How Much Baby Tylenol

Babies can be in pain for many reasons, from teething to constipation. Fortunately, there are a number of over-the-counter products that can help bring your little one relief. In some cases, it’s appropriate to use fever reducers or pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Here’s how to safely administer these medications to your baby or toddler.

You’re not alone. Many parents have faced your same position. Thankfully, there are some safe and effective baby pain relievers and cold medicines available for infants under the age of 2 years old.

Pain is difficult to handle at any age, but it’s especially tough when your baby is hurting. Luckily, there are many ways you can bring relief to your child. And if you’re ever unsure what the problem is, a visit to the doctor is often in order.

We’ll give you our top tips for helping to relieve your baby’s pain.

Ensure your baby’s comfort with Baby Tylenol. The next time you hear those anguished cries, reach for the bottle to help soothe whatever is ailing your little one, so you can both get back on track

It’s one thing for your baby to cry when they’re hungry, tired, or in need of a diaper change. You provide for them, ease their little woes, and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

It’s one thing for your baby to cry when they’re hungry, tired, or in need of a diaper change. You provide for them, ease their little woes, and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

But nothing feels worse than hearing your infant cry in pain. These cries are often more intense and continue even after your baby has been fed or changed.

Babies feel pain just like adults, yet they tend to have a lower threshold for discomfort. And because they can’t speak for themselves, they can’t tell you where it hurts (though if your baby is teething, the mouth may be a good place to start). What can you do?

If your baby has a fever or signs of being in pain that can’t otherwise be eased, giving them Tylenol may bring some relief — to both your little one and you.

But before you give your baby a dose, it’s important that you check with your pediatrician and know how to safely give acetaminophen.

Infants’ Tylenol dosage chart

The right dosage of this medication depends on the formulation. Infants’ Tylenol and Children’s Tylenol come in the same strength: 160 milligrams (mg) per 5 milliliters (ml).

The AAP suggests the following dosages of acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, for infants and children by age and weight. We list their weight in lb and kilograms (kg).

First, it is essential to note that:

  • Children and infants must not have more than four doses in 24 hours.
  • They must not have any other medication that contains acetaminophen at the same time.
  • Various forms of acetaminophen are available, and not all are safe for each age group. Check first with a pharmacist or doctor.

For children aged 3 years and under, the AAP recommends:

Weight6–11 lb
(3–5 kg)
12–17 lb
(5–7 kg)
18–23 lb
(12–23 kg)
24–35 lb
(11–15 kg)
Age0–3 months4–11 months12–23 months2–3 years
Infants’ acetaminophen (160 mg/5 ml)1.25 ml2.5 ml3.75 mlNot suitable
Children’s acetaminophen (160 mg/5 ml)Not suitableNot suitableNot suitable1 tablet

For children aged 4 years and over, the AAP recommends these dosages:

Weight36–47 lb (16–21 kg)48–59 lb (22–26 kg)60–71 lb (27–32 kg)72–95 lb (33–43 kg)96 lb and above (from 44 kg)
Age4–5 years6–8 years9–10 years11 years12 years and over
Children’s acetaminophen (160 mg/5 ml)7.5 ml10 ml12.5 ml15 ml20 ml
Children’s acetaminophen chewable tablets1.5 tablets2 tablets2.5 tablets3 tablets4 tablets
Children’s acetaminophen dissolvable packs (160 mg)Not suitable2 packs2 packs3 packsNot suitable
Adult acetaminophen tablets (325 mg)Not suitable1 tablet1 tablet1.5 tablets2 tablets
Adult acetaminophen tablets (500 mg)Not suitableNot suitableNot suitable1 tablet1 tablet

A discontinued form of Tylenol comes in a formula of 80 mg per 0.8 ml. Manufacturers no longer sell this, and it is too old to use, so dispose of it safely and replace it.

Below are some strategies to ensure that an infant gets the right dosage:

  • Before administering a dose, have more than one responsible adult verify the correct dosage on labeling, then verify that this amount is in the syringe.
  • Make a note of each dose and the time the baby had it.
  • Weigh the baby before giving them the medication.

If weighing the baby is not possible, base the dosage on their last known weight. It is not safe to assume that they have moved into the next weight range.

Uses of Tylenol in infants

In babies who are at least 3 months old, Tylenol can safely reduce various symptoms, including:

  • fever
  • pain, including teething pain
  • muscle aches
  • chills
  • lethargy
  • pain-related nursing difficulties

Tylenol does not treat or cure the illnesses that cause these symptoms, it only eases the symptoms themselves.

The drug cannot cure a tooth infectionear infection, or any other illness. It is crucial to treat the underlying issue, rather than relying only on Tylenol.

