To ask how often you give your baby paracetamol?

(82 Posts)
Bumpandkind Wed 22-Jan-14 21:53:46

I've got a teething 7 month old and usually give chamomilla granules. However I give calpol when it seems worse but this feels like a slippery slope as it works so well! A friend of mine is constantly 'calpoling' her baby with no ill effects and another would only consider giving it if hers had a fever.

I'm curious about what other MNs do.

WitchWay Wed 22-Jan-14 21:55:37

Some people use it as a sedative to settle their baby at bedtime which I have always thought odd as AFAIK plain paracetamol has no sedative properties.

Cbeebiesismyworld Wed 22-Jan-14 21:58:12

I give it whenever my children appear to be in pain.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 22-Jan-14 21:58:47

If he's in pain I give him calpol. Think about it, it's paracetamol, if you had a headache you'd take it.

I remember once at work a parent asking me to give their DD calpol as she was being noisy. I was

I can't remember how often but I gave it if DS seemed like he was in pain and the granules/gel wasn't helping. In bad periods it was probably every night for a few nights but then it could be months and months.

You don't necessarily have to give it for a fever, either, it's OK to see if it comes down by itself, unless it is particularly dangerous for your baby to get a fever for one reason or another. I only gave it for fever if DS seemed distressed or in pain as well as the fever if that makes sense.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Wed 22-Jan-14 22:00:24

I wouldn't give it very often. Only really if a fever and if it doesn't come down.

2tiredtocare Wed 22-Jan-14 22:00:46

Nurofen works a lot better with teething than calpol

gwenniebee Wed 22-Jan-14 22:02:54

My dd (18mo) usually sleeps very well, but not when cutting a new tooth. I give it in the night when gels and powders haven't worked. It doesn't always work, anyway! I have also given it when she has been miserable with a cold. I reckon we've got through a bottle and a half in her 18 month life, so I don't think we're overdoing it.

IHadATinyTurtle Wed 22-Jan-14 22:03:45

I've never had to, but DS doesn't fuss with teething much and still breastfeeds so usually does that a lot if poorly and cheers up by himself.

Bumpandkind Wed 22-Jan-14 22:06:18

Does anyone know of any negative effects of regular use? P Regular being about 4-5 times in a bad week.

Coldlightofday Wed 22-Jan-14 22:09:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

XiCi Wed 22-Jan-14 22:11:15

DD is 4 and has only had it twice when teething seemed unbearable for her. I read an article about paracetamol accumulating in the babies liver with repeated doses so I made sure it was strictly limited. I cant believe people would risk their child's health to give it as a sedative.

Bumpandkind Wed 22-Jan-14 22:12:26

coldlight I have heard that paracetamol is a gateway drug to morphine, whiskey in the bottle, hash in the rusks etc grin

AmandaCooper Wed 22-Jan-14 22:14:01

Whenever he's indicating teething pain with red cheeks, pulling on ears, pain cry. He hasn't had any tonight but it's more often than not at the moment.

Coldlightofday Wed 22-Jan-14 22:14:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Silentelf Wed 22-Jan-14 22:15:03

I give for any teething pain / cold and fever. It's a very safe drug and LO won't build up a tolerance to it to stop it being effective

XiCi Wed 22-Jan-14 22:16:07

this gives some idea of correct dosages/side effects OP

PoopMaster Wed 22-Jan-14 22:16:38

Another one here who only gives it for fever or if they are really really unsettled/in pain. I personally only take paracetamol if I've had a bad headache for a while and rest/drinking water hasn't helped.

I noticed when I was younger that if I took it more often it didn't seem to work as effectively - so it made sense to me to keep it for "special occasions" grin

MrsBungle Wed 22-Jan-14 22:17:31

Whenever my kids seem to be in pain.

claudeekishi Wed 22-Jan-14 22:17:33

Dd is 2 and we've hardly made a dent in one bottle. She's an amazing teether although perhaps boob was her drug of choice for the first year.

Wouldn't hesitate if she seemed sick or suffering.

