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Baby vaccinations: what to expect afterwards

It’s normal to worry about how your child will react to vaccinations. Even though immunisations are so important and protect from life-threatening diseases, it can be upsetting to see your baby in pain. But try to remember why you’re there, and stay calm as this will help your baby stay calm too.

Serious side effects after vaccinations are very rare, but it’s normal for a baby to have redness around the injection site, be more upset or fussy than usual, slightly lose their appetite, and have a mild fever.

You don’t need to do anything to treat the red, slightly swollen area where the injection went in. This will disappear on its own within two to three days.

If your baby is upset or irritable after their jabs, you can soothe them by cuddling them, feeding them, taking them for a walk in the fresh air, or reading stories to them.

A high temperature is anything over 38 degrees. If your child does have a high temperature, you can make sure they’re not wearing too many layers, give them plenty to drink, and give them liquid paracetamol or ibuprofen to bring their temperature down. As a fever is very common after the MenB vaccine, it’s recommended that you give your child paracetamol afterwards to prevent and treat any potential temperature.

Note as well that after the rotavirus vaccine, your baby may have diarrhoea.

It is rare for babies to have a serious allergic reaction to a vaccination. If it does happen, it’ll usually happen within minutes and the person who vaccinated your child will know what to do. If your child is crying inconsolably for more than three hours, develops a high fever, seizures, swelling of the face, or limpness, get immediate medical help.