Doctors do not fully understand how the drug works, though it may block chemicalsTrusted Source that help the body produce pain signals.

Is Infants’ Tylenol safe?

Infants’ Tylenol is usually safe in these situations:

  • for reducing a fever
  • for temporary relief of minor aches and pains due to conditions such as the common cold, the flu, a headache, a sore throat, or a toothache
  • in doses measured according to the infant’s weight and age
  • after checking with a healthcare professional about when, how, and how much to administer, then following these guidelines carefully

The producers of Tylenol recommend asking a doctor before giving this medication to infants aged 23 months or under or weighing 23 lb or less.

However, there are some possible side effects and other risks. The next section looks at these in more detail.

Side effects and risks

Some potential side effects of Tylenol include:

  • headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • bruising
  • bleeding
  • trouble urinating

If a baby has any of these side effects, contact a doctor right away.

Tylenol is generallyTrusted Source safe if people use it correctly. However, there are other risks, such as:

A rash

A rash can developTrusted Source, even in people who have taken Tylenol with no problems in the past.

If an infant develops red spots or any other type of rash while taking Tylenol, stop giving them the drug and contact a doctor right away.

Allergic reactions

Any drug can cause an allergic reaction, and these can range from very mild to life threatening.

If a baby develops a rash, itchy skin, or other symptoms while taking Tylenol, contact a healthcare professional immediately.

If the baby has trouble breathing or the rash spreads quickly, call 911 or otherwise seek emergency medical care.


It can be easierTrusted Source to overdose on Tylenol than on some other drugs.

People should never give or take more than the recommended dosage. Also, it is important not to use Tylenol for longer than necessary.

Taking too much Tylenol can cause serious and even fatal liver damage. It is crucial to never take Tylenol and another drug that contains acetaminophen.

When to see a doctor

Call a doctor immediately if a baby develops side effects of Tylenol, including:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • trouble urinating
  • unusual bruising

Also, consult a doctor if:

  • Tylenol does not ease a fever or relieve pain.
  • Any symptoms have not improved within a few days.
  • An infant younger than 3 months shows any signs of illness.

Call 911 or go to an emergency room if a baby:

  • develops a widespread rash after taking Tylenol
  • has trouble breathing after taking the drug
  • takes significantly more than the recommended dosage
  • has a yellow or green tinge to their skin or the whites of their eyes


Tylenol can relieve some symptoms of common illnesses, including pain and a fever.

It is usually safe to use Tylenol with prescription drugs, as long as these do not contain acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. Taking Tylenol may make a baby more comfortable while the prescription medication treats the underlying issue.

If a person has any questions about using Infants’ Tylenol, they should contact a healthcare professional. Never give a baby or older child more than the recommended dosage.

How Much Baby Tylenol by Weight

Knowing the correct Tylenol dosage for infants is important. Tylenol, when used correctly, is a safe and effective option for managing pain and fevers.

The active ingredient, acetaminophen, also comes in a generic form. A generic contains an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.

The producers of Tylenol recommend consulting a pediatrician before giving this drug to infants under 24 months or weighing less than 24 pounds (lb).

Tylenol can harm the liver, and the difference between a safe dose and a potentially dangerous one is relatively small.

Follow the instructions on labels and a doctor’s advice carefully. If the first dose does not work, do not give a child more Tylenol.

Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends waiting until an infant is 6 months or older before giving them nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil).

Tylenol may be a safe alternative to these drugs in younger infants, but it is important to check first with a healthcare professional.

Below, we investigate how much Tylenol is safe for infants and older children. We also describe the drug’s uses and side effects.

What form of Tylenol is best for infants?

As you browse the children’s medicine aisle at the drugstore, you’ll come across many different forms of Tylenol and its generic, acetaminophen (they’re the same thing). This includes chewable tablets suitable for children ages 6 and older, as well as infant Tylenol available in liquid form.

When giving liquid Tylenol to your baby, make sure the medicine has a concentration of 160 milligrams/5 milliliter (mg/mL). This is important, especially if you have an older bottle of infant Tylenol sitting around your house. (While you’re at it, be sure to check the expiration date.)

Before May 2011, liquid Tylenol was available in two concentrated formulas, the other being 80 mg/0.8 mL per dose. The more concentrated formula was intended for infants, whereas the lower concentration was intended for children over the age of 2.

The problem with two formulas is that it’s too easy to confuse the products and accidentally overmedicate. To avoid possible dosing errors, the drug manufacturer chose to sell children’s acetaminophen as a single concentration. As a result, pain and fever medications containing a concentrated formula of 80 mg/0.8 mL have since been removed from shelves.

