Benadryl Question

Updated on February 20, 2011
V.D. asks from Smithfield, UT
12 answers

My 3 yr old is sick with a cold and hasn't slept the last two nights (neither have I) She woke up every 20 minutes the first night and last night after putting her back to bed twice I put her in bed with me, but she didn't sleep all night that way either. I'm so exhausted. Someone suggested I give her some benadryl to help her sleep tonight. I've never done this before. I don't think she is sick enough to go to the doctor but she has been restless the last two nights. What are you thoughts about giving your benadryl? Good, bad thoughts? J

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So What Happened?

the night I posted my daughter began coughing at night. So today two days later I took her to the doctor and she has bronchitis. She's on anti biotic and has a cough syrup that is supposed to help her sleep. I hope it does.

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answers from St. Louis on

If she has nasal congestion keeping her up, I suggest the Breathe Right strips for kids. My 6 and 4 year olds think they're fun.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Toledo on

If you give her the child's dose, it will work wonders for you both. It will help with her symptoms, and should make her sleepy. (Some kids get hyper from it, but you won't know until you try it.) There is absolutely nothing "bad" about it---it's medicine, and the appropriate dose is perfectly OK. Good luck. PS. I'm a retired nurse, if that counts for anything.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My doctor was OK with me giving Benadryl to my young kids (2 and 5) for an 8 hour plane trip so they could sleep. We use it now when they are sick and restless and cannot sleep. I use Benadryl for those occasional nights I cannot sleep. It is the sleep ingredient in Advil PM. My pharmacist has 6 children and when I asked him for advice in the cold-medicine isle, he said none of them really do much and that they always used Benadryl for their kids because it dries up the mucus and makes them sleep. I would read the label and give your doctor the recommended dose. There is one caveat: for a small percentage of kids it makes them not sleepy but hyper but I have not yet met any parent whose kid this happened to. Wishing you both some good rest.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Just ask your Pediatrician....

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answers from Portland on

Give her children's Benedryl. It makes some children hyper and so it may not help. But if she's having trouble sleeping because she's congested it may relieve the congestion enough that she can sleep.

I also recommend putting a vaporizer in her room close to her bed. Vicks vaporub on a cloth near her face may also help. Our family always rubbed it on our chests and suffered no ill effects but some say it's not good to do that. I've also heard putting it on the child's feet and putting socks on over it.

It may help to have her sleep propped up so the congestion can drain down out of her nose. I've slept with my granddaughter in my arms while reclining in a recliner.

Also, if she's unable to blow her nose, try suctioning it out as you did when she was a baby.

Yes, I'd try the Benedryl, not so much for sleep, but to address her symptoms so that she can sleep.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Lafayette on

i give my daughter benadryl on occasion. however, her dr has told me that this is ok to do. i use it for two reasons, one, she has eczema and gets itchy, that's why my dr originally told me to do it. however, in subsequent conversations, he has also told me i could give it to her to help her sleep, especially in new situations. we just moved, and i gave her some benadryl the first few nights. helped her fall asleep in her new room, but definately not stay asleep. i feel guilty when i do it, but i do it because i know she needs sleep. she has a really bad cold and hasn't been sleeping so i've been giving her mucinex and benadryl. its helped a little bit. The way i look at it, if your daughter doesn't get the rest she needs, she won't be able to get better either. the body needs rest to heal. good luck momma.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Gainesville on

She isn't old enough for Benadryl without direction/dosage from a doctor. That's one of the biggest problems. There is no dosage listed for a kid her age on the bottle. And it could have the opposite effect on her and wire her up!

Here's what I do when my little ones have a cold:

-warm/steamy shower before bed to get their noses running
-use a warm humidifier
-comfy jammies and socks
-vicks on the chest
-tylenol to help them feel more comfy
-pillows or crib wedge to prop them up so they can sleep better/breathe easier
-You can try claritin as it's approved for kids over 2 to help her breath better

Vicks also makes a warmer thing that you put little vicks disks in. That way they are breathing the vicks stuff all night. It also works really well.

****heehee Catharina B! My hubby had the bright idea when our son was young to try benadryl on a plane trip and he was wired to the sky! So now you have met one lol!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

Benadryl will dry up the secretions and make it nearly impossible for her to cough up the goo. That can lead to pneumonia. She needs something to help loosen the goo and help her cough it up, a more productive cough. Good thing you took her to the doc. She might end up having to do some breathing treatments, they expand the lungs and moisten the goo and it comes up much easier then.


answers from Chicago on

Bad- it knocks some kids out and it makes others hyper....not a good idea. We HAVE to use it when our daughter has allergic reactions (she is allergic to lots of foods and environmental allergens) but I would never use on it on a simple cold. Prop her up on more pillows, give her a glass of water by her bedside and if she is coughing or scratchy, let her have a teaspoon of honey right before bed.

Best wishes,



answers from Little Rock on

I did have a Dr. tell me one time that after many nights of no sleep it is okay to consider Benadryl so everyone, including your baby can get some sleep, in order to heal and not feel miserable. I would use it sparingly on rare, rare occasions but I would not use it for under 1. However on rare occasions I would use it for a 3 year old, or an 18month old and older. You can find dosages for under 6 years old on the internet.



answers from Atlanta on

I know it's tempting, but I wouldn't do it. Our little guy just got over this, and I used vicks on his chest and feet. Worked like a charm! It helped the coughing, and just soothed him so that he could sleep. We also used the Johnson's calming bath soap (it's blue and has vicks-type stuff in it.) I totally feel your exhaustion, but it will be over in a few days. It's just not worth giving unnecessary medicine for some sleep. You may need the Benadryl some day, and then it may not work. Hope you get some sleep tonight!



answers from Topeka on

I never have had an issue using Benadryl with my kiddos(when needed for severe cold symptom or ear infections) it doesn't make them hyper nor noock them out...I'am now giving my 20 month the recommended dosge to dry her ears out they are filled with fluid i'm not wanting to jump into ear tubes this was just another option to the wait & see if they drain (in the mean time having insurance issues)Other than that they aren't given medications unless they have a fever or prescription treating a cold with TLC is all we can do for our little ones,next cold i'll try the breathing strips..

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