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?

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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.

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

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:
A shorter link, if the above one doesn't work:

Here's a news video from CBS about children's medicine:

I also post this type of information on my blog for parents of babies and young children:

Here's a great book for first time mom's:
How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor

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!

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.


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!

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