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I know a mother who gives her 8 month old Tylenol every day, this is everyday for nearly 8 months of the child’s life. Now she has started to give the baby Motrin, isn’t it harmful to give drugs to a baby every day like this?

Baby Help Line:

Effects Of Too Much Paracetamol To Baby

You are right to be concerned, it does sound like this friend is over medicating her baby. Of course I have no way of knowing why she is doing so or if it under a doctor’s advice, or what medical conditions her baby has.

However, as her friend I would suggest you get her to at least talk to her pharmacist, health nurse or doctor. If you can get some information about the effects of drugs on babies, maybe off the internet, perhaps she would read it.

Tylenol (paracetamol) is the most frequently used over-the-counter medication in children in the USA. When paracetamol is administrated in the recommended dosage, it is safe to use in children to treat fever or pain. On the other hand, multiple studies have reported that paracetamol could also be harmful, especially when it is used in repeated doses.

Multiple doses of paracetamol might lead not only to liver problems, but also to allergic conditions. A recent study showed that that frequent use of Tylenol in children (frequent defined as 1 time per month!) resulted in a sharp increase in the risk of developing severe asthma, eczema and rhino-conjunctivitis. (You can read about the study on Acetaminphen and asthma here. Opens in new window.)

Similarly, long-term use of Motrin (ibuprofen) is mainly associated with digestive problems, including gastrointestinal bleeding, stomach pain, vomiting and nausea.

Her medicating her baby may also be a warning that she is not coping and is trying to keep her baby calmer, or maybe she is over-anxious and worried when her baby cries. Maybe you can gently see if she needs support.

It is always difficult to know what to do when another parent is doing something we don’t approve of. Just be careful not to alienate her by being judgmental, look at it from the point of view she is doing so because she thinks it is the best thing to do – either for her baby, or to help herself to cope. If she has more information, or learns some better ways to cope or understand her baby’s needs then maybe she will act differently.

She is lucky to have a friend that is concerned,

All the best!

Annie Desantis
(Answer approved by our Medical Reference Team)

Find comments below.



Jul 15, 2013

Abusing Tylenol To Help Baby Sleep Better
by: Gayle

My daughter’s friend gives her baby, who is now 18 months old tylenol to make her sleep better. She has been doing this for a long time.

I keep the baby four nights a week and I have trouble getting her to sleep (I don’t give her anything unless she is sick).

The Tylenol abuse has me furious but I don’t know how to get it stopped. I am afraid she may be damaging the baby’s liver. My daughter has found the hidden bottles and marked them. If we confront her she will know we searched her room but I am worried about the baby. She is like a grandchild to me.

It is not just infant tylenol either; my daughter also found children’s chewables and she isn’t old enough for that.

Oct 12, 2013

Help the baby
by: Anonymous

That is child abuse. The best for the baby is to have authorities step up.

The baby is innocent and cannot defend herself. Do something to help the baby if you really care.

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    Please use acetaminophen only when absolutely necessary. Long term use during pregnancy has now been linked to autism like adverse development in the child. Studies have not yet been done looking what is given to the child, but it is certainly plausible that it may have similar adverse autism like effects.

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