GiniCooper Wed 22-Jan-14 22:19:20

Nurofen works better on inflammation or so I've been informed.
If teething pain, inflamed sore I'd see if gnawing the table wasn't working well and then I'd decide.

Bumpandkind Wed 22-Jan-14 22:23:35

Thanks XICI interesting link.

LowLevelWhinging Wed 22-Jan-14 22:29:59

why would you NOT give pain relief if your child appears to be in pain, or unexplained distress?

why would you NOT want to ease that?

folk seem to be fearful of taking painkillers, but why, if you stay within the well-researched dosage levels?

I really can't understand relying on homeopathic powders when ibuprofen/paracetamol could actually ease their pain. Just like I would want if my teeth were moving around in my gums (or whatever).

Onefewernow Wed 22-Jan-14 22:34:15

Paracetamol is a dangerous drug. You can overdose on it very easily, and many adults do, without going far over the recommended dose.

I can't imagine why anyone would risk it on their kids other than very occasionally.

2beornot Wed 22-Jan-14 22:35:43

I limit the use if any type of drug really. Obv if baby is really in pain then I will, but if I can calm/soothe another way then I will.

I'm the same with myself though. V rarely take painkillers myself, would rather sleep it off.

Mim78 Wed 22-Jan-14 22:36:03

I know it's better to give several doses (every 4 hours) over a short period when baby is ill or in pain and then stop when all is well than to give one dose a day on a regular basis.

Just give when needed and follow what it says on the packet and you'll be fine. Don't want to leave them in pain. The danger comes if you start making it a daily thing to help them sleep or whatever I have heqrd.

curlew Wed 22-Jan-14 22:37:55

I only gave it for pain. Or if a fever was making them feel miserable. Never for just a fever, or for unspecified unsettledness.

LowLevelWhinging Wed 22-Jan-14 22:41:30

"Paracetamol is a dangerous drug. You can overdose on it very easily, and many adults do, without going far over the recommended dose.

I can't imagine why anyone would risk it on their kids other than very occasionally."

are you fucking kidding me?

paracetamol is dangerous at massive doses, but not at normal, clinically approved levels FFS.

TheFabulousIdiot Wed 22-Jan-14 22:43:56

A few times a year.

minipie Wed 22-Jan-14 22:44:37

Not given calpol much, but given nurofen loads as it's the only thing which will help dd sleep when she's teething.

which I think proves she would be in pain without it. I'd rather give her the nurofen (always within the approved dosage) than have her in pain and up all night

minipie Wed 22-Jan-14 22:46:07

I can't see why it would help them sleep if they are not in pain. it's a painkiller with no drowsy effect. so if it helps them sleep, surely it must have been pain keeping them awake?

notso Wed 22-Jan-14 22:47:10

Why do people think it aids sleep?
I give it if I think they need it. Every single time I have been to the doctors with a child with an illness involving a fever I have been told to give paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Bumpandkind Wed 22-Jan-14 22:48:52

minpie That's my my rationale too. It makes sense and validates my choice to use it.

LowLevelWhinging Wed 22-Jan-14 22:49:07

yy, it aids sleep if pain is preventing sleep.

paracetamol or ibuprofen are not sedatives in correct dosages.

smuggler Wed 22-Jan-14 22:53:52

I only use it to reduce temperatures. Pain is generally soothed by cuddles/co-sleeping/breastfeeding. I feel that if it's saved for when really need (I.e. When they need to lower their high temperature) then it'll work more quickly and effectively. I apply the same logic to myself and only take paracetamol if nothing else works to stop my pain first. I always thought you develop resistance to it if you use it too often which reduces how effective it is?

arethereanyleftatall Wed 22-Jan-14 22:59:50

Hardly ever. My 3 yr old has never had any pain relief yet - tried a few times but got spat out. 5 yr old once or twice a year. I prefer them to build strong immune systems. I find it quite scary that some people seem to permanently have calpol lying around for frequent use - that surely can't be doing the child any good?

