Vaccines Shortly after Birth

Image of an infant sleeping

Protect your baby against 14 potentially serious diseases before 2 years old with vaccines.

Your baby’s first shot

Shortly after birth, your baby should receive the first dose of the vaccine to help protect against the following disease:

All babies should get the first shot of hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours of birth.

This shot reduces the risk of your baby getting the disease from you or family members who may not know they are infected with hepatitis B.

If you have hepatitis B, your baby should get the first shot of hepatitis vaccine within 12 hours of birth. There’s additional medicine that can help protect your newborn against hepatitis B; it’s called hepatitis B immune globin (HBIG). HBIG gives your baby’s body extra help to fight the virus as soon as your baby is born.

After vaccination

Sometimes children have mild reactions from vaccines, such as pain at the injection site or a rash. These reactions are normal and will soon go away.

  • Read the Vaccine Information Sheet(s) your baby’s doctor gave you to learn about side effects your baby may experience.
  • Swaddle.
  • Offer breastmilk or formula more often. It is normal for some babies to eat less during the 24 hours after getting vaccines.
  • Pay extra attention to your baby for a few days. If you see something that concerns you, call your baby’s doctor.

Treat mild reactions from vaccines:

  • Use a cool, damp cloth to help reduce redness, soreness, and/or swelling at the injection site.
  • Reduce fever with a cool sponge bath.
  • Ask your child’s doctor if you can give your child a non-aspirin pain reliever.

Important developmental milestones

Get tips to prepare for your baby’s well-child visits.

Shortly after birth, most babies:

  • Recognize caregiver’s voice
  • Turn head toward breast or bottle
  • Communicate through body language, fussing or crying
  • Are alert and engaged
  • Startle to loud sounds
Following the vaccine schedule

CDC, American Academy of Family Physicians and American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend children receive all vaccines according to the recommended vaccine schedule.

Page last reviewed: February 25, 2020