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Shots needed to see baby?

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My DD and SIL will be spending Christmas with his family in Texas. My SIL’S sister had a healthy baby in May. Prior to the family’s visit, she is asking everyone get the flu shot and be up to date on all vaccinations. My daughter thought this is a little overboard but will comply. Is this request standard now with new moms and visitors? I was just holding a 3 month old at our church dinner on Friday, without the flu shot or other vaccinations😳

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2 minutes ago, May said:

My DD and SIL will be spending Christmas with his family in Texas. My SIL’S sister had a healthy baby in May. Prior to the family’s visit, she is asking everyone get the flu shot and be up to date on all vaccinations. My daughter thought this is a little overboard but will comply. Is this request standard now with new moms and visitors? I was just holding a 3 month old at our church dinner on Friday, without the flu shot or other vaccinations😳

 

I' not sure about standard but a friend of mine who is normally very crunchy required that anyone who wanted to hold her baby be up to date on whooping cough immunizations after her experiences with a previous child. Otherwise, she figured they could wait 6 months and "View from afar"

 

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Standard?  No. 

ETA:  And regarding whooping cough vax, people can be vaxxed and still have it and spread it.  It is mostly successful at reducing symptoms. 

Edited by klmama
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Here there is a lot of publicity that visitors to a baby should have recent pertussis vaccine.  I haven’t heard flu being advertised in regard to baby visitors, but it makes sense. 

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It has become the new norm in some areas. My state has been dealing with a huge resurgence of a number of childhood diseases (like measles) that babies aren’t old enough to be fully vaccinated for.

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Haven't heard of that, but maybe her baby gets sick easily, or maybe she heard something scary about this year's flu.  I'm glad your DD is fine with it.

I've never had a flu shot and have no plans to do so ... but would I do it to get to hold a new baby niece/nephew?  Probably.  🙂

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7 minutes ago, Acorn said:

Here there is a lot of publicity that visitors to a baby should have recent pertussis vaccine.  I haven’t heard flu being advertised in regard to baby visitors, but it makes sense. 

Yeah, there's that commercial where grandma turns into the big bad wolf.  🙄  I do think that's influencing a lot of people.

 

I don't think it's overboard to simply ask that everyone be up to date.  I think it would be totally overboard to be like checking people's shot records at the door or something lol.  

 

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2 minutes ago, SKL said:

Haven't heard of that, but maybe her baby gets sick easily, or maybe she heard something scary about this year's flu.  I'm glad your DD is fine with it.

I've never had a flu shot and have no plans to do so ... but would I do it to get to hold a new baby niece/nephew?  Probably.  🙂

We are friends with the grandparents and spent Thanksgiving with them, neither mentioned the baby ever being sick. The youngest daughter will be getting married in February, in NOVA. We’ll see the baby then but guess I won’t hold it because I don’t get the flu shot either.

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I would just assume she's had a bad experience with the flu.  I don't blame her in some ways.  It may not have been the baby who was sick.  She may have had it once or saw someone else get a bad case.  A friend's husband was on a vent last year with the flu and in the hospital for a couple weeks.  He had no asthma and immune system issues.  It can happen.That said, anyone with active respiratory symptoms should stay away from infants and the elderly and wash hands and this can prevent the majority of issues.  

At least one of us has gotten the flu every year we weren't vaxxed for it so we get the vaccine now every year.  

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This time of year that’s very common with newborns.  I have two December babies and they were extra vigilant on those vaccines, for us parents as well.  And since we were in and out of the hospital and NICU a lot it made sense because of delicate immune systems and exposure risk.

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Increasingly common. And I don't think it's overboard. Holding and having close contact with someone's baby isn't a right. You should be up to date on your vaccinations anyway, just for your own health and the health of everyone around you. The flu shot isn't an absolute must for your life, but asking that people who are going to be close to a newborn have it... I mean, infants and the elderly are by far the most vulnerable.

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We had a winter preemie and our ped wanted us to do everything possible to delay exposure to nasty germs the first few months, including not letting anyone with a cold come visit. Evidently respiratory stuff goes from no big deal to ICU very quickly in infants < 6 months. And this was 12 years ago, so not really a new recommendation.

Edited by whitehawk
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15 minutes ago, whitehawk said:

We had a winter preemie and our ped wanted us to do everything possible to delay exposure to nasty germs the first few months, including not letting anyone with a cold come visit. Evidently respiratory stuff goes from no big deal to ICU very quickly in infants < 6 months. And this was 12 years ago, so not really a new recommendation.

