26 answers

Worried About Using Children's Benadryl on 6 Month Old

I was wondering if anyone had experience with Children's Benadryl, specifically with a baby as young as six months. My 6 month old has been so stuffed up and has a pretty bad cough for the past couple of days. The doctor says it is a viral infection (not an ear infection or anything lung related, thankfully). She said we could try Benadryl to help relieve her symptons and let her get some sleep. I am nervous about giving her this, you hear such horror stories. I'd rather keep doing what we have been (humidifier, elevate her crib mattress, going into a steamy room, saline drops) unless she is really suffering. Not that I am against medicines, but I am just nervous about giving her an antihistamine unless she is really bad. Just wanted to see if I am worried for nothing - is it common to use children's benadryl on a six month old.. Just wondering if anyone had any good or bad experiences with it. thank you!!

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Thanks everyone so much for your replies! After reading through everything, I definitely am NOT giving her the Benadryl, at least not until she is 6 years old and probably not even then. Thank you for all the information and suggestions!

Featured Answers

You are right to worry about this med for a 6 month old. Keep doing what you are doing and definitely do not give benadryl... it can be dangerous and deadly!

1 mom found this helpful

I wouldn't give Benadryl to a 6 mo. I think you are taking the right steps to make her more comfortable. I'm not anti-meds in general, but for a 6 mo...

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,
My 12 month old daughter has had a cough on and off the whole winter, at times it has been pretty bad and is SO hard to listen to! My pedi has said that she didn't recommend giving her any type of antihistamine so we didn't and just used the humidifier, saline + nasal aspirator. The one thing that we did use was the Vicks liquid in the humidifier, that really seemed to help her coughing at night...other than that we just waited it out and she would get better within a few days.

Good luck!

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Neither of my kids have ever had Benadryl (ages 3 1/2 & 13 mos). I'm sure they could have benefited from it many, many time, but I just didn't feel it was worth the risk. I think what you're doing is the right thing, and as frustrating as it is, you just need to let it take its course. Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

I know the bottle says 6 years + unless advised by a doctor... and that's still for children OVER 2 years. If your doctor said it's ok, i would go with it. Just make sure you measure the dose he/she said exactly. If you feel she doesn't need it, and what you are doing is working, then don't. You know your daughter better than a doctor that saw her for 5 minutes would. If she gets worse i wouldn't think it would hurt to try it.

1 mom found this helpful

I wouldn't give Benadryl to a 6 mo. I think you are taking the right steps to make her more comfortable. I'm not anti-meds in general, but for a 6 mo...

1 mom found this helpful

don't do it. your dr is mistaken. my daughter is 17 1/2 mos and she still doesn't take benedryl for a cold. our dr says, not until age 2 and then use it sparingly. it isn't worth the risk, stick to what your doing plus saline spray up the nose and then suction it out. good luck

D.

1 mom found this helpful

You are right to worry about this med for a 6 month old. Keep doing what you are doing and definitely do not give benadryl... it can be dangerous and deadly!

1 mom found this helpful

i wouldn't give benadryl to a 6 month old.it is technically for ages 2 and older. i would continue to do what you have been doing. i workin pediatrics and we don't recoomend giving benadryl to kids under 2 especially a 6 month old. i would trust your instintics

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds strange, but whenever my twin boys (12 mos.) get stuffy, I find that infant Tylenol seems to really help. Not sure why it works - but I know other moms who've had similar results. My pedi says to avoid antihistamines until they're older, too, but Tylenol is fine (using infant weight-based dosage). Good luck!

Since Benadryl is an antihistimine (forgive spelling) and your doctor didn't mention allergies, I'd speak with a pharmacist before giving it to your child. Regarding side effects, Benadryl can cause seroius drowsiness. Heck...I used it as a sleeping pill when I was pregnant.

Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to over the counter (OTC) meds...Pharmacists have to know uses and side effects...it's what they do. Doctors know some of the basics, but I'd take a pharmacist recomenation over a MD's any day. I used to be a medical secretary and it was my former employer who told me this.

Good luck.

Mummywytch

Great question! I'm actually VERY surprised that your ped. would recommend benadryl. My son had an allergic reaction to peanut butter at 14 months and the doctor debated giving him a shot of benadryl and decided not to as he was breathing OK. I would question your doctor again about the safety of this.