bumbleymummy Wed 22-Jan-14 23:01:08

Very rarely. You don't need to give it to lower temperature unless the fever is causing distress- otherwise if they seem to be in pain. They've only needed it a couple of times in their lives - they're 4 and 7 now.

mousmous Wed 22-Jan-14 23:01:21

only when dc are in obvious pain. and/or to help them sleep when they have a cold as I feel they get better more quickly with a decent night's sleep.
for dc1 'growing pains' we try a hot water bottle and massage first. works about half the time, if not medicine follows.

minipie Wed 22-Jan-14 23:08:41

Not giving pain relief does not improve your DC's immune system!

Mim78 Wed 22-Jan-14 23:11:55

Can I just add general wonderment why calpol etc given doses by age and not by weight? Can't help but feel lots of people are therefore inadvertently giving wrong dose - slightly overdosing a small child or leaving larger child in pain?

For some reason this concerns me more about piriton because the doses go up so sharply...

MrsBungle Wed 22-Jan-14 23:13:10

Why would giving paracetamol affect their immune system?

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 22-Jan-14 23:16:43

Of course it wouldn't!

We give paracetamol by weight in hospital, well majority of drugs really. I work out all of DS's medicines by his weight but I'm confident in doing so. I guess maybe not everyone would calculate it correctly.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 22-Jan-14 23:18:38

And who has calpol 'lying around'? It's always sensible to have a bottle in the cupboard just incase.

sconequeen Wed 22-Jan-14 23:59:04

I don't give it to my unless I think it's absolutely necessary. Firstly, because I don't take medicines myself unless I really need them and secondly because there was a study which associated babies getting paracetamol with an increased risk of asthma. Of course, the increased risk may be because the babies getting more paracetamol were the ones who were going to go on and develop asthma in any case (ie rather than the paracetamol causing it) but better safe than sorry IMO.

My first bottle of Calpol for DD1 lasted two years then was thrown out with about half still left. I was a bit taken aback to discover other mums (including GPs) who were getting through a bottle of the stuff every month or so.

BookroomRed Thu 23-Jan-14 00:02:44

I work out dosage by my toddler's weight, too.

ChrisTheSheep Thu 23-Jan-14 00:06:48

I tended to try to avoid giving it during the day when DS was teething, as I could try to distract him from the pain in other ways. I used to give it before bed if he had had a bad day with the teeth in the hope that it would help him sleep. Some weeks he did end up being dosed before bed on several nights running, but I think it was better that he had a chance at a good night's sleep than that he would be waking constantly in pain. (It did wear off sometime around the middle of the night on some occasions...)

Waltonswatcher1 Thu 23-Jan-14 00:32:37

Research suggests a fever is necessary in fighting ailments , if you treat the fever it takes longer to get fight the problem. Sounds logical to me anyway. Sorry if that's repetitious .
I try to only use it when absolutely necessary and even then wait an hour and question my motives. A friend calls it 'happy juice' , that makes me laugh as its true !

traininthedistance Thu 23-Jan-14 00:43:42

Only very occasionally, mainly for bringing down a temperature (was advised to use it when DD spiked a high temp twice after vaccinations); tried it once for apparent teething pain but didn't seem to have much effect, plus DD is a resolute spitter-out of Calpol :/ Was advised again by 111, OOH and my own GP to use it alternately with ibuprofen to reduce DD's temp recently when she had a virus with a fever over 39/40 degrees that lasted for about 5 days. She was horribly ill with that and still wouldn't take the calpol, even when in desperation we got the sugary kind! Ended up having to tip her backwards and pretty much force it down while she cried but I was so worried if her temp spiked further she could risk a febrile convulsion. (I don't give it for a mild temp, say below 38-9 degrees. And I don't fancy my chances of getting it down when she's in better form - she's got quite a nasty bite and pinch on her these days!)

sleepywombat Thu 23-Jan-14 03:33:50

I am immune to paracetamol, having had too much as a child (older child though, I was of the half an aspirin generation).

