Vaccines can be intimating to parents, especially the first time!  How much will my baby cry?  How long will symptoms last for? Will my child dread going back?  All common questions and concerns.  See the sections below for how to prepare and what to expect. 

How to Prepare

There's not much you can do to prepare yourself for vaccinations, other than tell yourself this is in the best interest of your child.  Especially the early ones which protect against serious illnesses like whooping cough which can be carried by anyone that is not vaccinated.  Check out the vaccine schedule for your province so you have an idea of how many pokes your child will receive at each appointment.

  • Alberta

  • British Columbia

  • New Brunswick

  • Newfoundland

  • Northwest Territories

  • Nova Scotia

  • Nunavut

  • Manitoba

  • Ontario

  • PEI

  • Quebec

  • Saskatchewan

  • Yukon

To prepare your child you have the option to give them Tylenol an hour before the appointment.  I found this helped a lot, some vaccines my child didn't even notice if I had a toy to distract her!  In addition, if your child runs a temperature after the vaccination you will be prompted to give them Tylenol anyway so just make sure to track dosages and timing if more Tylenol is required later.

What to Expect

At the Appointment:

  1. Check in (bring your child's health care card and a piece of identification for yourself).

  2. Meet with a registered nurse to take weight, length, and head circumference measurements.

  3. Talk with the nurse to review your child's growth charts and any concerns or questions, this is also a good opportunity to ask about questions you have at home.

  4. Review the vaccination schedule for the appointment, talk about soothing methods for your child, and receive some home forms to take home describing what to watch for post vaccinations.

  5. Pokes!... Tears!... Snuggles!

  6. Wait in the play area for 15 minutes to make sure your child isn't having an allergic reaction.

Later At Home:

  • Fevers post vaccines are normal!  High fevers should be managed with Tylenol, if you require help on dosing call your local poison control .

    • Alberta - 1-800-332-1414

    • British Columbia - 1-800-567-8911

    • New Brunswick - 911

    • Newfoundland - 1-866-727-1110

    • Northwest Territories - 1-800-332-1414

    • Nova Scotia - 1-800-565-8161

    • Nunavut - 1-867-979-7300

    • Manitoba - 1-855-776-4766

    • Ontario - 1-800-268-9017

    • PEI - 1-800-565-8161

    • Quebec - 1-800-463-5060

    • Saskatchewan - 1-866-454-1212

    • Yukon - 1-403-667-8726 

  • Extra sleeping is common (after our first visit my 3 month old slept 12 hours that night!). Let these babies sleep and build their antibodies, unless instructed otherwise by a healthcare professional.

  • Some vaccinations will lead to rashes (MMR) which is very common, don't panic!  Any possible systems will be explained in the appointment.