43 answers

Infant and Benadryl

My 8 month old son weighs 16 pounds, 12 ounces and his doctor prescribed 1/2 teaspoon of Benadryl before bedtime. Everything I read says not to do it unless they are a year old. I'm afraid to give him the Benadryl. Has anyone given their child who is under a year old Benadryl?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks all for your advice. The doctor prescribed Benadryl for congestion because he was so stuffed up at night causing him not to sleep well at all. I have decided to use the Benadry starting with a 1/4 teaspoon instead of a 1/2 teaspoon. He had a double ear infection and that is finaly clearing up.

Featured Answers

Hi, M.. My son had frequent ear infections, allergies and congestion and at the time his Ear, Nost & Throat Dr. put him on Dimetapp which is similar. I agree with the smallest possible dose. Denise K.

My opinion...don't medicate kids unless necessary. I've been hearing about not giving kids cold medicine on the news and online a lot lately, and heard the same things about antihistamines last night on Fox 2. (Benadryl is an antihistamine)

Having a baby that sleeps well is great, but not if it risks their health.

Here is the link to the story.
http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail;jsess...

The "no cold meds for infants under 2" rule applies to OTC *cold* medications. Benadryl is considered an allergy med and is not included in that recommendation. It has a specific use, unlike the "fix it all" cold meds with multiple symptom treatments.

To the OP, I used Benadryl with my son, it was often the only thing that would help him breath at night and sleep. Like pp's, it was only occasionally. If he had regular allergies we would have gone another route.

More Answers

Medicine for infants can be very dangerous. Kudos to you for being afraid!

Your doctor should read the news. Here is a story from Tuesday, October 7th.

Drug companies: No cold medicines for kids under 4
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR – 8 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Don't give over-the-counter cold remedies to kids under 4, drug companies said Tuesday. What sniffling little ones need, doctors said, are plenty of fluids and lots of tender, loving care.

Besides recommending against cold medicines off drugstore and grocery shelves, the companies say not to give antihistamines to kids to help them sleep. The new instructions are on packages that started hitting stores this week.

Full story:
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iIEfm2CE9PL72XmlQGIhaB...
A shorter link, if the above one doesn't work:
http://tinyurl.com/NoMedicineUnder4

Here's a news video from CBS about children's medicine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw1PyMbSsx0

I also post this type of information on my blog for parents of babies and young children:
http://blog.corganic.com/

Here's a great book for first time mom's:
How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345342763

That book is probably the best $8 investment you will ever make!

1 mom found this helpful

M., you didn't say WHY the doctor told you to give your son Benedryl before bed. Is he not sleeping well, is he stuffed up, does he have an allergy of some sort? I can't imagine that giving Benedryl as a matter of course every night to a baby is good. Go with your gut. I wouldn't give it to him.

I have. I have never had an issue. Good luck!

M.,
I gave my son benedryl a couple of times when he was younger than a year old. He was fine. As long as it isn't habitual.

My doctor just told me I could give the same dose to my 9 month old. I have been holding off and using the steam from the shower as well as a nasal aspirator, which has been working ok. I also just wanted to clear something up from the other responses. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine, basically an allergy medicine. The cold medicines that were pulled of the market were cough suppressants and decongestants, the main ingredient under suspicion is pseudephedrine, aka Sudafed. Therefore, you don't have to worry about that part. But yes, it can cause a reverse effect of hyperness and jitters, so try it in the middle of the day first. Finally I always double check doses with my pharmacist and triple check safety and doses in one of my drug guides (I'm a nurse). I think it's a great idea to have an up to date nursing drug guide, they are very handy for this sort of thing and you can get one at any book store. Good luck, and I do plan on giving it to my baby when needed.

M.,

If your uncomfortable with the advice of your DR, whether its because your not sure he should have it at all,or if you are unsure the dosage was right, give your local pharmacist a call, tell them what the Dr told you to do and ask if it sounds right. Cheap peace of mind.

My doctor reccomended the same and I did it for a rash my son had but his was children benadryl. He is fine just make sure it is in small doses and write down how much and tthe time you gave it to him just in cause. Hope that helps.

