Infant Tylenol: Recommended Dosage And Safety

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IN THIS ARTICLE

Knowing the right Tylenol dosing for infants is important to avoid over dosage or other side effects. Tylenol is an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine prescribed to babies either as an analgesic (pain-relieving medicine) or an antipyretic (medicines used to treat fever). Infants’ Tylenol should be preferred over Tylenol tablets for babies and young children as the tablets might cause a choking hazard. Therefore, it is advisable to give Tylenol to your baby only under the instruction of your healthcare professional.

Read on to know about the Tylenol dosage instructions for infants, its potential risks, and safe administration techniques

When To Give Tylenol To A Baby?

Tylenol may be given to a baby with flu or ear pain.

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The medicine should only be administered when the baby has a fever. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, fever is considered in babies when their body temperature is more than 100.4°F (38°C) (1).

According to the manufacturer, Infants’ Tylenol oral liquid suspension may also be given to the baby with sore throat, flu, cold, earpain, and toothache since the active ingredient acetaminophen also works as a pain reliever (2).

What Is The Infant Dosage Chart For Tylenol?

Experts and the manufacturer of Tylenol recommend that you consult a pediatrician before administering Tylenol to babies or toddlers (3) (4). The dosage could vary depending on your child’s weight. The concentration of acetaminophen in Infants’ Tylenol liquid suspension is at single strength or concentration of 160mg per 5ml.

Below is a table containing the dosage of liquid or syrup form of Tylenol in babies and toddlers as per their weight (5).

Weight of the child (lbs)Liquid (ml)
6 – 111.25
12 – 172.5
18 – 233.75
24 – 355
36 – 477.5
48 – 5910
60 – 7112.5
72 – 9515
96+20

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

You may repeat the administration every four to six hours or as directed by the doctor. You must not administer more than five doses of Tylenol in a day. Do note that your baby’s doctor may prescribe a dosage different than the one mentioned in the table, and you must stick to the doctor’s advice.

How To Safely Administer Tylenol To A Baby?

Insert the syringe’s tip into the baby’s mouth and release the medicine.

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Below are the steps to administer Infants’ Tylenol liquid to a baby or toddler (2).

  • Push the plunger and release the air. Insert the syringe’s tip into the bottle opening.
  • Turn the bottle and pull the plunger to the required dosage mark to draw the medicine.
  • Gently insert the syringe’s tip into the baby’s mouth, directing the tip towards the baby’s inner cheek.
  • Press the plunger gently to release the medicine.

You may use the help of your partner or family member to keep the baby’s head still in case they resist it.

It is essential to keep certain points in mind to ensure the safe administration of Tylenol in babies (4).

  • It is vital to use the marked syringe, which ships with a bottle of Infants’ Tylenol, to prevent overdose or other errors related to dosage.
  • Keep track of the dosage of the medicine and the time it was administered.
  • Always pour out the medicine in a well-lit room to avoid discrepancies in the dosing quantity.
  • Follow the instructions provided in the label of the medicine regarding the storage of the medicine.
  • If your baby is already on any medication, intimate the doctor about it. A combination of acetaminophen and other drugs may cause severe side effects.  
  • Keep the bottle away from reach of baby to avoid accidental ingestion.

What Are The Risks Of Administering Tylenol?

Tylenol dosage beyond limits may cause drowsiness in babies.

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Tylenol, in correct doses, is safe for most babies and seldom causes any side effects when administered as per prescription. In rare cases, a baby could be allergic to acetaminophen, causing skin rashes and blisters.

Overdose of Tylenol leads to overdose of acetaminophen, leading to serious side effects. It usually happens if you do not follow the doctor’s prescription or you are not careful while measuring the quantity of the medicine in the syringe.

Minor overdose may most likely not cause any problems or symptoms. The maximum safe dosage for acetaminophen among children is 90mg per kg of the child’s weight per day (6). A dosage beyond this limit may cause the following signs and symptoms (7).

  • Nausea
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Reduction in the frequency and amount of urine
  • Respiratory problems such as troubled breathing
  • Drowsiness

Severe overdosing could cause hepatotoxicity and liver damage. The tolerance to overdosing could vary from one baby to another. Therefore, if you realize you accidentally overdosed the baby with Tylenol, visit the hospital as soon as possible.

When To See A Doctor?

See a doctor if the baby develops skin rashes or blisters.

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You must see a doctor in the following scenarios (8).

  • You overdosed the baby.
  • There has been no improvement in the baby’s symptoms within three days since the administration of Tylenol.
  • The symptoms worsen after the administration of Tylenol.
  • The baby develops skin rashes or blisters after the administration of Tylenol.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does Tylenol make babies sleepy?

