately after birth to yellow to greenish. The transition of stools from dark green to yellow takes place after 24 hours. By 3 – 4 days stools will be golden yellow in colour and a curdy consistency. Those who are bottle fed may have brown-yellow to green stools. Rarely, your baby may have explosive bowel movements or may pass frequent gases. This is perfectly normal. Breast fed babies are rarely constipated. But if your baby seems to be pushing hard to get the stools out, do not be unduly worried.Another complaint is red rash around the anus. This may be due to passing stools frequently. For this you can clean the area from forward to behind with cotton soaked with water and apply an ointment prescribed by your doctor.

As far as urine is concerned, you may not notice it sometimes as the baby will pass stools and urine at the same time. As long as the feeding is adequate, (and the urinary system is normal) the baby will pass adequate urine. One can check the diapers every time the baby cries as wet diapers is one of the commonest reasons to make the baby cry.

(iv) Bonding:
Just as you need love and reassurance in the form of words and physical touch, so does your baby. This should be done by not only the mother but also the father. It begins very soon after the baby is born and sometimes even before the umbilical cord is cut. ‘ROOMING – IN’, as it is called is the bonding of the parents and child immediately post delivery. It involves petting and cuddling the child and immediate breastfeeding by the mother within the 1st hour. This helps to create a and help during breastfeeding.Since the father cannot breastfeed the child, it is even more important for him to establish physical and verbal contact with the baby by cuddling,bond between the mother and child holding and talking (sometimes about non-sensible things) to the baby. This will create a good support and bond between the child and the father. This bond is extremely important, as otherwise, fathers do tend to feel left out. Sometimes though if this happens, it is only because of inadequate efforts from the father.    .    During rooming in you may sometimes feel frustrated when the baby cries and does not allow you to sleep / rest. This is human! You have just completed a difficult task of giving birth and need a break before the other difficult task that is ahead of you – rearing the child! Call the nurse and ask for the baby to be shifted to the nursery. That’s what they are for! Next morning you will be in a better frame of mind for the child.

(v) Baby Cleaning / Bathing:
Bathing and cleaning the baby is another learning experience and bonding activity for the parents. It not only helps you to bond with the baby but also gives you confidence in handling the baby. Initially you may find it difficult but soon get the hang of it.Babies have their ways to getting used to the ‘bath-ritual’. Some enjoy it from day 1, Others may cry initially before beginning to enjoy it. Do not be alarmed or be afraid if the baby cries during the bath. It is not your technique, which is faulty, but the baby’s way of adjusting. Your touch, massage, singing and talking will soon soothe the baby. Daddies can also participate equally in cleaning the bab.

(vi) Dressing the Baby:

During the initial period, dressing the baby is not a ‘creative’ thing. The baby is dressed in a diaper and a top and as is the general practice in India – ‘swaddled’ or wrapped like a mummy.Learn how to swaddle the baby and once you know it, you will feel proud, as most mothers do not know it. The best person to learn it from is your hospital. ‘Aya’ or ‘Nurse’.Diapers and tops are usually loose and made of cotton.Clothes need to be changed only if soiled with stools / urine. If the baby has regurgitation or ‘spits up’, you may just wipe it off lightly with a wet cloth. Change if necessary, only if the odour is offensive.

  • Disposable diapers are best used when going for outings.
  • While changing diapers. Keep everything you need ready like,
  1. - Clean diaper.
  2. - Cotton balls and warm water.
  3. - Baby powder.
  4. - Ointment for rash, if any.
  • Wash your hands before changing a diaper  .

(vii) Protection against Infection:

Here are a few instructions, which will help you in protecting your precious child from any infection.

  • During the 1st two weeks minimum handling of the child is important.
  • Do not expose your child to any one suffering from any infection (may be that’s why the mother and baby are not allowed to venture out of the house for the 1st 40 days according to Indian custom).
  • Take proper care of the baby as discussed in cleaning and dressing.
  • Inform your paediatrician whenever your baby shows / has:
    1. - Temperature over 100.2 F or <97 F.
    2. - Severe vomiting.
    3. - Severe Diarrhoea.
    4. - Refusal to feeds.
    5. - Extreme lethargy.
    6. - Inconsolable crying.
    7. - Reduced bowel movement/urine.
  • LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST: Keep an up-to- date record on the immunisation schedule.   

