One of the things we learned is why so many vaccines are given in the first year of life. Some are necessary early but the first year is also kids go to the doctor the most – so one of the reasons so many vaccinations are given so early is because there is a captive audience. Anyway, we learned it’s okay to spread vaccinations out over a longer period of time and chose to do so for two reasons: (1), to be able to more easily identify the cause if any adverse reactions were to occur, and (2), to lessen the amount of potentially damaging ingredients put into our son’s body at one time. Read The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears if you want to learn more about vaccines, but remember, it’s a little dated, so don’t forget to cross-check the info with updated information.
So, you can create your own schedule, but we chose to follow the “Dr Sears” schedule for vaccinations, covered in the aforementioned book, which is one of the generally accepted alternative (and slower) schedules. Some doctors will even have this schedule on file – just ask. And after a year-and-a-half on the schedule, here’s where we are today:
If you spread out your kid’s vaccinations, your kid will have to get more shots. This was not a problem when our baby was in his first year. He’d get a shot, only sometimes let out a cry, and then go to sleep or nurse or just be over it really quickly. But right after he turned one year old, his awareness increased or threshold for pain dropped dramatically or something, because not only did he cry, he screamed, and he screamed all of the way home, and he kept crying, he cried when he saw his Band-Aids, and then he cried the next time he saw a Band-Aid. He was traumatized, and we haven’t been back for another set of vaccinations since, because we’re scared.
So here’s a reflection on what we have learned:
- The younger a baby is, the more they may tolerate shots. I'm not a medical scientist, but they probably don’t have the brain connection to pain that occurs later or can't conceptualize or something.
- Some nurses are better at giving shots than others. There was one nurse who would never make our baby cry when given a vaccination, so there is something about technique.
- If we ever have another kid, we will still look into spreading out shots for the reasons listed above but will try to get as many as possible during the first year. If that’s not possible, we will consider giving all the vaccinations on the regular schedule to avoid having to get so many shots and seeing so many tears in the second year.
- The Vaccination Book by Dr. Sears has an alternative vaccination schedule we followed for reasons above. Just be careful, take the detailed information in and let it freak you out. Also cross-check with updated info.
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Parent and Family section on Immunizations – updated regular vaccination schedule, catch-up schedules, and info here: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDPHE-DCEED/CBON/1251609960621
- Bryan Kono, MD - Stapleton Pediatrics –Practices integrative and holistic care – This would be our Doctor if he was closer and if we could afford it. He helped create the class on Immunizations and Circumcision at Belly Bliss, and led ours.