Resources for New Moms
Giving Baby Medicine
Here are some tips on making sure your baby gets the right dose of liquid medicine each time.
Follow the directions exactly. Some parents give their children too much medicine. More medicine will not help them get better faster. Giving baby too much medicine can be very dangerous, especially if you give too much for several days. Always read the label carefully.
Measure the dosage correctly. To correctly measure liquid medicines, ALWAYS use the dropper, syringe, medicine cup, or dosing spoon that comes with the medicine. If nothing comes with your medicine, ask your pharmacist for help.
There are two types of liquid medicines:
- Medicines you can buy without a doctor’s prescription (called over the counter or OTC).
- Medicines a doctor prescribes.
All OTC medicines have the same kind of label. The label gives important information about the medicine. It identifies what it is for, how to use it, what is in it, and what side effects to watch for. Look on the box or bottle, where it says, “Drug Facts.”
Check the chart on the label to see how much medicine to give based on your child’s weight or age. If you know your child’s weight, use that first. If not, go by the age guide. Check the label to make sure it is safe for infants and toddlers younger than 2 years. If you are not sure, ask your child’s doctor.
With prescription medicines, be sure to ask your child’s doctor or pharmacist:
- How much medicine to give.
- How often to give it.
- How long to give it.