If you are every nervous about what the doctor has asked you to give you baby, call the pharmacists to double check. I do that all the time, that is what they are there for. I have been told by my pediatrician to give my kids benadryl also when they are ready for bed. That congestion can keep them up and the benadryl does dry them up, so it is a good idea and I am not a medication fan. So it will help. But definately utilize your pharmacist!

Hi, M.. My son had frequent ear infections, allergies and congestion and at the time his Ear, Nost & Throat Dr. put him on Dimetapp which is similar. I agree with the smallest possible dose. Denise K.

I've never heard of giving Benadryl at that age! If it were me I would go the local health food store. I get such awesome advice from the store by my home. Let them know his symptoms and they should lead you in the right direction. Did the doctor recommend a vaporizer?...I have an online source I go to also, which I highly recommend...you can type in the information you are looking for and you can read articles this doctor has written. It is www.mercola.com You are very smart for asking before giving anything to your child...
C.

M.,

Yes it is ok to give your son benedryl. I gave my daughter benedryl to help with teething as well as runny noses. I believe it was around 8 months old when I started with benedryl. It will help with discomfort. My daughter never got tired from benedryl. My husband on the other hand will fall asleep if he looks at the bottle. So keep in mind your son may or maynot get sleepy when you give him benedryl.

Best of luck!
P.

Is the benadryl for a cold or sinuses? I wouldn't use it if I were you. My daughter is five months and she weighs about 22 lbs and I wouldn't even give her that. I use decongestant drops from little noses and a little baby tylenol for doctor shot visits. I also used a humidifier and baby rub(only used rub once though) Not all doctors help the way they should. I would get another doctors opinion or just use a lighter medicine.

Either way your son will fall asleep no matter what you give him except for the decongestion drops.
Good Luck

Our daugther had an allergic reaction to pencillin at 8 months old and we had to give 1/2 teaspoon of Benadryl every four to six hours for a week or so. So I would say that your doctor is giving you the proper information of dosing.

Hi M., I am on my second child and we very much the same as you with my first, but the doctor would not tell you to give the baby anything that would hurt him. I have a 1 yr old and she has been sick off and on since birth and she has been on benadryl and I have never see any kind of side effects or problems with her taking. It is so hard as a new mom to know what is right and what isn't and then you have a ton of people advising you this way and that way. I feel if your doctor feels the baby is ok to take it, then I would say you are ok.

We gave our daughter Benadryl at when she was 6months old when she developed a sudden food allergy. We did this based on the advise from her Dr., and she tolerated it just fine. I only gave her that one dose and I don't believe she had anymore until she was older.

I'm pretty sure the label says not to give to a child under 1 without a dr's consent. Tylenol will say that too. Your dr. should have given you the proper dosage based on weight and it should been fine. I don't think I gave it to my son that young, but I know I did around two and I called for the dosage.

The "no cold meds for infants under 2" rule applies to OTC *cold* medications. Benadryl is considered an allergy med and is not included in that recommendation. It has a specific use, unlike the "fix it all" cold meds with multiple symptom treatments.

To the OP, I used Benadryl with my son, it was often the only thing that would help him breath at night and sleep. Like pp's, it was only occasionally. If he had regular allergies we would have gone another route.

As long as your doc said it's okay then don't be worried. The box has that warning on it because some dumb people don't pay attention to weight and give the baby a full dosage. I gave it to both of my kids and they were fine. It helped so much. GOod luck!

Hi M.,
What is the reason his Dr. is prescribing Benadryl at bedtime?
m.

Are we using it to put them to sleep? That's nothing short of giving them a sleeping pill. If they have an allergy and need what's in Benedryl, I can see it to a certain extent.
But not for the sake of putting him down for the night. That's nuts. Go with your instinct.

My opinion...don't medicate kids unless necessary. I've been hearing about not giving kids cold medicine on the news and online a lot lately, and heard the same things about antihistamines last night on Fox 2. (Benadryl is an antihistamine)

Having a baby that sleeps well is great, but not if it risks their health.

Here is the link to the story.
http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail;jsess...

He IS a doctor and would not put your child in harms way. I would absolutely go with what the Dr. said, it's his profession and is well aware of the controversy surrounding cold medicines.