But although the medicine is currently only sold in the lower concentration, always double-check the formula before purchasing — just in case there’s a stray bottle of the older concentration that slipped through.

Infant Tylenol recommendations by age and weight

It’s important to give your infant the right amount of medication. Giving too much could make your child sick, and lead to complications like liver damage. It can even result in an accidental overdose and death.

As far as how much to give your baby, the package does offer recommendations based on age and weight. But in most cases, doctors recommend using a child’s weight to determine a safe amount of medicine. This applies to infants, as well as toddlers who take infant Tylenol.

Recommendations for age and weight are as follows:

Child’s ageChild’s weightAmount of Tylenol (160 mg/5 mL)
0 to 3 months6 to 11 pounds (lbs.)Consult your pediatrician
4 to 11 months12 to 17 lbs.Consult your pediatrician
12 to 23 months18 to 23 lbs.Consult your pediatrician
2 to 3 years24 to 35 lbs.5 mL

Don’t let this chart discourage you or take it to mean you can’t use Tylenol before your little one is 2 years old.

In fact, most pediatricians actually encourage the short-term use of Tylenol in younger babies in certain circumstances — like pain from an ear infection, post-vaccination symptoms, and fever.

Most commonly, pediatricians recommend 1.5 to 2.5 mL for infants in their first year, based on their weight.

How often to give a dose of infant Tylenol

One dose of infant Tylenol might be — and hopefully is — enough to temporarily relieve symptoms of a fever or pain. But if your baby is ill or has an ear infection, pain and crying can return once the dose wears off unless the illness itself has worn off, too.

To keep your baby happy and pain-free during very upsetting bouts of symptoms, check with their doctor. You may be able to give a dose of infant Tylenol every 4 to 6 hours as needed.

But you shouldn’t give more than five doses in a 24-hour period. And you shouldn’t give Tylenol routinely or for more than a day or two in a row unless directed by your child’s doctor.

How to administer infant Tylenol

A bottle of infant Tylenol comes with a syringe or medicine dropper in the package, making the medicine easier to give to infants. (A dropper also saves you from using a measuring spoon from your kitchen — and we’re guessing, as a parent of an infant, you don’t need extra dishes in your dishwasher.) In fact, measuring spoons are discouraged because you could end up giving your infant more medicine than needed.

In other words, always use the medicine dropper or cup that comes with a medication to ensure giving the proper dosage. If your syringe or dropper breaks, you can purchase a replacement on the cheap from a pharmacy.

Dip the syringe into the bottle and fill it with the appropriate dose based on your pediatrician’s recommendations. From here, there are different ways to administer the medication. If your baby isn’t fussy, put the syringe in between their lips or partway in their mouth to the side of one cheek and squirt the medicine into their mouth.

Some babies may spit out the medicine if they don’t like the taste. So choosing an infant Tylenol with flavoring might make it easier for them to swallow.

If you have trouble getting the syringe into your baby’s mouth, you can get a little sneaky — just squirt the medicine into their breastmilk or formula if you use a bottle, or combine it with their baby food. Only do this with an amount of milk or food you know they will finish.

If your baby spits up or vomits within 20 minutes of receiving a dose, you can give another dose. But if they spit up or vomit after this time, wait at least 4 to 6 hours before giving more medication.

Cautions and warnings

When giving your baby Tylenol, be mindful of other medications they take. Don’t give your baby Tylenol if they take other medicines containing acetaminophen. This can lead to too much of the drug in their system, which could cause an overdose.

Also, be mindful of expiration dates when giving your child medication. The effectiveness of the drug can go down over time. You don’t want to struggle through giving your sweet babe medicine only to have it fail to provide relief.

When to see a doctor

For the most part, giving a baby infant Tylenol can temporarily relieve pain or a fever. But if your child continues to cry, call your doctor. Continuous crying could indicate another problem — like an ear infection that may require treatment.

Always speak with your pediatrician before giving Tylenol to very young infants (under 12 weeks) to prevent dosing errors.

Also, call your pediatrician if your baby under 3 months develops a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or if your baby over 3 months has a fever of 102.2°F (39°F) or higher.HEALTHLINE RESOURCEBetter Sleep Is One Click Away

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Is it safe to take ibuprofen while breastfeeding?

Many breastfeeding women who are recovering from childbirth will experience aches and pains, such as uterine cramps, tissue swelling, and muscle soreness. Ibuprofen may help relieve these pains.

Some types of medication are not suitable to take while breastfeeding, so women may wonder whether or not taking pain relievers is risky. In most cases, ibuprofen is safe to use in the short term while breastfeeding.