I probably gave ds2 far too much, in desperation, because I didn't know what was wrong with him for the first 6 months of life & he shrieked 24/7. I later found out he had massive allergies & that the other ingreds in the syrup were probably harming him more.

Now I rarely give it (easier now ds2 not in pain), only if dcs have a very high temperature, and then I do 1/4 - 1/2 tablet crushed up in food or syringe with water to avoid all the additives etc.

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 23-Jan-14 06:59:31

I give it to DD whenever she seems to be in a lot of pain, the poor thing has really suffered recently though with teething (back teeth) and she's had one cough and cold after another. I try not to give calpol in the day, a walk in the pushchair will often settle her when nothing else will, but night is a different matter. She's a poor sleeper anyway, so any sort of pain will have her waking up repeatedly.

I had a pharmacist trot out the 'it won't help her sleep' line, to which I replied 'I know, but at least she's not awake because she's crying in pain!'.

Like the other night- she had woken 3 times by the time DH came home from work (12am). He said something along the lines of 'for god's sake, give her some calpol!', I did and she slept through till morning. I think she just had some niggly tooth pain that was stopping her from going into a deep sleep.

Coldlightofday Thu 23-Jan-14 07:53:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mousmous Thu 23-Jan-14 07:57:49

if you are worried about the additives you could just give the dc suppositories. they only contain the stuff that holds them together + paracetamol or ibuprofen.

PollyIndia Thu 23-Jan-14 07:59:20

Someone (with zero medical knowledge!) told me that if you give it too regularly then it becomes less effective and that has stuck. I only give it if he has a temp or is really in pain and can't be soothed. Maybe 5 times total until now (15 months). His teeth have rarely kept him up at night though. But I have no idea if that is correct. I agree though, that if they are in lots of pain, why make them suffer? However I also think that being able to cope with a bit of discomfort is no bad thing.

Only for fevers in the past and I do the paracetamol/ibuprofen at the same time thing too. Been advised due to dd having had febrile seizures. I never really knew when to give it for teething or when they were just beign grizzly etc so left it.

I'd give it to them now (toddler age) if they made it clear they felt rubbish though

ReticulatingSplines Thu 23-Jan-14 08:40:32

5mo DD has had calpol once post-vaccinations, but she's been otherwise well. No teeth yet.

DS gets calpol if he's ill. And ibuprofen if need be. His temperature can get pretty high when he's unwell so I have no qualms about dosing him. He was never bothered by teething.

Chunderella Thu 23-Jan-14 08:53:10

Of course too much paracetamol is dangerous. The same is true of all substances. There's virtually nothing on the planet that couldn't kill you if you consumed a high enough dose. Even water. So if you don't apply that principle to water, it's illogical to apply it to paracetamol.

Onsera3 Thu 23-Jan-14 08:58:54

Seldom give it (or ibuprofen which he seems to prefer). I'd heard about the link with asthma and plus the only paracetamol I can find for children here is full of stuff I'd avoid giving DS- sugar, sweeteners, colours/E numbers. I think we almost got through a bottle in his first year. Now I'm more experienced I'd prob use less with next child. Haven't used for months.

He LOVES homeopathic granules etc. I use these and wet wash cloth and homeopathic gel for teeth and he seems happy with that.

I don't give for fever unless he's miserable as I understand the fever is serving a purpose and his has never been too high.

Basically, I only give it if he is miserable, I know he's in pain and he isn't happy with other alternatives.

ShadowFall Thu 23-Jan-14 10:42:07

I only give DS's calpol if they seem to be in pain or if we need to bring a fever down.

Although, at least as far as DS1 is concerned, ibuprofen works better at reducing his temperature.

I prefer not to use it if possible because I worry about accidental overdoses (particularly as the dosing advice on the bottle goes by age rather than weight) or side-effects.

PennyJennyPie Thu 23-Jan-14 11:23:32

DS is 6.5 months. We have a bottle of Calpol but I haven't opened it. To be fair, no teeth and no sickness either.