I get when parents are extra careful exposing preemies to germs and not wanting sick people to visit. In this case, the baby will be 7 months old when they visit. I’ve also seen pictures of the baby out and about with it’s parents. 

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My oldest is 21 and when I was pregnant with him the pediatrician told me to get the flu shot and not allow anyone around the baby who had not had it. So not a new recommendation for me. 

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11 minutes ago, May said:

I get when parents are extra careful exposing preemies to germs and not wanting sick people to visit. In this case, the baby will be 7 months old when they visit. I’ve also seen pictures of the baby out and about with it’s parents. 

 

Baby can be out and about without them allowing anyone and everyone to hug, hold, etc. You just hold hte baby close and don't let others close when you have to get things done.

 

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I while ago I would have said it was overkill, but now with larger and larger pockets of anti-vaxers, young babies aren't protected like they were even twenty years ago.  I get why a young mother would make this request. The flu shot may be over-reaching, but in my house we all get it because my son has to get it.  The owners of the baby get to make the rules for baby access and we who wish to snuggle said baby must comply.

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I appreciate everyone’s thoughts. Yes, the parents get to make the rules. There aren’t a lot of babies in my life right now but when that happens, I’ll definitely ask and comply with their wishes🌺

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hmm, interesting.   My dd demanded everyone who wanted to come and see the baby have their Tdap up to date. (it was before flu season). I thought she was being overboard because she's a pharmacist and she does a lot of reading on vaccines because they interest her.  She's also in TX.  I was very surprised when she brought the baby to the airport to pick me up.  And everywhere else they took him. They were allowing people at church to hold him, even when he was tiny.   

 

eta: I should ask her if this is something her OBGyn brought up.  (she was asking everyone before the baby was born.).   Interesting supposition that TX may have a campaign on not allowing babies around those who haven't been vaccinated.

Edited by gardenmom5
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To each their own, but research show that the pertussis vaccine does not stop the spread of pertussis. I think you're better off staying away from people who are actually sick than demanding that people get a booster. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/24277828/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/baboon-study-reveals-new-shortcoming-of-pertussis-vaccine/

 

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It is fine to ask.  I think it is a newer thing to request.  Currently we do not get the flu shot.  If event was happening at baby's house, my family would honor the wishes and stay away this year.  If I were hosting or it was being hosted at someone other than baby's house,  we would attend regardless of not having the flu shot.  I, of course, would not attend if anyone is sick.

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I definitely see it a lot with the new moms and saw a lot more recommendations about vax in general around babies.  I tend to worry more about good hygiene.  

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13 minutes ago, DesertBlossom said:

To each their own, but research show that the pertussis vaccine does not stop the spread of pertussis. I think you're better off staying away from people who are actually sick than demanding that people get a booster. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/24277828/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/baboon-study-reveals-new-shortcoming-of-pertussis-vaccine/

 

 

The problem with that is that people are contagious before symptoms are present so they don't know they are sick.  

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1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

hmm, interesting.   My dd demanded everyone who wanted to come and see the baby have their Tdap up to date. (it was before flu season). I thought she was being overboard because she's a pharmacist and she does a lot of reading on vaccines because they interest her.  She's also in TX.  I was very surprised when she brought the baby to the airport to pick me up.  And everywhere else they took him. They were allowing people at church to hold him, even when he was tiny.   

 

eta: I should ask her if this is something her OBGyn brought up.  (she was asking everyone before the baby was born.).   Interesting supposition that TX may have a campaign on not allowing babies around those who haven't been vaccinated.

There were posters about adults needing the pertussis booster all over my OB/midwife's office during my last pregnancy. I had to stare at the poster on the back of the bathroom door every time I went to pee in my cup 😂

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I did 12 years ago.  I  insisted that both sets of grandparents have their flu shots prior to seeing my oldest - who was born at the height of flu season.  I lived through SARS in Toronto as a health care worker.  We also had a HINI death in a child at my hospital.  So I had a strong  opinion on the matter

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It’s the latest ‘thing’, like “Is there a gun in your house” as a condition of play dates was 20 years ago.

I wouldn’t personally insist on a flu shot but I do think it’s reasonable to ask about vaccines as there are an increasing number of folks who don’t do that, and it has changed the operating environment quite a bit.  I’d think twice about letting an anti vaxxer’s child near an infant.  The childhood diseases that we have reduced so much with vaccines are truly horrendous, most of them.  

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It's becoming normal now. I think it doesn't make sense especially seeing that having the vaccinations doesn't necessarily mean you can't have the illness or spread it. 

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screening for flu shot is overboard ; the 'up to date' is enough.  flu shot is not recommended for all...but I wouldn't have the person around the baby if they are over 65 and didn't get flu & pneumonia shots.

