Friday, July 15, 2011


Dear G,
We just got back from your 5 month shots. It was just a quick visit because typically babies don't go to the doctor at 5 months...but because we are doing an alternative vaccine schedule, we went for 2 shots today. Dr. Rahto was on vacation (lucky man) so we saw Dr. Brunner's nurses. Dr. Brunner is who saw you in the hospital and at 7 days old. She's awesome, so it's nice to have her as our back up.
Today you received the vaccinations for Polio (IPV) and pneumoccocal conjugate (PCV13). At your 4 month appointment you received the DTaP and HIB vaccines.
Daddy went the first time because I didn't know if I could handle you getting purposefully poked. It was sad, but you did well. So, I didn't think he needed to ask off this time. We went alone & I'm so happy to say: we did great!!
You cried out a little bit right after the shock/prick pain sunk in...but as soon as I picked you up, you gave us all some smiles :-) I kept my game face on and didn't let you see how nervous I was.
You are so smiley, everyone comments on how much of a happy baby you are! I'd like to take some credit for that, but mostly it's just you! You're so amazing.

So some may ask why we aren't following the CDC recommended vaccine schedule...it's because through all of my research, it just doesn't seem like a baby benefits from receiving 6+ shots at once! I understand that vaccinations are beneficial at erradicating diseases and helping people from not getting sick. You will receive almost all of the vaccines but not at the typical times. We won't be doing the rotovirus, flu, or chicken pox vaccine. Those immunities, for now, you'll get through breast milk. The rest are set back 2 months and spaced out.

The CDC schedules have babies getting the hepatitis b vaccine at birth. We declined that because you are not at high risk for that. Dr. Rahto agreed we can wait until closer to kindergarten for the HepB series. The next recommendation is to get lots (6) vaccinations starting at 2 months, which we declined. We started your shots at 4 months. It gave you some more time to build up your own immune system, love being a natural baby longer, and avoid adverse reactions in such a young baby. The remaining 4 (from declining rotovirus & pushing back HepB) are split on a 4/6/8 and a 5/7/9 schedule. The nice thing that Dr. Rahto keeps reiterating is that your birthday is at a really good time because you'll have all your main shots in before the winter, even with delaying them.

I encourage all new moms and dads to do their research about vaccinations. Ask questions. Find good doctors who have open and honest conversations with you about why/how/etc the CDC says what they say...

But don't worry baby girl, we do want you to be safe(r) from getting sick, so you'll be getting those shots. I say safe(r) because vaccines don't make you 100% safe from getting a disease.

There are more shots to discuss, but I'll do that when the time comes (after 1 yr old).


  1. We also declined rotavirus because my baby didn't seem to be at high risk (breastfed, doesn't attend daycare, sibling doesn't attend daycare or school). We are also indefinitely delaying Hepatitis B and a few others. It's hard to get good info on the risks. Not sure what to do about the chicken pox vaccine and a few others. Good for you for looking at what YOUR child needs, not just a generic one-size-fits-all recommendation.

  2. I have heard it's not good to get a lot of shots at once in case you have a bad reaction to a shop (get sick or something) the doctor will have a really hard time figuring out which shot caused the reaction. I know my mom said when we were babies she would take us to the pediatrician once a month and get only 1-3 shots (if that). I think it's not like that anymore because a lot of parents work and don't want to take a day/afternoon off work to take their baby to the doctor but that is just an assumption. I don't have kids and haven't done the research yet :)


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