Most medications that are considered safe for infants will not give you dosing measurements. It is for the safety of your child not because the medicine is dangerous but because there is a WIDE range of weights and conditions of infants. The drug company wants you to check with your doctor as the doctor knows your childs medical history and weight. Almost all year old children meet the minimum weight standard for Benadryl so it is not a concern. One thing I might mention. Benadryl is known for giving younger children a REVERSE reaction regrading drowsiness. For a lot of children Benadryl will make them hyper NOT sleepy so giving this to him to close to bedtime could make for a long night. Pharmacists will warn you of this also. Try dosing him far enough away from bed one day just to make sure.

I gave it to my son at 6 months and it was fine. It takes exactly 45 minutes to work and stays in the system for 6 hours and then is out. I gave it to get him to sleep (he is adopted and had many sleep issues). However, he would wake after the 6 hours and it did lose effectiveness after awhile.....just so you know. It was recommended to me by a nurse, so if your Dr. says it is ok, I wouldn't worry about it.

M., I would just tell you to go with what you think is best for your child. If your doc. thinks benedryl with help your baby, and you are ok with it then go ahead. Most peds DON'T prescribe meds if it is not necessary! In my short time as a mother (15months) I have met SOO many women who seem to think their way is the only way.....which is so far from reality! Do what is best for you baby, and chances are it will work out!

Benadryl can have A LOT of side effects. My doc has advised us against giving it to any of our children unless it is absolutely necessary- like in an allergic reaction to something (my one son is allergic to peanuts) In very young children it can actually make them hyper and jittery.

I think it is really a matter of WHY the doc is telling you to give it to him. There are lots of other things to help with runny/stuffy noses. The AAP is now saying that small children should not be given such medicines because of all of the potential harmful side effects. do your research, if you are questioning it- something in your gut is telling you to do so- follow your gut! your mommy instinct is usually right! you know your baby better than your doc!

I have given Bendadryl to both my kids at about 7 months. Your peditrician will know and if he said it is okay than it is. With the peditricians wanting the cold medicines to be pulled from the shelves...benadryl and tylonal are all they feel comfortable giving. You baby is also a good size so I wouldnt worry at all. They need something because of the drainage and conjestion which is probably why he told you take it.

completely safe, the box just doesn't want you to overdose your child. your dr. has a way of figureing out by weight how much your child needs. :)

Yes,

Even i have given Benadryl for my twins when thery 3 months old.
Even i was scared like you but,Its safe to give them,,,Just try to use if necessary otherwise i would'nt give them at all...
But sure follow pediatricians dosage ...

Thanks,
Madhu

We gave our daughter Benadryl at 8 months as well, she did fine. If I remember correctly it was 1/2 tsp. I was nervous at first but her ped to us that it is VERY mild and not to worry. Why are you giving it to your son? My daughter had a ton of drainage so we needed something to dry it up. It does work for the night but during the day we were back to the runny nose and cough.

I gave it to my son in the doctors dosage and he was just fine. My son had a terrible allergic reaction and we had to do something. Just follow their dosage or maybe even a little less if you are feeling unsure.

My doctor recommended benadryl for a plane ride and it was great. It was a couple weeks ago. My daughter was 10 months at the time and I had no problems.

I guess it would depend on what it is needed for and if you think he really needs it. Giving it before bedtime is also tricky with any child for the first time since the medicine has the potential to a)cause hyperactivity and then you'll be up all night or b)cause the child to be sedated (which is somewhat more desirable at bedtime ;) ), but you never know until you give it to them for the first time. That being said, I've never had the need to give it to my children until they were over 1 year, most recently my son had his first dose at 13 months. I'd say this is one of those "go with your gut" moments.

I have to comment on the posting about going to your health food store and consulting the workers there instead of heeding the advice of your licensed practioner. Your pediatrician goes to school for YEARS to learn medicine and REGULATED drug effects. Your typical health food store worker is unlicensed and there's no regulation on what they're selling. Please, read all you want about alternative methods, but make sure the person endorsing that magic bullet is a certified professional. Research the person to make sure they have the scientific education to back up their statements before buying into some hype or phobia about pharmaceuticals.
(I do use herbal therapies myself, but my doctor's voice carries much more weight than my herbalist, especially when it comes to my child).

i have and it worked well along w/a humidifier. i'm assuming that he's stuffy. i still use it for my dtr when she's stuffy from a cold at night and it works well, but i don't use it during the day b/c i figure i can just wipe her nose as she goes. hope this has helped.