What I've done is stopped hosting people with obvious respiratory illnesses, they won't wear the masks and gloves & I don't have the time to disinfect everything they touch, breath, or spit on before a child or a person with low immunity acquires the bacteria or virus the ill person is passing along.  Pneumonia isn't cheap to treat,  and we've had that twice from a visitor who insisted they just 'had a cold' or that the pneumonia they are being treated for isn't contagious. 

Edited by HeighHo
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52 minutes ago, Kassia said:

 

The problem with that is that people are contagious before symptoms are present so they don't know they are sick.  

True. But there are a lot of illnesses we don't vaccinate for too so people just need to be careful around babies in general. 

The problem with the pertussis vaccine is it gives people a false sense of security. You could potentially have an active pertussis infection and not know it because you don't have any symptoms, thanks to the vaccine. 

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I don’t really think it a a new thing so much as previously most would have assumed everyone was current on vaccines. There wasn’t much talk about adult boosters with my first kids 25 years ago.  But there absolutely was with baby girl 3 years ago. My Ob and my pediatrician spoke to me about it.  There were certainly anti-vaxers 25 yrs ago, but not as many and not as loudly.

Now as for whether wanting to visit a loved ones baby would change what I would personally have people in my house get injected with?  No.  I’m very okay with our vaccination choices and wouldn’t hesitate to be around babies or elderly. And there’s some people who shouldn’t have some vaccinations, so that’s a consideration between patient and doctor.

I mean are these moms checking papers or what? It’s not really an enforceable thing?

 

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Close friends of mine, whose kids were in my wedding, came and visited my newborn shortly after I came home from the hospital. I didn’t know until a year later that they do not vaccinate their kids.  At all.  For anything.  We no longer speak.

You can’t assume anything about vaccination status these days.  I don’t blame a mom for having a clear upfront policy, especially with newborns.

 

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I get wanting to keep germs away from babies, but new parents need to be careful in some situations.  My brother and sil had their first baby several months ago.  My mom wanted to travel to meet the new baby.  Being first time, follow all the rules parents, they said she needed to get flu and pertussis vaccines.  She was up to date on pertussis, but she does not get the flu shot due to a bad reaction to it many years ago.  She was so hurt and upset thinking she would not get to see this new grandchild.  Thankfully she was able to later tell them why she doesn’t get flu shots and they let her visit without problem.

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I haven't heard of this in real life. I have heard of people keeping their babies at home and having limited guests.  I have also heard of asking guests to wash their hands which seems sensible to me.  If I visit a baby I just go ahead and wash my hands right away, because I don't want to make anyone nervous.  I did not take my newborns out to public places.

 

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4 minutes ago, Mbelle said:

I haven't heard of this in real life. I have heard of people keeping their babies at home and having limited guests.  I have also heard of asking guests to wash their hands which seems sensible to me.  If I visit a baby I just go ahead and wash my hands right away, because I don't want to make anyone nervous.  I did not take my newborns out to public places.

 

I have to admit, this was the first time I’ve heard of this in real life too. Our daughters are 30 and 26. We had the oldest out shopping at 3days old, baptized at 3 weeks. Youngest DD was in church within 2 weeks and being held by various members. I’m not saying this is how it should be done, just my experience at the time our kids were babies.

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13 minutes ago, May said:

I have to admit, this was the first time I’ve heard of this in real life too. Our daughters are 30 and 26. We had the oldest out shopping at 3days old, baptized at 3 weeks. Youngest DD was in church within 2 weeks and being held by various members. I’m not saying this is how it should be done, just my experience at the time our kids were babies.


yeah.   I think the paranoia is real.  The nastiest germ place to have a baby is the hospital imnsho and yet no one seems to push very hard to not go there for delivery.  If the baby is healthy enough to leave that place healthy - they are probably good to go just about anywhere. That’s almost verbatim what all my obs/pediatricians have told me for 25 yrs of having babies. I did the same as you and simply discouraged anyone who was sniffly from getting too close.  Not that that is real preventive give that most illnesses are contagious for several days to even weeks before any symptoms show. 

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I don't screen people for shots because it seems rather futile given the fact that I leave the house with the baby. If anyone asks to hold I do ask for handwashing first.

That said, I do wish people would keep up to date on their shots, but that's largely out of my control.

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3 hours ago, Lawyer&Mom said:

Close friends of mine, whose kids were in my wedding, came and visited my newborn shortly after I came home from the hospital. I didn’t know until a year later that they do not vaccinate their kids.  At all.  For anything.  We no longer speak.

