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Looking Back: From Infant Vaccines to Toddler Beds

This week, we are moving our toddler from her crib into her big girl bed. So, naturally, I’ve been reminiscing about the early newborn days, and all the milestones that have led us to this one.

Those newborn days were long and filled with all kinds of new questions and decisions (where should baby sleep, what’s the ideal bedtime, was she getting enough to eat, etc.). All this on top of having our baby in the middle of 2020 as we navigated the risks and unknowns of COVID-19. Let’s just say, it was a bit of whirlwind.

While COVID-19 upended many of our expectations about new parenthood and raised new questions about how to stay healthy and safe, my husband and I were lucky to have a pediatrician that we trusted. He helped us keep our daughter on track for the many check-ups and vaccinations that happen in the first few years. Among all the questions and decision fatigue of new motherhood, immunizing our baby was an easy decision for our family. Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available to prevent disease and death. Vaccines help protect ourselves and our communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. We knew that getting the recommended vaccines was the best way to protect our baby, including from serious illness like whooping cough and measles.

This week we celebrate National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), which is a yearly observance that highlights the importance of protecting children age two and younger from vaccine-preventable diseases. The week reminds us about the importance of staying on track and ensuring infants are current on recommended vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both recommend that children stay on track for well-child appointments and routine vaccinations – especially following disruptions from COVID-19.

As our daughter grows, we’ll continue to work closely with our doctor to make sure she stays healthy, including by getting recommended vaccines. And as I tuck her into her new toddler bed and say goodbye to her crib, I’ll know we’ve done what we can to keep her safe.