PennyJennyPie Thu 23-Jan-14 11:24:24

DS is 6.5 months. We have a bottle of Calpol but I haven't opened it. To be fair, no teeth and no sickness either.

PennyJennyPie Thu 23-Jan-14 11:24:25

DS is 6.5 months. We have a bottle of Calpol but I haven't opened it. To be fair, no teeth and no sickness either.

Oriunda Thu 23-Jan-14 11:26:16

DS loves the chamomile granules so he will have one of those during the day. If he has been particularly miserable I will give him a dose of Nurofen (better for teething) at bedtime but not during day.

Distraction/cuddles/granules are fine for daytime but at night I want him to have a good sleep.

As for accidental overdosing, well if DS is ill (eg when he had croup and we regularly needed to dose him) any meds get noted on my Total Baby app so it's really impossible for us to give him too much.

Slebmum Thu 23-Jan-14 11:27:48

Whenever they need it, and piggyback it with Nurofen if needed too. If I had a pain I wouldn't chew on some sugar crystals!

Lambsie Thu 23-Jan-14 11:31:38

I give it whenever my son appears to be in a lot of pain. A long standing ear infection has meant calpol/ibuprofen being given up to 7 times a day (only getting the max safe dose of each) for the last 6 weeks. GP is fine with this. He didn't have very much as a baby but he never needed it. I've never given it for fever alone though.

curlew Thu 23-Jan-14 11:32:17

Just remember that the reason they tend to love the homeopathic powders and that they appear to work is that they are made of sugar! A smartie would work just as well and be much cheaper.......

ChrisTheSheep Thu 23-Jan-14 11:37:30

Oriunda, my DS has croup a lot too, and the doctor advised me to give him calpol for that rather than ibuprofen: apparently ibuprofen can exacerbate the wheeziness. I didn't realise that before she told me, but the hospital corroborated too.

ChrisTheSheep Thu 23-Jan-14 11:38:21

Curlew, I have to say I agree. Do you know Tim Minchin's medicine poem?

curlew Thu 23-Jan-14 11:39:31

I never gave mine either for croup-what is it supposed to help with?

Not as much as I used to but that's purely because neither of them are teething anymore and they don't seem to have been ill for a long time. <touches wood>

At one point though I was going to rename them the Calpol Junkies.

ChrisTheSheep Thu 23-Jan-14 11:48:12

DS often had a temperature when he had croup: the calpol doesn't admittedly do anything for the narrowing of the airways, but it did help take his temperature down. When he was really bad (and a lot smaller) the only things which really helped were steroids, but now he's on the verge of growing out of it, and calming, cool air etc tend to settle the wheezing while calpol sorts out any temperature/pain.

NomenOmen Thu 23-Jan-14 11:48:58

My DD pretty much refuses to take Calpol or Nurofen, so in her life (she's 5) she's probably taken it about 4 times (and then only a half dose, as she tends to spit it out hmm. Helpful.).

However, a little girl I used to babysit for when I was a student used to ask me to give her Calpol when she was feeling sad. I think she associated it with 'feeling better,' so if she was missing her mummy or just in a grumpy mood, she'd ask "Me Calpol?" grin

curlew Thu 23-Jan-14 11:58:24

Ah, I see. I don't see the point of bringing down a temperature in most circumstances, so that's why I didn't use it.

Oriunda Thu 23-Jan-14 12:02:26

Just to clarify, I said meds when he had croup, not nurofen. Apologies for not specifying. I give nurofen for teething as is more effective. When he has a temperature not related to teething then I give calpol. Of course I wouldn't do anything to make his wheezing worse, and took advice from the doctor. Curlew, he was burning up when he had croup, so again on the doctor's advice, I gave calpol.

ShadowFall Thu 23-Jan-14 12:04:26

curlew - your point about babies loving homeopathic powders because they are made of sugar has just reminded me about something:

DS1 spent his first 3.5 weeks in the hospital neo-natal ward because he was premature, and he had to have his blood taken for testing a couple of times.