I gave our five month old benadryl (well the doc did) for an allergic reaction and it did the opposite, it wired him and he projectile vomited (don't know if that was from allergy or benadryl) but regardless, the wired thing wasn't pleasant, our doctor said that hapens to some babies so I didn't give it to him again and won't unless he has another allergy!

I think the FDA warnings about cough and cold meds were really because of the irresponsible parents out there who use them like candy (just like dosing a baby up with tylenol EVERY TIME they're fussy. There are people that just aren't responsible enough to use these products sparingly. Or for the people who have their kids on cough meds for a month straight for a "cold", when they should be taking them to the doc instead. Personally, if it doesn't seem to be bothering her too much then I would go with the humidifier and home remedies instead. Another thing that helps is squirting saline in her nose and a minute later using the "blue bulb" to clear out her nose. This should hopefully help. I know the birch pollen is really bad right now, so maybe you could use the benedryl occasionally when nothing else seems to be helping. I'm sure if your doc told you to use it then it is okay. Doctors are usually pretty cautious about this stuff even for liability reasons alone.

Hi M.,

I am a mom of 3 grown girls, and now a proud Grandma of an 18month old boy, he ways about 22 lbs. The benadryl is more about weight I think than age. We gave him about a 1/2 tsp and he did okay with it. It didn't make him too drowsy, but did seem to clear him up a bit. Depending on how much she weighs, I would say 1/4 of a tsp or maybe a little less would be okay for her.

Hope this helps.

My personal opinion in this is to ride out the storm without using such meds on an infant so young. I know that's easier said than done but I beleive in the policy of playing it safe. There have been plenty of times that my doctor recommended something to me that my mommy-gut told me otherwise. It seems your insticts are making you feel uneasy, otherwise you wouldn't be this concerned. Go with it. You know best. My opinion is these babys have such tiny organs and for something like a cold, why give them meds that could potential harm those organs?? That being said, here's a few tricks I've learned along the way...

1. Put some baby vicks rub on their pj's before going to bed.. rub some on the collar.. it will last all night as opposed to it getting absorbed into their skin and only last an hour.

2. Elevate the mattress

3. Sit them in a warm tub and use vapor bath by Johnson &Johnson

4. Saline drops work great if you can keep them from not squirming!

5. Infant Tylenol

6. Lots of fluids (breastmilk or formula)

7. A humidifier in the room
Hope this helps!

I just want to second the idea of adding, to all the other good things you're doing, some drops of liqid Vicks or some eucalypus essential oil (which is what is in Vicks) to the vaporizer. We do that with our daugther and it really helps with stuffiness.

Trust your instincts...and remember that while it's hard to have a baby out of sorts/out of ryhthm, it's only a cold and it will get better! Remember to get as much rest as you can, too, and drink plenty of fluids.

Best of luck!

I wouldn't do it - as you probably know the FDA issued a warning late last year against giving anything to children under two.

http://www.fda.gov/consumer/updates/coughcold011708.html

I agree that you should keep doing all the things you are doing, and nurse her as much as possible if you are breast feeding as your antibodies can help her over her cold as well.

Hope you both feel better soon.

I've given my 2.5 year old Benedryl without any issues, however I wouldn't give it to my little one either (now 12.5 months). I found that using a vaporizer at night, elevating the head of her mattress,& rubbing vicks baby vapor rub on her chest can help comfort her at night when she has a cold. Also, I was just introduced to Hyland's C-Plus Cold Tablets that work great (same makers of the teething tablets...another great invention). The product is 100% natural & is safe to use, it helped alot with my daughter's last cold. As a mom, you always have to trust your gut. Hope your little one feels better soon!

Have you tried saline spray and a suction bulb? Babies hate it the suction bulb, but you can really suck out a lot of mucus this way, you probably just need to have someone help you do it. Sing a song and make it as quick as possible, give lots of hugs afterward. Also try steaming up the bathroom before drawing your babies bath (let the hot water run for a while first).
Personally I usually gave my girl tylenol with a bad cold because I assumed that just like an adult, she probably has a sore throat with it. But sometimes I found myself staying up at night holding her in an upright position so that she could breath well enough to fall asleep. It was tough, I won't lie, but there were nights when this was the only way she could sleep. When they are this young they really need a LOT of extra TLC when they are sick. I don't think a weight-based dose of tylenol or benedryl will hurt your child, but you have to decide whether or not you think your baby needs medicine or just needs extra hugs/comforting/holding/etc. until he/she feels better. Ask someone to come over and help if it feels overwhelming!