 

Did your baby get sick after their visit?

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51 minutes ago, school17777 said:

 

Did your baby get sick after their visit?

No.  Nothing happened.  I disagree with their choice not to vaccinate their kids, and I think it was unfair not to disclose this information to me when they came to meet my baby who was too young to be fully vaccinated herself.  But nothing happened to my baby.

I still ended the friendship.  I felt like the only reason they were willing to take the risk of being completely unvaccinated was because enough other people did vaccinate their kids.  They were willing to let my kids face any risks from vaccination so they could benefit.  That doesn’t work for me.

 

 

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Ok, I have no baby at my house.  But I do think there is a difference between taking baby out in a stroller or a wrap when baby is not likely going to be within several feet of anyone else and if they are, mom and dad will see it and can wash baby's hands or face if they feel they need to.   And staying under the same roof with an infant for an extended period of time.  I would just assume parents are following recommendations from their ped, maybe they've seen things, who knows.  I certainly wouldn't take it personally.

I was out with my babies all the time.  I was stir crazy otherwise.  But I made careful choices about where we went and how we were out in the world.

I don't know why you'd choose to be upset and take it personally when new parents ask about it?  There are medical reasons people don't get the flu shot or whatever and those can be brought up in conversations.  It's not personal.  I have a friend who had twin newborns in PICU with RSV.  Respiratory  stuff can turn ugly fast with little ones.  And that doesn't preclude people from taking other precautions.

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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In Nov. 2018, my son had a newborn and I made sure I was up to date on my whopping cough vaccine (surprisingly, I was) and got a flu shot. My son however did neither. I felt safer going in with those precautions since I was going to help with newborn care for a couple of weeks. But for a baby I might or might not hold, I probably wouldn't. In that situation it would be easy to stay away if sick. It's nice of your dd to honor the mom's request though. Mom will probably be able to relax and enjoy the holidays more knowing her little one is safe.

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Just a note--that 7 month old baby in the OP is old enough to get a flu shot herself. CDC recommends them for ages 6 months and up. Once child is old enough to get vaccinated, it's not so important to make everyone else get vaccinated.

We had a few cases of measles in our state last winter. And I think I heard of a few this fall too. For that one, it feels like we can't rely on herd immunity anymore. I was born in that window ('64-'68 I think) where they aren't sure if the vaccine was effective. I was talking to my doctor about this and he also explained that after outbreaks in the late 80's, they started recommending a second booster. So my kids are fully vaxxed, but I was worried that I might be susceptible. My doctor agreed that the easiest thing would be to just get a booster, so I did that this summer and that has relieved my worries about measles.

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When your pediatrician has seen multiple newborns die from the flu in the past couple years they drill the requirement into you.

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27 minutes ago, Katy said:

When your pediatrician has seen multiple newborns die from the flu in the past couple years they drill the requirement into you.

Oh my goodness our pediatric rehab doctor with the CP clinic is ADAMANT.  But she has a one or two patients die every single year, sometimes more, from things like flu and RSV.  When that’s the population you deal with I think your perception of the need and risk is a bit heightened.  I never got the flu shot before my little guy, but I do now and so does he.  We just go too many places he could pick it up and what might make his sibling miserable for a week could put him on the vent with a chest infection, pneumonia, or a prolonged seizure.  So I get it now, even though I don’t maintain that level of alert for my other kids because they don’t *need* it.

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8 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

I don’t really think it a a new thing so much as previously most would have assumed everyone was current on vaccines. There wasn’t much talk about adult boosters with my first kids 25 years ago.  But there absolutely was with baby girl 3 years ago. My Ob and my pediatrician spoke to me about it.  There were certainly anti-vaxers 25 yrs ago, but not as many and not as loudly.

 

 

Good point. Years ago, the majority of people were vaccinated and didn’t know of people who refused them. Now it’s all over the news. 

My friend’s daughter had a baby and she insisted on people being up to date on their vaccines if they wanted to hold the baby when it was very young.  She was the first I’ve heard of it about a year ago.

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Given that it will be flu season, that people visiting may have traveled on a plane or been exposed in other heightened ways, etc it makes sense. And 7 months is still an infant - things like RSV hit babies well into their first year and beyond, so I wouldn't think the Flu was that different. So no, not an outrageous request. And there are differing thoughts about pertussis vaccines and if by reducing coughing it also reduces the spread, but it is a normal request at this point for people who will be in the same house for a long period of time. 

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Shots only address a fraction of the potential concerns anyway.  With or without a shot, the person may be contagious or not.  I tend not to manage based on the most extreme, most remote possibilities.