Tylenol usually does not cause sleepiness in babies when administered in the correct dosage. Some babies in pain or with fever may find relief from symptoms due to Tylenol, causing them to relax and fall asleep. However, overdosing Tylenol/acetaminophen could cause excessive drowsiness and sleepiness as a side effect.

2. How long does Tylenol take to work?

Tylenol or liquid-based acetaminophen could take up to 30 minutes to show effects, although this could vary from one baby to another (9).

3. How often can a teething baby have Tylenol?

Infants can be given Tylenol once every four to six hours for pain and fever. Do not give more than four doses in 24 hours. Moreover, do not give any other medicines that may also contain acetaminophen (10).

4. Is it okay to give Tylenol every night for teething?

Giving Tylenol or any other medicine for prolonged durations is not advisable without consulting your child’s doctor. You may give it before bedtime on days when the pain is severe, and the child is irritable.

5. Should infant Tylenol be given with food?

Infant Tylenol can be given with or without food. Follow the dosages carefully using the measuring device and check with the child’s doctor to understand the dosing instructions to avoid serious effects (11).

6. Can I mix infant Tylenol with juice?

Mixing infant Tylenol with juices is not recommended for babies below 12 months (12). You can breastfeed the infants after giving them the medicine to comfort them. For older babies, a few licks of ice pops or some other cold food before giving the medicine can slightly numb the tongue so the babies can tolerate the medicine well (13).

Tylenol is a commonly available over-the-counter medication brand of acetaminophen. Although it is considered safe for babies and toddlers, you must always get a prescription for it. Administer the right dosage for the optimum effect of acetaminophen on the baby without the risk of overdosing and its associated side effects.

Infographic: How To Reduce Fever In Babies Through Sponge Bath?

A fever helps fight infection but can cause severe discomfort to babies. Along with rest and adequate fluids, you may also consider a sponge bath to help the baby feel better. The infographic below discusses giving your baby a sponge bath to reduce fever.

sponge bath for reducing fever in babies [infographic]
Illustration: MomJunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • The dosage of the anti-fever and over-the-counter Tylenol depends on the infant’s weight.
  • For infants, the doctor may suggest this medication in the form of syrup or through a syringe.
  • Follow the doctor’s instructions to administer Tylenol to infants safely.
  • Watch out for the symptoms of Tylenol overdose, which may include jaundice, nausea, reduced urine frequency, and fatigue.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Signs and Symptoms of Fever.
    https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/fever/Pages/Signs-and-Symptoms-of-Fever.aspx
  2. Infants\’ Tylenol Liquid Medicine.
    https://www.tylenol.com/products/infants-tylenol-oral-suspension
  3. Acetaminophen dosing for children.
    https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000783.htm
  4. How To Give Infants A Safe Dose Of Medicine.
    https://www.tylenol.ca/children/safety-dosing/how-to-give-infants-medicine
  5. Acetaminophen Dosage Table for Fever and Pain.
    https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/medication-safety/Pages/Acetaminophen-for-Fever-and-Pain.aspx
  6. Acetaminophen Toxicity Symptoms and Treatment.
    https://www.chp.edu/our-services/transplant/liver/education/liver-disease-states/acetaminophen-toxicity
  7. Acetaminophen Toxicity in Children and Adolescents.
    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/21188-acetaminophen-toxicity-in-children-and-adolescents
  8. Acetaminophen.
    https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a681004.html
  9. Paracetamol for children (including Calpol).
    https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/paracetamol-for-children/
  10. Acetaminophen Dosing Tables for Fever and Pain in Children
    https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/medication-safety/Pages/Acetaminophen-for-Fever-and-Pain.aspx
  11. Tylenol Infants
    https://www.drugs.com/cdi/tylenol-infants.html
  12. Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations
    https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/139/6/e20170967/38754/Fruit-Juice-in-Infants-Children-and-Adolescents?autologincheck=redirected
  13. How to Give Your Baby Infants’ TYLENOL®
    https://www.tylenol.com/sites/tylenol_us/files/DL_HowToGiveIT_8_15.pdf
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Sanjana Bhattacharjee

Sanjana did her post graduation in Applied Microbiology from Vellore Institute of Technology, India. Her interest in science and health, combined with her passion to write made her convert from a scientist to a writer. She believes her role at MomJunction combines the best of both worlds as she writes health-based content based on scientific evidence. Sanjana is trained in classical...
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Dr. Supriya Mahajan

(DNB, PDCC)
Dr. Supriya Mahajan is a pediatrician and pediatric hepatologist with nine years of experience. She completed her MBBS from Shyam Shah Medical College and diploma from the National Board of Education, New Delhi. She went on to gain specialization in the gut and liver-related diseases in children from the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences and MRCPCH 1, 2 from...
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