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Father’s Role

Until now, you as a father must have felt like a passive partner during the entire pregnancy. Now is the time you can show your mettle. You can take the initiative and show that fathers are equal to mothers. There is nothing that she does and you cannot (except of course Breastfeeding!)

CARTOON: Father feeding the baby with a milk bottle under one arm that simulating breastfeeding.

The child needs you as much as it needs the mother. The mother too needs you to take care of the baby so that she can get some well-deserved time off. You can help in / do most of the things related to baby care. You can, thus, help your spouse and at the same time improve the bonding with the child in more ways than one. Here are a few hints.

  • Help your spouse and be with her during breastfeeding. Help her to become comfortable with breastfeeding. Reassure her and encourage her. Bring the baby to her when the baby shows signs of hunger (sucking motion, crying, etc.). When the baby demands feeds at night, save her the trouble of going and fetching the baby for feeding whenever you can. Burp the baby after its feed.
  • Help in putting the baby to sleep. Let the baby sleep on your chest, sometimes. Your heartbeats have a soothing effect on the baby.
  • Help in cleaning the baby and changing its clothes and diapers.
  • Be an active participant in the baby’s ‘bathing ritual’.
  • Help in trimming the nails, dressing up the baby. You may even learn to swaddle the baby. Very few fathers know it.
  • Accompany the child during its routine visits to the paediatrician. See that the child completes its immunization program as per the prescribed schedule.
  • Accompany your wife / take the baby for a walk, especially when your wife wants a break or wants to do something else like cooking, bathing, etc.
  • Talk to the baby, even though it may not understand, it increases bonding.
  • Take photographs or record on video the baby’s antics. Make an album and surprise your wife by presenting it on the 1st month birthday.
  • Check the baby frequently for wet clothes and diapers.
  • Play games and give massage to the baby.
  • BABY PROOF the house      .
  • TAKE A VACATION FROM WORK (PATERNITY LEAVE). YOU HAVE TO MAKE UP FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE MISSED DURING THE 9 MONTHS OF THE PREGNANCY.

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Some Practical Points

The ‘bundle of joy’ brings with it a lot of happiness in your life. But at the same time you also have added responsibilities. Your lifestyle may be in for a change. Social outings may change from parties to parks and even while doing your work (to meet some tight deadline) your mind may flit more than on one occasion to what your baby is doing. That’s how life goes! There are few practical things that you may do to make life easier and safer for both.

(i) Birth Certificate

Well, ‘Red tapism’ starts from birth itself and you may be wondering how to go about acquiring a birth certificate for your child! It is important to obtain one, as you will require it as time goes by for school, college, job, etc. The usual protocol is that the doctor, who delivers your baby, fills a prescribed form and obtains your signature or that of your spouse or relative. This is then sent to the municipal office, which then issues the birth certificate. You should go and obtain a birth certificate only after you have decided on the name of the child. In case of doubt, do ask your doctor about the birth certificate immediately after the delivery. He/She will clarify all your doubts.

(ii) Baby Names:

  • This is one of the most important rituals that you go through and in many a cases the preparation starts as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed. Many couples have a list of tentative baby girl and baby boy names and may even have one or two serious fights over this very sensitive matter. In choosing names here are a few points one should consider.
  • Make sure both you and your spouse like the name. Consider the sentiments of those around. But don’t let them dominate you.
  • Select a meaningful name and one that fits your baby.
  • Think how the name sounds. Is there any hidden meaning? Are there any similar sounding embarrassing words? Etc. Your baby may grow up to resent the name given by you if you are not careful.
  • Choose a name that is easy to say, pronounce and spell. It will lead to a lot less complications later on in your child’s life.
  • Avoid any trendy or political or funny names. What’s in today may be way out of fashion tomorrow.
  • Don’t choose a very common name or else your child may end up being known by his traits rather than his name for e.g. ‘curly haired’ Raju or ‘buck teeth’ Raju or ‘crooked nose’ Raju, etc.
  • See that the name matches the surname (or the fathers name as most South Indians don’t have / or add surnames to their names)

Now that you have gone through these instructions, you will find it easy to choose a name which both you and your spouse like and one that benefits your child.

Here are some names to help you choose from.

