2-Month Vaccines: What You Should Know

Having a 2-month old is an exciting time full of developmental milestones. Your baby may be starting to coo, smile, and notice their hands. Regular wellness checks are important to ensure your infant is on track with their health, growth, and development. 

Babies are usually scheduled to receive vaccinations at their 2-month wellness check. This article discusses recommended vaccinations, possible side effects, and how to comfort infants during and after their appointment.  

2-Month Milestones

The following are milestones that 2-month old babies often reach:

  • Smiling and cooing
  • Bringing their hands to their mouth
  • Brief periods of calming themselves
  • Paying more attention to faces
  • Turning their head towards sounds
  • Beginning to act bored (gets fussy if an activity doesn’t change)
  • Holding their head up during tummy time
Pediatric Nurse Gives Baby Immunization

SDI Productions / Getty Images

2-month Vaccinations

While babies are born with a fairly strong immune system, there are some diseases that can be severe and are hard to fight on their own. Vaccinations are given to help their immune system prevent these diseases. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an immunization schedule that includes six vaccinations for 2-month old babies.

Most vaccinations are given as a shot. However, the rotavirus vaccine (RV) is given by mouth through liquid drops. 

Alternate Names for Vaccinations

Vaccinations may also be referred to as:

  • Innoculation
  • Injection
  • Shot
  • Vaccine
  • Immunization

Comforting Your Baby

During the appointment, you can help your baby by:

  • Holding them
  • Distracting them with toys or singing
  • Smiling and whispering reassuring words

After the appointment, you can comfort your baby by:

  • Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding
  • Offering a pacifier
  • Swaddling with their favorite blanket
  • Giving them Tylenol (acetaminophen) as needed for pain

Diphtheria, Tetanus, Acellular Pertussis (DTaP)

The DTaP vaccination is given in five doses. The first dose begins at 2-months and the final at 4-6 years old. DTaP helps prevent the following diseases:

Is it DTaP or Tdap?

Both the DTaP and Tdap are vaccines that protect against the same diseases. The first five doses given are the DTaP. Tdap is the booster given around 11 years or older. 

Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib)

Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) is often confused with seasonal influenza (flu) because of their similar names. However, these are two different diseases. Seasonal influenza is a virus, while Hib is a bacteria that can cause:

Hib Statistics

Between 1989 and 2000, Hib rates in the United States dropped by 99% due to vaccinations.

Polio Vaccine (IPV)

In the late 1940s, polio was a highly feared disease that caused paralysis. After polio vaccinations, infections in the U.S. decreased dramatically.  

Children in the U.S. get a shot called an inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). Other countries may use an oral polio vaccine (OPV).

IPV is given over four doses at the following ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6-18 months
  • 4-6 years

Polio Cases in the United States

No cases of polio have originated in the U.S since 1979. In 1993 one case came into the country through travel. Healthcare providers may choose to increase the pace of polio vaccines for children traveling to a high-risk country.

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV)

The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) protects against a bacterial infection that causes ear or sinus infections, meningitis, and pneumonia.

The PCV vaccine is given in four doses at the following ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months 
  • 6 months
  • 12-15 months

Pneumococcal Disease

Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcus are bacteria that cause pneumococcal disease. Immunization against these diseases is important because they can be invasive and severe.

Hepatitis B (HBV)

Hepatitis B is a potentially serious viral infection that causes damage to the liver. It is passed through body fluids or from mother to baby. The hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) is given in three doses at the following ages:

  • Shortly after birth
  • 1-2 months 
  • 6-18 months

Protecting Your Baby from Hepatitis B After Delivery

Moms can have hepatitis B without symptoms and unknowingly pass it to their babies at birth. This is why infants usually receive the first dose within the first 12 hours of their life.

Rotavirus (RV)

Rotavirus (RV) is a gastrointestinal virus that causes stomach pain, severe vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration (loss of fluid). The RV vaccination is given as drops in the mouth. 

There are two brands of this vaccine. One brand is given at 2- and 4-months-old. The other brand includes a third dose given at 6-months-old.

Side Effects

If babies experience side effects after vaccines they are usually mild.

The most common side effects include:

  • Soreness, redness, or swelling at the site of the shot 
  • Low-grade fever (100-102 degrees or lower) 

Less common side effects include:

  • Fussiness or irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea or vomiting

What About Severe Side Effects?

Severe side effects or allergic reactions are very rare. If you are concerned about this possibility, talk to your healthcare provider before the appointment.

What to Do If Your Baby Has Side Effects

To help minimize mild reactions, you can try the following:

  • A cool cloth to reduce redness and swelling 
  • A room temperature sponge bath for low-grade fevers
  • Feed your baby more often for comfort and hydration
  • Give Tylenol (acetaminophen) if approved by your pediatrician

Medications to Reduce Fever and Discomfort

Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen) is usually not given to babies less than 6-months-old. Tylenol (acetaminophen) is safe for infants 2-months-old and up with approval from their healthcare provider. Children should not receive aspirin unless directed by their healthcare provider.

When to Contact the Pediatrician

If your baby has any of the following symptoms, contact their healthcare provider:

  • Fever greater than 104 degrees
  • Redness at the shot site larger than 1 inch or lasting longer than three days
  • High-pitched crying lasting over one hour
  • Nonstop crying for three hours or more
  • Fussiness for more than three days 
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea

When to Call 911

If you think your infant is having a life-threatening emergency or any of the following rare reactions, call 911 immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Lethargy (not moving or very weak)
  • Not waking up
  • Seizures

Summary 

Vaccinations are usually given at an infant’s 2-month wellness visit to help protect them from preventable diseases. You can help comfort your baby by holding them and offering them their favorite blanket, pacifier, or toy. Vaccination side effects are generally mild and can be treated at home to ease any discomfort. 

A Word From Verywell

Parents are often concerned about their infants having reactions to vaccinations. While mild reactions to vaccinations may occur, severe reactions are very rare. Don’t be shy about talking to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns. Overall, the benefits of vaccinations (and being vaccinated early in life) far outweigh the risks.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much infant Tylenol is recommended after 2-month vaccines?

    For babies less than 3-months old it’s best to have approval from your healthcare provider before giving Tylenol (acetaminophen). Once approved, the dosage is calculated based on a concentration of 160 milligrams of Tylenol per 5 milliliters. The usual dosage is 1.25 milliliters for babies weighing 6-11 pounds.

  • How do I prepare my 2-month-old for vaccines?

    Write down questions you have and bring available shot records with you. It’s also helpful to pack your baby’s favorite toy, pacifier, or blanket to comfort them during the visit.

15 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Learn the signs. Act early. 2 Months.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Immunization schedules.

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 9 things to make shots less stressful.

  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccine: What you need to know.

  5. Immunization Action Coalition. Ask the Experts: Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Immunize.org.

  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccines and preventable diseases: polio.

  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pneumococcal vaccine recommendations.

  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pneumococcal disease.

  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hepatitis B.

  10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Rotavirus

  11. Seattle Children’s Hospital. Immunization reactions.

  12. Daley M, O'Leary S, Nyquist A, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 25th ed. New York: McGraw Hill;Chapter 10:2022.

  13. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccines for your children: 1-2 months.

  14. Immunization Action Coalition. After the shots. Immunize.org.

  15. St Louis Children’s Hospital. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) dose table.

Additional Reading

By Brandi Jones, MSN-ED RN-BC
Brandi is a nurse and the owner of Brandi Jones LLC. She specializes in health and wellness writing including blogs, articles, and education.