Ibuprofen while breastfeeding

Ibuprofen pills from blister pack
A woman can take ibuprofen in moderate doses while breastfeeding.

Ibuprofen is safe in moderate doses during breastfeeding as only minimal quantities of the drug get into breast milk.

A 2014 study looking at ibuprofen concentrations in breast milk found that infants received less than 0.38 percent of the weight-adjusted women’s doses of this medication.

Even when breastfeeding women take high doses of ibuprofen through rapid delivery mechanisms, such as suppositories, babies have exposure to less than 1 percent of the dose.

Doctors routinely advise women to avoid certain drugs during pregnancy because they may get into the bloodstream, travel through the placenta, and affect the baby.

Some researchTrusted Source suggests that using ibuprofen during pregnancy is linked to asthma in the child.

At least one study has found that taking ibuprofen early on in pregnancy increases the likelihood of pregnancy loss. Due to these risks, many doctors recommend that women avoid taking ibuprofen when they are pregnant.

This can be confusing as people may believe that a drug that is unsafe during pregnancy is also risky when breastfeeding. However, drugs that affect a developing fetus via the placenta pass through breast milk very differently.

What about other pain relievers?

Ibuprofen is one of the safest options for breastfeeding women. However, ibuprofen does not work for everyone, and some women may have other reasons, such as an allergy, to avoid this drug.

According to a 2014 review, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is also safe to take while breastfeeding.

The review also states that low doses of aspirin are safe, but it is worth noting that the use of aspirin by breastfeeding women remains controversial.

Aspirin transfers into breast milk at much higher concentrations of up to 10 percent. As aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome in children and babies, some researchers worry that even minimal exposure to aspirin in breast milk is a risk. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid aspirin intake in pregnancy or breastfeeding. People should never give aspirin to children.

Other drugs may be safe depending on the dose and other factors. Breastfeeding women should speak to a doctor about the relative risks and benefits of any medication, including ibuprofen.

Natural pain relief

Woman having neck and shoulder massage.
Massages can relieve muscle pain.

There is no medical reason for breastfeeding women to avoid using ibuprofen. In fact, the discomfort of being in pain can make it difficult for them to bond with the baby.

However, those who prefer trialing natural remedies initially can try one or more of the following:

  • having massages for muscle pain if there is no risk of blood clots
  • varying the body position when breastfeeding to avoid muscle strains
  • using a sitz bath for pain related to a perineal tear or episiotomy
  • applying warm or cool compresses to sore breasts, painful nipples, and a tender bottom
  • standing under a warm shower

Self-care is also helpful for minimizing pain, especially for people who are sleep-deprived and feeding a newborn.

Breastfeeding women should drink plenty of water as dehydration can make muscle pain worse and decrease milk production. It can also help to sleep whenever possible, even if this involves asking for help from a partner or family member. Sleep is often lacking for the parents in that first week, and this can compound the experience of discomfort.

If medication and natural remedies do not help with pain, a doctor should be able to offer advice on other options.


Research on the safety of ibuprofen during breastfeeding typically considers standard rather than large doses. It is essential that breastfeeding women take only the recommended dosage or the lowest amount that provides relief. If the pain is intense enough to warrant larger doses, it is best to speak to a doctor.

Over-the-counter (OTC) ibuprofen is usually available in 200- to 400-milligram (mg) tablets. It is vital to read the label and not exceed the recommended daily maximum dosage.

People should avoid long-acting or slow-release medications while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Risks and considerations

A review of studies found no documented risks associated with exposing a baby to small quantities of ibuprofen through breast milk.

A small study found that the amount of ibuprofen in breast milk decreased both over time and alongside the natural decrease in protein. Therefore, the longer a woman breastfeeds, the less ibuprofen may be present in her breast milk.

Women who are still worried about the baby’s exposure to ibuprofen may wish to avoid taking it in the immediate postpartum period. However, even during this period, there is no evidence that occasional use of ibuprofen can harm the baby.


Many breastfeeding women receive conflicting advice about medication from friends, family, other parents, and even doctors. It is easy to feel overwhelmed or to decide that the safest strategy is to avoid all medication.

The American Academy of PediatricsTrusted Source (AAP) recommend breastfeeding for at least a year and do not specify an upper time limit. The World Health OrganizationTrusted Source (WHO) recommend breastfeeding for at least 2 years.

Breastfeeding women do not need to avoid taking pain relievers while they are breastfeeding. There is no reason to avoid occasional use of safe medications, such as ibuprofen, especially when these drugs provide relief from aches and pains and can help make the postpartum period less challenging.

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