(iii) Buying Things for Your Baby:

  • Here is a list of few things (among others) that may be useful for your baby.
  • 5 – 10 front / back open under shirts.
  • 15 - 20 diapers.
  • 4 – 5 diaper covers (waterproof pants) and diaper pins.
  • 2 –3 pairs of socks / booties.
  • 1 – 2 sweaters.
  • 3 – 5 caps / hoods.
  • Baby bag to carry the baby.
  • Disposable diapers.
  • Soft towels (bath).
  • Linen:
  • Quilted baby mattress.
  • Baby pillows.
  • Baby blankets.
  • Plastic / Rubber waterproof sheets.
  • Mattress covers.
  • Mosquito net.

Toiletries:

  • Baby soap.
  • Baby shampoo.
  • Baby powder and powder puff.
  • Ointment for nappy rash.
  • Sterile cotton balls.
  • Nail scissors / cutter.
  • Baby brush and comb.
  • Wet wipes (especially when on an outing).

Babys Medicines chest:

  • Paracetamol syrup (for fever).
  • Antiseptic cream and powder.
  • Calibrated spoon/dropper for giving the medicine.
  • Multi-vitamin/ vitamin C supplements if prescribed by the doctor.
  • Hot water bottle.
  • Thermometer.
  • Small torch light.
  • Adhesive tape, sterile gauze pieces

Miscellaneous:

  • Bath tub (plastic).
  • Baby stroller / pram.
  • Chest of drawers for keeping baby’s stuff.
  • Toy chest.
  • Baby crib.
  • Bag to keep baby’s stuff when going on an outing.
  • Car seat for your infant.

(iv) Outing with the Baby:

Now that the baby has arrived, outings are no longer simple events. You will have to make elaborate arrangements for the outing.

Some of the things you will need whenever you venture out with your baby are:

  • Baby bag in which you can stuff all the baby’s things. It would be a nice idea to go in for a strong, water- proof bag with separate compartments to keep things like feeding bottles, diapers, toys, etc. separately.
  • Disposable diapers or disposable diaper pads.
  • Cloth diapers.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Sterile bottle with either water or the baby’s feed if you are not breastfeeding.
  • Baby bag / wrap to carry the baby or cloth for swaddling as this makes it easier for your friends to carry your baby.
  • You can have a plastic sheet handy, so that your and your friends’ clothes are not spoiled by the baby’s spit -ups, urine, stools.
  • Change of clothes for the baby.
  • Some colourful toys.
  • Warm blanket / sweater if cold.
  • Baby powder for application, if your baby is to be cleaned or soiled clothes washed.
  • Some snack for the mom especially, if she is breastfeeding and going out for long outings.
  • A few bags (plastic or paper) to dispose the waste diapers, pads, wipes, etc.

 (v) Keeping the baby safe:

Your baby will keep your hands full, even though, it looks so fragile and innocent. Here is some advice from experienced parents, which will help you in keeping the baby safe and preventing mishaps.

  • Never leave your baby unattended on changing table, bed, chair, etc.
  • Never leave the baby alone with a pet, however well-mannered it may be.
  • Never leave the baby alone if you are going out (even if it is only for few minutes).
  • Don’t leave the baby alone in an automobile.
  • If you use a bathtub for bathing the baby, place a towel at the bottom to prevent the baby from slipping.
  • Don’t shake your baby, joggle or throw him / her in the air.
  • Avoid using toys with metal parts, cards or strings and sharp edges.
  • Don’t leave your baby near an unguarded window even if it is asleep.
  • Don’t depend on other small children (less than 14 years) to baby-sit.

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‘Baby-Proof ’ Your House In Anticipation:

House in general:

