Vaccines Shortly after Birth

Infants at birth

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 first 12 hours after birth.

This shot acts as a safety net, reducing the risk of getting the disease from you or family members who may not know they are infected with hepatitis B.

If you have hepatitis B, 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.
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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.
  • If 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
Record your baby’s vaccines, weight, height, and developmental milestones.

Well-child visits tracker

Record your baby’s vaccines, weight, height, and developmental milestones.

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Following the vaccine schedule

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend children receive all vaccines according to the recommended vaccine schedule.

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Page last reviewed: May 10, 2019