Yes, I had too. My son could not breathe during the spring fall and summer months. I only gave him what the doctor recomended and she started him out on pediacare decongestant which is behind the pharmacy counter but you don't need a perscription, that is for babies but that only helps the congestion, the actuall allergies need an antihistamine, and I only gave it to hime when absolutley necessary. The rest of the time I would try bath's and vaporizing the room.
Hope this helps

I think they just say that so people won't self-medicate their children without consulting a doctor first.

I'm assuming that it's for congestion and not just to put your child to sleep.

If your doctor said it's okay, then I'd say go ahead and do it, but only when necessary to make him comfortable for sleeping with a cold/allergies.

M. ~
Everything you read says that because of the dosage. It's based on weight, not age. Your doctor is not going to tell you to give your son something that's not safe to take. My grandson has taken Benadryl with no problem. It's just like when you're pregnant or breast-feeding ~ everything says not to take it, but depending on where you are in the pregnancy and the medication, alot of things are just fine. Products want to make sure you're getting the right advice and not just doing it on your own.
D.

M.,

Not sure why your dr has you giving your little one benadryl but I gave it to my daughter that young because she was so stuffed up at night and she was fine. It was not an every night thing just a couple of nights so her nose would dry up and she could sleep.
I see all this stuff on TV about not giving your kids medicine and if the dr said to do it then you have to trust them and if you don't then you may want to rethink your relationship with them.
People can say what they like about the meds and make their own decisions but one of the biggest reason's some meds are not recommended anymore (as of yesterday I saw) for kids under 4 is because PARENTS not doctors are overdosing their kids. They are not asking before the give the kids medicine and many of the medications can not be used together because they have the samethings in them. It drives me so crazy that people who does their kids properly are punished and kids have to suffer because parents can't dose right.
I feel it is the decision of my doctor which I trust (since I did lots of research on a peds dr before my daughter was born) and myself regarding medication.
I NEVER give my daughter medication about a cold till I speak with the nurses at the dr's office to confirm dosage and what they suggest I give her, I never assume her weight, I always go off of her last visit (even if it was 9mths ago).
You have to use your gut but the bottom line is you have to trust you peds dr and if you don't then my suggestion is to change. You both have to agree how you want to raise your child (no meds, meds etc.).
Good Luck

M. -

My son got a cold when he was six months old and was having problems sleeping at night (because he kept choking on his sinus drainage), so the ped suggested we try Benadryl. That was of course after trying to elevate the head of his crib - that didn't work because he rolls around all over the crib and frequently changes position while he's sleeping.

Anyway, the Benadryl worked like a charm. We bought the over-the-counter allergy and sinus formula. It even made him a bit drowsy, which also helped him (and my husband and I) sleep better. We only used it for three or four nights though, just long enough for him to get through the worst part of the cold. Once he started to turn around, we stopped giving it to him.

Hope this helps!

I have heard of giving smaller doses of Beadryl to younger babies but I'm just naturally hesitant whenever a doctor simply prescribes meds (especially if it is every night for an extended period of time). I've tried some of the natural "medicines" that are sold at places like Whole Foods and while they don't work QUITE as well as the "real" medicines, they do help and they give me peace of mind. But that's just my situation - I don't know enough about your situation to make any sort of judgement (and I make it a rule not to judge other moms because you can never fully understand someone's reasoning unless you've walked in their shoes). So if your gut is telling you that you're not comfortable giving your baby Benadryl, you can always try the natural medicines first (just make sure they're age appropriate).

M.,
Why is the doctor prescribing Benedryl? Depending on the reason there may be a natural and safer alternative. I am a chiropractor in Eastpointe and would be more than willing to help you and your son further.

Yours in Health and Wellness
Dr B. G

What I would like to know is why your doctor has told you to give your 8 month old Benadryl in the first place?
That I don't understand.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.