4 Month Shots

Your baby received her first major round of shots at two months, and the 4 month shots are the second dose of those immunizations. Shots can be distressing, but they are an important part of keeping your child healthy. The following information will help you prepare for your baby’s appointment.

What are the 4 month shots?

Most babies will receive the following vaccines at the four-month checkup:

DTap guards against diptheria, tetanus and pertussis.
Hib protects against bacterial infection from Haemophilus influenzae type B.
PCV immunizes babies against 13 strains of pneumoccal bacteria.
IPV is also known as inactivated polio vaccine

These may be given as four separate shots, or your pediatrician may use combination vaccines. In that case, your baby will still receive the same number of vaccines, but they will be delivered with fewer shots. Most doctors also administer a dose of rotavirus vaccine (RV) at four months. RV is an oral liquid rather than a shot.

Why does your baby need a second dose of shots that he already received?

Many vaccines require multiple doses in order to be fully effective. Without repeated doses, the vaccines will not be as likely to guard your baby against illness. Therefore, children must receive some of the same vaccines, first, at two months, then, at four months and, again, at six months.

How can you soothe your baby during shots?

Hold your baby on your lap and let him breastfeed, drink from a bottle, or suck on a pacifier.

What side effects can be expected?

Your baby’s skin may become red, swollen, or sore at the injection site. This may last a few days, but the DTaP injection site might stay sore for a week. Fever is another common side effect of 4 month shots. It usually starts within one day of receiving the shots, and it can last for a day or two.

How can you help your baby feel better afterward?

A warm bath or a wet rag on the spot may help soothe the injection site. A dose of acetaminophen after the shots can help, too, but for maximum vaccine effectiveness, don’t give this until after the shots are over.

When should you be concerned about reactions?

Seek medical attention for fevers above 104 degrees, allergic reaction symptoms, bouts of crying that last more than three hours, seizures or loss of consciousness.

By the time your infant’s 4 month shots are complete, you’ll be a master at helping your baby through vaccines. That’s good because the next round is coming at the 6-month checkup — just eight short weeks away!

Photo: Getty