Just curious what everyone is thinking as far as vaccines go. I still have quite a bit of research to do! We'd talked about doing selective/delayed, but are (hopefully) moving to the UK in March and keep hearing that we shouldn't delay if we're travelling by plane, etc. I'm thinking so far that I don't want to do Hep B (since it's only spreadable through blood/fluids), but not sure on others. I'm so torn because I want to keep things natural but would also hate if he got something crazy while we were travelling that could have been prevented. I definitely lean towards less if possible. Would love some good advice insights, as well as info on where everyone else stands!
Vaccines -- None, delayed, selective?
I think my advice is:
Research what the risks are of each disease. Decide if those are risks you are willing to accept. Is this a disease you would feel like "oh, well" if your child got it, or one you would feel like "OH, SH*T"? I have three "oh sh*t" diseases on my list (polio, diptheria, and tetanus) and those are what we vaccinate for.
In your circumstance, look at the recommended vaccine schedule for the UK as well as the US to get an idea of different options.
Research what scientists know about how the immune system develops. For my family, we feel that breastfeeding is an intrinsic part of the child's immune system development and so we have not so far done any vaccines for any of our children until they have weaned (between 2 - 3 years for each of the three older ones.)
Research which vaccines are recommended primarily for circumstances that don't apply to your child - for example, there are a number of vaccines that are mostly applicable to babies in daycare or otherwise exposed to lots of different people's germs which their breastfeeding mother won't be. I have never felt any of those were worth doing, even if the disease is awful or dangerous especially to infants - because my kids have always been in my care supplemented by family members, and always with me - so my breastmilk will be producing antibodies to anything we're exposed to as soon as my body is.
Think about other risk factors which your child may have - for example, if I/my partner worked full-time in a hospital setting I'd probably do a lot of vaccines I don't now just because I'd know we'd have a much higher chance of being exposed to something really nasty. I think probably a one-time airplane ride wouldn't meet that standard for me, but it might for you.
These are tough, personal decisions to make. I have one fully (through age 2) kid, and 3 non-vaxed kids (DS2 had a tetanus shot only). However, we have been planning for years to do more international travel. I may be getting some vaxes then. Polio, for example, is still active in some countries that we may visit, and as mamaB put so eloquesntly, it's on my "OH S%^T list." ;)
Very well said. I am looking for the same information for my baby who is due in January. We are trying to be as natural as possible, but there is just so much information to dig through. I also would add to read the anti vaccination material along with the provaccination material. I think that if we have a more rounded view we are more able to make well informed decisions. Thanks to everyone for your comments, it's helped me.