When to Give Tylenol to a Newborn?

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Infant Tylenol is a non-prescription acetaminophen used to reduce fever and treat minor aches and illnesses in infants. It is available in a variety of doses and forms. According to Healthcare South, Tylenol can mask a fever and should not be given to newborns unless prescribed by your doctor. If Tylenol is recommended by your physician, avoid giving it to your newborn more than every four to six hours. Never use ibuprofen (found in Advil and Motrin) or aspirin to treat fevers in newborns.

Diagnosis

  • Newborns have delicate immune systems that are not quite developed. This makes them more prone to infections. While a fever is a clear sign of a possible infection, you should also check for other symptoms such as poor eating habits and irritability. If your newborn is warm or is behaving abnormally, use a rectal thermometer to check her temperature. Ear and armpit thermometers are more prone to inaccurate readings and should not be used for newborns. Consult your physician if your newborn refuses to eat two meals in a row, cries for more than two hours despite changing, rocking, etc., breathes rapidly or has a temperature of 100.5 or more. These could be signs of a more serious illness.

Dosage

  • Tylenol for infants typically comes in liquid form to be administered orally. Infant Tylenol is generally clearly labeled and should not be confused with Tylenol used to treat older children or adults. Always read labels carefully to avoid purchasing the wrong dosage for your newborn. Tylenol can also be given rectally. According to Dr. Spock, if prescribed, your doctor will recommend using a Tylenol dosage based on your newborn's weight. According to Parents magazine, an infant weighing 6 to 11 pounds should receive a dosage of 0.4 millimeters. This guideline is not a replacement for consulting with a physician. Avoid using Tylenol purchased for other children or when your child was younger.

Administering Tylenol

  • Liquid Tylenol typically comes with a dropper for easy use. Dr. Spock recommends leaning your infant back slightly and placing the dropper in one of her cheeks. According to Parent magazine, you should avoid using different medication droppers or spoons to give your infant Tylenol drops. Rectal forms should be used with petroleum jelly to allow the suppository to gently slide in your baby's rectum. You can repeat the dose if a bowel movement occurs immediately after you have inserted the suppository. If this continues to happen, talk to your doctor about a different form to avoid overdosing your infant.

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