  1. Place fire extinguishers in areas of fire risk.
  2. Store all flammable liquid in closed containers.
  3. Move your furniture away from the windows.
  4. Move furniture in front of as many electrical outlets as possible to protect against electrical shock.
  5. Insert plastic covers in all unused electrical outlets and put large boxlike covers over those that are in use. Replace outlet covers with childproof covers.
  6. Cover all unused telephone outlets with duct tape.
  7. Hide all electrical and telephone cords, as babies like to chew on them.
  8. Store your iron out of sight to prevent the baby from tugging on its cord and pulling it down onto his head. Never leave a hot iron unattended.
  9. Shorten the cords on all blinds and draperies, or cut the loop, to prevent strangulation.
  10. Move ashtray, pipes, cigarettes, matches, and lighters out of reach. Tobacco can be fatal when eaten by a small child.
  11. Unload and lock up all guns. Never keep a gun in a bedroom drawer or purse, and never let a small child see you using one.
  12. If you have any toxic houseplants, hang them out of reach, move them out-side, or put them into loving ‘foster care’.
  13. Set aside a special utensil set for measuring and applying fertilizer to your houseplants. Do not use household utensils for poisons.
  14. Keep all exercise equipment closed up in a room away from the baby. Do not allow the baby to be near when you exercise.
  15. Put a safety doorknob cover or a very high locks on every door leading either outdoors or to an unsafe room, such as a sewing room, bathroom, or garage.
  16. Do not allow any heavy toys near them.
  17. Install a baby gate at the top and bottom of every staircase to prevent climbing and falling. Avoid accordion-style gates, which can trap an arm or leg. Gates with vertical slats or a mesh design are preferable.
  1. Install a gate across the doorway to keep the baby out of the kitchen when you are not there.
  2. Install safety latches on all cupboard doors that you do not want little hands to open.
  3. Put all vitamins, medicines, wastebaskets, plastic bags, glassware, knives, and other potentially dangerous items in locked cupboards.
  4. Move all wines and liquors to a locked cabinet. Do not leave leftover drinks sitting out where a toddler can find and drink them. Alcohol can be toxic.
  5. Tie plastic bags in knots and throw them away after use.
  6. Remove all tablecloths that toddlers can pull.
  7. Store appliances away from the edges of countertops. Unplug and wrap the cords.
  8. When the dishwasher is not in use, keep the door latched.
  9. When filling the dishwasher, position sharp utensils with the pointed ends down. Do not add detergent until you are ready to run the machine.
  1. Lock your medicine cabinet or move all toxic and dangerous medical supplies out of reach.
  2. Move perfumes, cosmetics, and other grooming products out of reach.
  3. Store all razors out of reach.
  4. Move the wastebasket out of reach.
  5. Install a lock on the toilet lid and always keep the lid down and the bathroom door closed. Toddlers can drown in a toilet.
  1. Be sure the locking latch that holds the side of the crib up is sturdy and cannot be released by a child. Always leave the side up when your baby is in the crib.
  2. Use a crib bumper when your child is an infant. It should be secured with at least six ties. To prevent strangulation, the ties should be no longer than 6 inches. Remove the bumper, as well as any pillows, when your baby can pull to a standing position.
  3. Do not leave stuffed toys in the crib when the baby is sleeping.
  4. Move the crib away from heaters, air vents, and drapery and venetian blind cords. For warmth, put the crib against an inside wall.
  5. Do not hang glass mirrors or picture frames on the wall above the crib.
  6. Baby powder for application, if your baby is to be cleaned or soiled clothes washed.
  7. Some snack for the mom especially, if she is breastfeeding and going out for long outings.
  8. A few bags (plastic or paper) to dispose the waste diapers, pads, wipes, etc.
  1. Move all toys that have small parts or sharp points to a shelf that the baby cannot reach but that your older children can.
  2. Discard all stuffed toys and dolls that have eyes, noses, mouths, or other features that might come off. Embroidered features are the safest, sewn or glued parts can be pulled off.
  3. Move all pesticides, paints, and petroleum products to a high shelf or locked cabinet. Do not store them in containers such as soft drink bottles or food jars that could cause them to be confused with something else.
  4. Move dangerous tools out of reach.
  5. Put small items such as nails, screws and bolts in closed containers.
  1. If you use pesticides or herbicides on your yard, follow the instructions carefully. Do not allow a child on a treated lawn for at least 48 hours.
  2. Even if your child is a good swimmer, keep an eye on him when he is in or near your pool or hot tub. Drains and intake valves in pools and hot tubs can draw in water at great pressure, entangling long hair and trapping a child under water. If the drain cover is broken or dislodged, your child could become sucked into or held onto the drain, and trapped under water.
  3. Use caution when placing your infant in a swimming program that involves dunking or repeated submergence. Swallowing large amounts of water can dilute his blood and cause a life-threatening condition known as ‘water intoxication’. Also, infants can develop severe diarrhoea from the bacteria in the water from other babies’ diapers. Additionally, even if your child has been through a swimming or life saving program, do not expect him to remember how to swim or ‘float’ from year to year. The techniques need to be reinforced frequently.
  4. Remove any clothes with hoods or strings when your child plays on play ground equipment. A hood or string can get caught on the top of a slide or entangled in s awing chain.
  5. Do not allow your infant or toddler to suck or chew on the bars of playground equipment, which may contain lead.
  6. When you take your child to someone else’s house, check for these same hazards.

