From a tiny baby in your arms to maybe taking their first steps, it’s been a wonderful whirlwind of a year! And so much has happened! The growth from newborn to a year old is amazing – babies triple their weight and grow by around 18cm in the first year.
A toddler emerges
A little child is emerging who is quite different from the totally dependent baby they were only a few months ago. It’s exciting for parents, but it’s OK to feel a little sad too that the baby stage is over. At this stage, more than ever, it’s important to remind yourself that every child is unique – they all do things at different times, from walking to talking, sleeping through to giving up their dummy. Other people may have an opinion on whether your child should or shouldn’t be doing something, but don’t take it to heart. As long as your doctor is happy with your child’s progress at one year, all is well.
Time for vaccinations
Around this time your doctor will remind you to bring your one year old in for the next set of vaccinations. It’s very important that you get these done. There are three jabs – Hib/Men C, MMR and PCV. So what are they?
- Hib/Men C This is a booster jab to top up vaccinations your baby has already had. Hib protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b, which is a really nasty bacterial infection that can be fatal. The Men C booster protects your baby from meningitis C, which is also a very serious illness.
- MMR this jab protects your baby from mumps, rubella and measles, all three of which can cause serious illnesses in young children. The vaccination can make your child feel a bit unwell a few days after the jab but the benefits far outweigh the possible consequences of your child getting one of these illnesses. Although deaths are now rare, children can still become very ill from mumps or measles. So make sure your child gets the jab.
- PCV This jab protects your child from 13 strains of the pneumococcal bacterium, which can causes serious illnesses such as pneumonia and blood poisoning.
- If your child has a long-term medical condition, the injectable flu vaccine may also be offered to them.
Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about these jabs and to understand more about them. You will be protecting your child from some very serious illnesses throughout their childhood and into adulthood, so it really is worth completing the vaccination programme.