A peek at our vaccine schedule

First, a Flynn update. A Flupdate.

Our little boy is just about 7 months old, thriving and meeting all of the appropriate milestones. He is (usually) a happy-go-lucky little dude who loves funny faces and barking dogs. He only fusses when he's hungry or tired and it seems like he discovers something new every day. He goes to sleep fairly easily, although a sound machine and his "puppy" are a must! He has 2 little bottom teeth poking through and his favorite thing to do is be on the floor so he can roll around and do "push-ups". Not crawling yet, but it's coming soon...

At his last check-up, he weighed in at 17 lbs. 9 oz. and measured 27" long. He's a solid little boy, and quite an upper body workout for his Mama.

He was exclusively given breast milk for 5 months, and for the past 2 months we have been supplementing with formula: commercial powdered formula for the first week and then homemade formula thereafter (more on that to come!) I'm pumping 3x a day at work (4 days a week) and I always try to nurse before offering formula. Sometimes he needs it, sometimes he doesn't. His huge growth spurt at 5 months drove me to formula. He was never satisfied after nursing and it was making us all crazy.

Flynn took his time getting acquainted with "real food" and at 6 1/2 months has finally moved on to solids for breakfast & lunch (in addition to nursing/formula), which mainly consist of whole grain oatmeal, fruit & veggie purees. Now that he actually knows what to do with food offered on a spoon, we'll be expanding his diet dramatically. Very exciting! His poopy diapers are also a lot more exciting, but more in a vomit-inducing kind of way.

{Flynn's First Phillies Game in April}
Onto the vaccine schedule...
This post is not meant to be controversial and I am not in any way suggesting that you follow this vaccine schedule for your children. It's simply a look at what we're doing. I've done my homework  and I don't know about you, but I feel the most competent as a parent when I listen to my gut and not anyone else (i.e. the government, talk shows, pharmaceutical companies). I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel.

The following factors affected our decisions about vaccines:

- His pediatrician. We purposely sought out a doctor who was more "relaxed" about vaccines and comfortable with alternative schedules. He has made suggestions along the way and we have taken some, but not all of them. 
- His gender. Flynn is a boy. Statistics about autism are not in his favor. I'm not saying vaccines cause autism, but if there is the slightest chance that they could play a role, it's really not worth the risk, especially since most of the diseases vaccines protect against are barely in existence in the U.S. these days. Who gets polio, anyways?
- His caregiver. Flynn is not in a group daycare setting, but rather with my Mom (his Nana) while I'm at work. Thus, he is less susceptible to germs that spread quickly among groups of children.

At birth, Flynn received a Vitamin K injection but we waived the Hepatitis B vaccine. I don't have Hep B and I highly doubt he's going to be sharing dirty needles anytime soon. When he's an adult, he can decide whether or not it's something he wants to be protected against.

With that, here are the other vaccines we're skipping:
- Rotavirus
- PCV (pneumococcal vaccine)
- Polio
- Chicken pox
- Hepatitis A
- Flu
- MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
- HPV (commonly known as Gardasil)
We're also delaying any vaccines for adult meningitis at least until high school.

We waited until his 4 month check-up to start vaccines, and then he received/will receive the following: dTaP (diptheria, tetanus, pertussis) and HIB (a bacterial meningitis deadly to infants).

4 months - Pentacel (this is a combo of dTaP, HIB & polio manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur)
(After the weekend from hell, we decided to not give Flynn the rest of this vaccine series. Fever, fussiness/screaming, lethargy for 3 days straight. So awful. His pediatrician didn't object to switching things up.)
6 months - dTaP (there was little to no reaction from this shot by itself)
7 months - HIB
8 months - dTaP
9 months - HIB
12-15 months - Another dose each of dTaP and HIB (at separate appointments) may be given

It's exciting to see alternative schedules becoming more common these days. Dr. Sears has one, as do some other pediatricians, but ultimately it's up to parents to do what they feel is best. We are lucky to live in a state where vaccine exemptions are available for public schools and I fully intend on filling out the required forms year after year. I'm sure everyone in the main office will think I'm that pain-in-the-butt Mom, but oh well. It's my burden to bear. And I will bear it proudly!

Is anyone else using an alternative vaccine schedule? Or are you going rogue and not doing any vaccines? Feel free to tell me all about it!


  1. This definitely interests me...and even though I don't have a lot of knowledge right now, I'm sure I'll have a lot more to say when I have children of my own. My mom used an alternative vaccine schedule for me and my sibs.
    I don't know what I got when I was first born but after that:
    2 mo. DPT and Polio
    4 mo. DPT
    6 mo. DPT and Polio
    15 mo. MMR
    15 yrs old Tetanus
    17 yrs old Measles
    Occasionally, we didn't fight it or I needed something to travel to a foreign country.
    Oh, and my mom was always the crazy one that refused fluoride at the dentist.
    I appreciate that she researched and made decisions, and didn't just do what doctors told her.
    Anyways, thanks for sharing what you're doing with Flynn! You're a great mom!

  2. Unrelated to vaccines, but I was wondering how did Baby-Led Weaning go for you guys?

  3. Momma Bee, we're not really doing Baby-Led Weaning. I was interested in it, but my son was super interested in solids before he could even sit up on his own. We started out slowly with purees and if he wasn't opening his mouth, turning his head, we didn't force it. At around 6 1/2 months, he was LOVING them. He doesn't have the pincer grasp ability yet and none of the food we put in front of him goes in his mouth... yet he was ready for something other than breastmilk/formula. So to answer your question, I guess it didn't go too well!

  4. It sounds like you're doing a great job following his cues! BLW or not, I'm glad he's enjoying his homemade solids. :)


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