Baby- Proof Habits:

  • Do not allow smoking in the house. Children exposed to smoke in their homes have more colds and upper respiratory infections, and miss more school than those in nonsmoking households.
  • Do not drink or pass hot beverages while your child is near by or on your lap.
  • Never leave your baby or small child alone in the tub.
  • Never leave your baby alone on the changing table or on any other high surface.
  • Do not leave your infant unattended in a bassinet if you have other small children. They could try to pick up the baby or rock the cradle.
  • Avoid the use of walkers. They can result in serious injuries.
  • Never drape clothes or blankets over the side of the crib because they can fall or be pulled over the baby’s head.
  • Do not use a cord to tie rattles or pacifiers to your baby’s clothes or to tie a pacifier around his neck.
  • Purchase pacifiers that cannot possibly come apart. Solid, one-piece molded plastic ones are the safest. Check them periodically for deterioration. Never use the top and nipple from a baby bottle as a pacifier.
  • Never give balloons to a baby or small child. An uninflated balloon or pieces from a popped balloon could get stuck in his throat and choke him.
  • Do not take medication or vitamins in front of your child.
  • Remove your pet’s food dishes from the floor when he has finished eating.
  • When you have visitors or overnight guests, make sure that their purses and suitcases are locked or out of the reach of curious hands.

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Immunisation Schedule

A healthy baby is a dream of every parent. For this you not only have to give the baby nutritious food, but protect him / her from common infectious diseases which are prevalent in childhood.An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, they say. This is very true when talking of certain childhood diseases.You can protect your baby by regular and timely immunisation. Worldwide the proven vaccine preventable diseases of childhood are polio, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) typhoid, measles and tuberculosis.‘Immunity’ refers to the body resistance or ability to fight an infection. The bodies defense mechanism act as warriors to fight off various disease agents that may attack. You must be wondering how immunisation works. Vaccination or immunisation is the deliberate introduction of a germ that can cause a disease, into a healthy body, to stimulate an immune response. It is important to know that in a vaccine, the ‘germs’ or causative agents are prepared in a manner so as to only stimulate a response, but not cause the full-blown disease. Hence, when there is another attack by a similar agent the body is prepared and can fight it off vigorously. The process is called as ‘active immunity’. The only other way active immunity develops is when the body is affected by a disease and then produces antibodies (fighter substances in the blood).Most of the childhood diseases, which can lead to sickness, disability or even death, can now be prevented by immunisation.

The National Immunisation schedule:

At birth BCG. OPV. 0 Dose
6 weeks DPT I. OPV I
10 weeks DPT II. OPV II
14 weeks DPT III. OPV III
9 months Measles
16 – 24 months DPT (B) & OPV (Booster)
5 – 6 years DT OPV (Booster)
10 years T.T
16 years T.T

As science is advancing we are having more and more options in health care. A seventh vaccine preventable disease has been added to the list. Link to vaccine preventable disease above. This is infectious hepatitis Type B. This virus (Hepatitis B) is also a known carcinogen (factor leading to cancer). Hence by giving this vaccine, you are also preventing a factor for cancer in later life.Other newer vaccines like those against H.Influenza, Meningococcus, Mumps, Rubella, Typhoid and chicken pox are also available.

These can be given at:

Hepatitis B 6 weeks
10 weeks
7.5 months
MMR (Measles+Mumps+Rubella) 15 months
Typhoid 3 years / 10 years / 16 years.
Chicken pox 4 years

 

BCG Vaccine (Bacillus Calmette Guerin):

This vaccine protects against tuberculosis. In all developing countries (like India), Tuberculosis is a major infectious disease. Therefore this vaccine is a ‘MUST’. Even in developed nation TB is re-emerging as an important cause of morbidity.It is given immediately after birth within a week. It is given on the baby’s left upper arm (deltoid region).A reaction to this vaccine is seen in 6 weeks in form of a small swelling. This bursts within the next 8 – 10 days. Healing occurs slowly over next few weeks. Then a small, permanent, rounded scar of size of 4 – 8 mm diameter is left behind.

Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Don’t rub the site of vaccination.
  • Don’t apply hot fomentation.
  • Report to your doctor if no swelling appears or appears in armpit / neck.

Efficacy:
Initially there are some controversies as to whether BCG can truly protect against tuberculosis. The controversies have been resolved, and it is of proven benefit. Even if the child later contracts tuberculosis, the immune system is better equipped to fight and a much milder form of the disease will result.

DPT Vaccine:
It is known as ‘triple vaccine’ as it protects your child against three diseases:
Diphtheria.
Pertussis (whooping cough).
Tetanus.

It is given on the side of the baby’s thigh. There are 3 doses of DPT and 2 booster doses to be given.

  • The 1st dose should be given at 6 weeks and next 2 doses at an interval of 4 weeks each. Link to the schedule of vaccination.
  • The booster doses are given at the age of 1-1/2 and 5years.

The ‘P’ component may cause complications like convulsions, spasm and encephalitis if given after 5 years, hence only ‘DT’ is given as the 2nd booster dose. DT is also given earlier if:

  • The child has convulsion within 3 days of receiving the vaccine.
  • High grade fever (more than 105 F) within 3 days of receiving the vaccine.
  • Persistent and high pitched crying for more than 3 hours.

Do’s and Don’t:

  • Do not rub the site.
  • Cold compresses can be applied to the site.
  • Medications for preventing fever (Antipyretics) will be advised.

Polio Vaccine:
Polio is one of the most ‘disabling’ diseases that your child can be exposed to.Two types of vaccine are available ‘oral’ and ‘injectable’. In India, oral is preferred.Two drops of OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine) are given to your baby every time. The 1st dose (OPV – ‘0’dose) is given at birth. The schedule is:

At birth OPV 0 Dose
6 weeks OPV I Dose
10 weeks OPV II Dose
14 weeks OPV III Dose
1.5 years OPV Booster I Dose
5 years OPV Booster II Dose

They are given with the DPT vaccine on the same day, same sitting.

Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Do not give hot liquids, food, and breast-milk ½ hour prior to and after vaccination.
  • Can be given in minor illnesses.

Pulse polio programme:

Just as small pox was eradicated from the world by vaccination, it is hoped that soon polio will also be removed from the world. To achieve this, the Government of India has started the ‘Pulse Polio Program’ to eradicate polio from our country.On these days, Polio immunisation is done on a mass scale. The basic idea is to develop herd immunity to make the community as a whole resistant to polio. This is scientifically proven to be useful.These extra doses never harm the baby. So you and your baby should participate in the ‘PULSE POLIO PROGRAMME’ and help to eradicate POLIO from our country and world.

Measles Vaccine:

This vaccine provides protection against measles. Usually it is given at the age of 9 months prior to 9 months there are natural antibodies (fighting cells) acquired through mother, so there is no need of measles vaccine prior to 9 months of age.This vaccine is given over the side of the thigh by pinching the skin.

Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Don’t rub at the site of injection.
  • Don’t give hot fomentation at the injection site. Instead of this apply ice over the site.
  • Your baby may develop fever, rash, and diarrhoea. If your baby gets convulsions contact your doctor immediately.

MMR Vaccine (Measles + Mumps + Rubella):

This combined vaccine provides protection against 3 diseases: Measles, Mumps and Rubella.This vaccine is given subcutaneously (just beneath the skin) over the upper part of the arm or over the front side of the thigh.This vaccine can be given at 15-18 months of age. This is a single dose vaccine and no booster dose is needed.

Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Don’t rub at the site of injection.
  • Your baby may develop mild fever and rash after 5-7 days.
  • This vaccine can be given even if your child has had mumps in the past.

Hepatitis B Vaccine (Engerix – B Heptavax etc):

  • This is a relatively new vaccine and it is quite expensive, now a days it is recommended as it has proven benefits.This vaccine protects your child against chronic hepatitis and liver cancer in the later life.This can be given:
  • At 6 weeks or at birth.
  • Next dose 4 weeks later.
  • 6 weeks after the 1st dose.
  • Booster dose after 5 years.

This vaccine is given intramuscularly over the arm. 

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Recommended:  book
"The new parent"
by author Martha
UTILITY

 

 

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