Before they took the blood, they gave him a small amount of a sugar solution from a syringe (they let me taste some of it and it wasn't anywhere near as sweet as a smartie) - the doctor said that they were giving DS1 the sugar solution because it worked as a painkiller for tiny babies.

No idea if this pain reducing effect of sugar works for bigger babies though.

JRmumma Thu 23-Jan-14 12:09:04

DS is 5 months and im half way through my second bottle of Calpol already. He has had 2 bouts of bronchilitis and pneumonia for 2 weeks with a v high temp so we needed to use it quite a bit. He also had regular doses in hospital so has had more on top of the Calpol we have given.

I don't like to give it and haven't done so outside of those times of illness when he was obviously in discomfort or pain, but he has had quite alot i think for his age.

I don't use Nurofen at all, as regular use of ibuprofen to treat hangovers when i was a student damaged my insides so I'm not keen on using it at all while he is so young. I know that is a bit irrational as id never use it on him to the extent that I did back then but it does make me wary of it as he already has quite a sensitive tummy.

ikeaismylocal Thu 23-Jan-14 13:45:39

On average probably once every 2 weeks, sometimes I give it for teething, a couple of times ds has had a fever lasting 2-3 days, then I have given it throughout the day.

There was a recent Swedish study that showed paracetamol use in pregnancy and young children can damage their brain. It was a mouse study so not necessarily correct.

bumbleymummy Thu 23-Jan-14 17:00:19

Just in case anyone is worrying about febrile convulsions. Convulsions are caused by a quick rise in temperature - not necessarily a high temperature. They usually come completely out of the blue - they've had one before you realise they're ill. The NICE guidelines do not advise giving it to try to prevent convulsions or simply to bring a fever down - only if the child is in discomfort.

Iirc there was a study that showed giving paracetamol during CP led to an increase in the time taken for the spots to crust over.

Ir's probably done by age rather than weight because most people don't know their child's weight once they're out of the baby stage. I only know that DS (5 years) weighs 20kg because he jumped on the scales the other day when we were weighing suitcases. We don't have bathroom scales and even if we did I don't think it's something I'd know offhand - it's not something you want to make a child do when they're feeling ill. It's more realistic (and hence more likely to be used safely) to do it by age.

It's not THAT easy to overdose on paracetamol. Certainly, slightly going over the stated dose is not a cause for concern. Plus I reckon the age doses are probably erring on the side of caution.

This is third hand, but when DS was about 1 one of the other people from my NCT group had an incident where she found her DS with a bottle of calpol and wasn't sure whether he'd managed to drink any or not. She phoned NHS Direct and they told her not to worry as apparently children don't process paracetamol in the same way and they don't overdose on it as easily. Plus, the bottles are small enough to only contain a small number of doses. (This was in the context of the child not actually having any calpol visible in or around his mouth or being able to smell it and no symptoms either, so I don't know whether the information was more based on this.)

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 23-Jan-14 21:34:35

The doses on the bottle err on the side of caution- hence why I was told to give dd just over double the age-related dose when she was ill (dose by age, 4 months =2.5ml. Dose by weight was 5.5ml. According to the bottle, dose is 5ml up until age 2)

CromeYellow Thu 23-Jan-14 21:53:41

Only when in pain with teething, I think they build up a tolerance to it, I used to notice that when dd really needed it, first time it would work quickly but if I had to keep giving it to her for a few days it seemed to become less effective.

Onefewernow Thu 23-Jan-14 23:10:33

Smuggler, I think your approach is sensible- ie to use it to lower temperature but never as a sleep aid.

Paracetamol has its uses but it is a drug. I am not kidding, actually. Happily my kids weren't raised on it.

Fantail Fri 24-Jan-14 04:44:21

DD was a terrible teether and felt the pain of he tooth coming though acutely. She had Paracetamol and Ibuprofen for stretches of 4 nights at times, sometimes twice a night.

I did worry and checked with our GP who reassured me it was OK.

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