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with using Benadryl on such a young child, but just be careful. On my pedi's advice, I gave Benadryl to my 6 month old, and despite warnings that it could induce drowsiness, my baby was WIRED for about 24 hours! My pedi says it can have that effect on about 10% of children. It wasn't the best experience, and I've avoided it since.

Sounds like you are doing the right things..in my day there was no children's Benadryl and those are the things we did for our children.
I would suggest adding this....honey ( be sure it is pasturized altho we gave our babies raw and none died from honey poisoning) put some vinegar in it...not a whole lot but more than just a little, you can warm it on the stove or in microwave...best cough syrup there is.
You will not find anything on a drugstore shelf more effective.
Another trick that ( believe it or not) works well for a cough is to rub the soles of their feet with vicks vapor rub and put sox on them. Dont ask me why but it does.
Think it is something to do with the vapors being absorbed by the skin or some such. This is a good method for nights.
If you do not feel comfortable giving your infant chemicals, then dont.
Everyone got by for thousands of years without them, yes?
Best wishes and God bless
Grandmother Lowell

PS I respond before I read the other responses and one thing I would like to caution you mum's about is adding Vicks to vaporizers. Last I knew it was not a good thing for the babies to breath in the oils and such that are dispersed with the steam.
That being said, there is a special vicks made especially for vaporizers that eliminates this problem.

not to worry about giving your baby benadryl. do double check with the pharmacist about the dosing. they have a chart that will tell you how much to give according to age and weight. good luck! ~K.

There are much safer alternatives with no side effects, such as elderberry syrup (anti-viral that you can find made with simple syrup, not honey for children under 1 year of age) and elder flower tincture--three drops every 20 mins until symptoms decrease--great for head colds. If unsure, check with a certified herbalist or naturopathic doctor.

i have given it to both my children, both had head colds early in life, and it was the only way they were able to dry out their sinuses enough to get some sleep. trust your doctor on this one, and just follow the right dosage he/she instructed you. good luck

If your pedi said it was safe I think it must be safe. I really dobut that they would reccomend something that could cause any harm in any way. That said, I have (on my doctors advice) given my children (as early as 6 mo) benadryl on occassion when they have been very sick with head colds. I only give it at night to help them get some rest, I measure teh dose accuratley, and I stop giving it as soon as the symptoms begin to decrease. Some children do have an adverse reaction to this medicine (does not happen often) it will not harm them in any way but it can make them hyper instead of sleepy, this is the only downfall and you will know about half an hour after you give it teh first time. Good luck.

Hi M.,
My 12 month old daughter has had a cough on and off the whole winter, at times it has been pretty bad and is SO hard to listen to! My pedi has said that she didn't recommend giving her any type of antihistamine so we didn't and just used the humidifier, saline + nasal aspirator. The one thing that we did use was the Vicks liquid in the humidifier, that really seemed to help her coughing at night...other than that we just waited it out and she would get better within a few days.

Good luck!

My son was about that age when he started getting benedryl because of allergies. The reason they say not to give cold and allergy meds to babies and kids is because most people don't read all the ingredients and end up overdosing their kids by giving them tylenol or motrin and the cold/allergy medicine already contains it and those medications only have one dose for all different ages listed I'm sure they suggested a very small dose of benedryl that is appropriate for her age and weight. I have never had any problem w/ giving it your body can't heal unless it can rest and we gave my son triaminc allergy and cold once after our ped recommended when he had been sick for almost 2 weeks and after getting 2 full nights rest w/ it he was much much better. If your daughter is sleeping fine w/ this cold then continue what you are doing but if the cough is waking her I would definately give her the benedryl right before bed.

Hi M.
I do not have any experience with using Benadryl on a baby-but I do want to commend you on NOT doing this because the Dr says to. There is too much medicine being given to our babies and not enough common sense!
Good luck and keep on questioning !!
J. H

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