But others are free to do as they see fit.  It may be mega overkill, or there may be something they know that I don't about their specific situation.  Like ... maybe Great Grandma is frail and they don't want the baby to possibly pass germs to her.  I don't need to know the detailed explanation for every parenting decision.

I do think it can be a passive aggressive action or just ignorance.  But that isn't my problem either.

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49 minutes ago, SKL said:

Shots only address a fraction of the potential concerns anyway.  With or without a shot, the person may be contagious or not.  I tend not to manage based on the most extreme, most remote possibilities.

But others are free to do as they see fit.  It may be mega overkill, or there may be something they know that I don't about their specific situation.  Like ... maybe Great Grandma is frail and they don't want the baby to possibly pass germs to her.  I don't need to know the detailed explanation for every parenting decision.

I do think it can be a passive aggressive action or just ignorance.  But that isn't my problem either.

 

Yeah, the only example I have heard recently was a person requiring vaccinations to see a child, but had put that infant in daycare at only a few weeks old. I promise you I am WAY less worried about an unvaccinated person with no symptoms of illness being around my medically fragile kids than I am worried about the kind of germs floating around a daycare. 

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

Shots only address a fraction of the potential concerns anyway.  With or without a shot, the person may be contagious or not.  I tend not to manage based on the most extreme, most remote possibilities.

But others are free to do as they see fit.  It may be mega overkill, or there may be something they know that I don't about their specific situation.  Like ... maybe Great Grandma is frail and they don't want the baby to possibly pass germs to her.  I don't need to know the detailed explanation for every parenting decision.

I do think it can be a passive aggressive action or just ignorance.  But that isn't my problem either.

Right, but less concerns is better than more. So yes, person may still have a cold but are at least less likely to have the flu. Not being able to control all variables doesn't lead to not wanting to control those you can. 

1 hour ago, beaners said:

 

Yeah, the only example I have heard recently was a person requiring vaccinations to see a child, but had put that infant in daycare at only a few weeks old. I promise you I am WAY less worried about an unvaccinated person with no symptoms of illness being around my medically fragile kids than I am worried about the kind of germs floating around a daycare. 

I'm in the same boat, but also don't HAVE to put my kid in daycare. And kids in the daycare, although full of cold germs and the like, will be required to be vaccinated for , pertussis, hepatitis, etc and workers will likely be required to be vaccinated as well - not sure if flu would be required but seems possible. Mostly though, if the parent has to put their kid in daycare, they don't get a choice about that exposure but they do get a choice not to add more potential exposure by not inviting unvaccinated people into the house. 

I don't think anyone who asks that grandparents be vaccinated before coming for the holidays has they illusion that it will eliminate all disease risks - just that it reduces them and they are probably grateful to have a way to do so. 

Meanwhile, I just got a text that the neighbor's kid spiked a fever a few hours after hanging out with my family on Sunday night, and tested positive for Flu today. And "get flu shot" is on my "to do" list still. Thankfully we've already been dosing with elderberry and vitamin D daily, and I'll up it this week. 

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3 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:
2 hours ago, SKL said:

 

Right, but less concerns is better than more. So yes, person may still have a cold but are at least less likely to have the flu. Not being able to control all variables doesn't lead to not wanting to control those you can.

Definitely.
There’s lots of gunk going around my circles right now, and I’ve been spending time with multiple small kids (<8ish) who have much less than stellar germ control practices. Watching a bunch of gunky kids cough and sneeze into my open air has been grossing me out. I would not want a baby around even just that, so I really wouldn’t want a baby around anything potentially worse if I could help it.

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39 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I'm in the same boat, but also don't HAVE to put my kid in daycare. And kids in the daycare, although full of cold germs and the like, will be required to be vaccinated for , pertussis, hepatitis, etc and workers will likely be required to be vaccinated as well - not sure if flu would be required but seems possible. Mostly though, if the parent has to put their kid in daycare, they don't get a choice about that exposure but they do get a choice not to add more potential exposure by not inviting unvaccinated people into the house. 

I don't think anyone who asks that grandparents be vaccinated before coming for the holidays has they illusion that it will eliminate all disease risks - just that it reduces them and they are probably grateful to have a way to do so.

 

That's true that most people putting young babies in daycare don't have an alternative because they need to be at work. In this case it was by choice, but that's not going to be as common. 

From my own point of view it's intriguing and frustrating what people focus on. Every one of our hospital visits this time of year includes the question if our household is vaccinated for the flu. Okay. But I also had to get the charge nurse to change our assigned nurse in October on the step down unit because ours was sick as a dog. Nope, nope, nope!

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