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Your baby is growing and changing before your eyes. By the time they’re 2 months old, they may be smiling, cooing, and holding their head up for longer stretches during tummy time. Your pediatrician will track these milestones at your next well visit, as well as administer your baby’s first big round of vaccines.

In their first 2 years, your baby will receive vaccines that protect against 14 serious diseases. Here’s more about what shots your child will receive at the 2-month appointment, what side effects they may experience, and what you can do to ease any discomfort.

Hepatitis B (HepB) is a liver disease that’s caused by a virus. While some people with this disease only have mild symptoms, others may require hospitalization or deal with chronic health concerns, such as liver cancer.

Your baby receives their first vaccine for HepB shortly after they’re born. At 2 months old, they receive a booster shot. The final dose comes somewhere between 6 and 18 months.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the HepB vaccine is safe. After the shot, your child may experience soreness at the injection site or a low-grade fever up to 101°F (38°C).

The DTaP vaccine covers several illnesses in one shot. These include diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis.

  • Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection that may cause a thick coating of mucus at the back of the throat, making it difficult to breathe. Diphtheria is fatal in 1 in 5 children under age 5 who develop the infection.
  • Tetanus is a serious disease that’s caused by certain bacteria entering the body and secreting a toxin. It may cause anything from muscle stiffness or spasms to fever to jaw cramping. It’s estimated that tetanus is fatal in 1 in 5 people who develop it.
  • Pertussis is more commonly known as whooping cough. It’s a serious infection of the respiratory system and can cause uncontrollable coughing fits and may last 10 weeks or more. Whooping cough is highly contagious and can be deadly, especially in infants.

The first dose of DTaP is given to your child when they’re 2 months old. Boosters are then given at:

  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • between 15 and 18 months
  • between 4 and 6 years

Another booster, called Tdap, is given when your child is 11 to 12 years old.

Most children don’t experience side effects after getting the shot. That said, your baby may develop mild side effects, including fever, vomiting, or pain at the injection site. In very rare cases, some children develop a high fever, seizures, or continuous crying for 3 hours or more.

Pneumococcal bacteria may cause infections in a child’s ears and lungs. The infection may also spread to the blood and brain, which can lead to chronic health concerns or, in rare cases, death.

Babies under age 2 are most at risk of this disease. Some strains are antibiotic-resistant, so treatment with antibiotics, like penicillin, may not be effective.

The PCV13 vaccine protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal disease. At 2 months, your child will receive their first shot in the series. Boosters are given at 4 months, 6 months, and sometime between 12 and 15 months.

This vaccine is safe, and most babies don’t experience side effects. Those who do may have:

  • fever with or without chills
  • loss of appetite
  • headache
  • fatigue

They may be more cranky than normal. Pain, redness, and warmth around the injection site are also possible.

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a bacteria that can cause serious illness. One of the most common forms of this disease is meningitis, which is an infection that affects the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Children under age 5 are particularly at risk of infection. Hib disease can be fatal in 1 out of 20 children who develop it.

The Hib vaccine is divided into three or four doses that are given at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months (depending on the brand), and sometime between 12 and 15 months.

The CDC deems the Hib vaccine safe. After receiving the shot, your child may experience a fever and swelling, redness, warmth, or discomfort at the injection site. However, most children don’t experience any side effects of this vaccine.

Polio is a disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. When it affects the spinal cord, it may cause paralysis that’s either temporary or permanent. In some cases, it can be fatal. Children under age 5 are particularly at risk of contracting the poliovirus.

The inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is given in a series of four shots. The first comes at 2 months followed by boosters at 4 months, somewhere between 6 to 18 months, and again when your child is between 4 to 6 years old.

This vaccine is also safe and effective. After receiving it, your child may experience mild reactions, like pain or swelling at the injection site.

Rotavirus is a virus that can cause diarrhea and vomiting in young children. These issues can become severe and even life threatening. In rare cases, they may lead to severe dehydration.

This vaccine is not a shot. Instead, it’s given orally in the form of drops. Depending on the brand, your child may receive the RV vaccine at 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months, or just at 2 months and 4 months.

The RV vaccine is safe, and side effects are uncommon and mild. These reactions might include fussiness, diarrhea, or vomiting.

In very rare cases (1 in 20,000 to 100,000), a bowel blockage (intussusception) requiring surgery may occur.

Your pediatrician will give you vaccine information sheets to take home after your baby’s vaccines. The sheets detail which vaccines your child received at their appointment and the possible side effects associated with each.

Though most babies don’t experience any side effects, mild reactions are normal after 2-month vaccinations. Reactions may include a rash or pain at the injection site.

Other potential side effects depend on the shot and may include:

  • fussiness
  • fatigue
  • stomach issues, including vomiting and diarrhea
  • low-grade fever

More serious reactions are rare but possible. If your little one has a high fever, extreme fussiness, or seizures, contact your pediatrician for further instructions.

The CDC suggests asking your pediatrician about giving your baby a solution of sucrose or glucose in the minutes before receiving vaccines. The sweetness may help with pain relief during the shots.

Afterward, you may want to nurse your child if they’re crying or otherwise unhappy. The sweetness in breast milk, as well as the closeness and warmth, may help calm them.

At home, you may swaddle your baby to make them feel secure. Be sure to keep up with frequent breast milk or formula feedings to keep them hydrated as well.

Other ways to help your baby:

  • Ease pain or discomfort by applying a cool, damp cloth over the area where the shot was given.
  • Relieve a low-grade fever by giving your baby a sponge bath in lukewarm water.
  • Ask your pediatrician to suggest a pain reliever (acetaminophen) and a dosage that’s appropriate for your child given their age and weight.

Side effects are most common in the first few days after the vaccines are given. Contact your pediatrician within 24 hours if mild reactions last longer than this. They can determine whether your child needs to be seen or if they have another illness that may be causing symptoms.

Call your pediatrician at any time after vaccination if your child:

  • has a high fever
  • has been crying for 3 or more hours on end
  • has redness at the injection that’s still there after 48 hours

You should also let the pediatrician know if your child looks or acts like they’re very sick. Call 911 if your little one is unresponsive, limp, weak, or if they’re having trouble breathing or swallowing.

Read more about your 2-month-old baby here.

Vaccines are a vital way to keep your children healthy and safe and protect them from dangerous diseases. In fact, they can greatly lower the risk of infection and life threatening complications.

If you have questions about vaccines or your child’s vaccination schedule, talk with your pediatrician.

Learn more about the importance of vaccines for infants and young children here.

Healthline

If you’re worried about potential side effects of your baby’s vaccines, speak with your pediatrician. Reactions should subside within a few days. More severe reactions are rare and shouldn’t discourage you from vaccinating your child.

The CDC explains that there are no clear benefits of following a delayed vaccination schedule versus a traditional schedule. So, be sure to keep up with your child’s well visits and vaccines to keep them protected.