Giving medicine to babies can be tricky. Medicine you think can help your baby could actually hurt your little one if you give a drug that isn't appropriate for infants or accidentally give the wrong dose. Here's how to help keep your baby safe:
Get an OK. Always check with your child's doctor before giving your baby any medicine. That includes over-the-counter ones—some may not be safe for babies. Even though you can buy a medicine at a grocery store or drugstore, that doesn't mean it's harmless.
Give the right dose. You might think giving a bigger dose than the recommended one will make a medicine work faster or better, but giving too much medicine can be dangerous.
Use a special dosing device. Pick one specifically designed to help you measure and give the right dose of liquid medicine, such as an oral syringe. An ordinary kitchen spoon will not hold the right amount.
Store safely. Always read all medicine storage instructions and follow them. For example, you might need to keep some antibiotics in the refrigerator. And be sure to store any medicines you or your baby may take out of your child's reach. Babies explore with their mouths, and they may start to crawl as early as five to six months.
Take care when breastfeeding. Some medicines can pass through breast milk and may not be safe for your baby. So if you're nursing, check with your baby's doctor before you take any medicine—prescription or over-the-counter—or supplement.
Sources: American Academy of Family Physicians; American Academy of Pediatrics; U.S. Food and Drug Administration