What Pain Relief Can You Give a Newborn?
Note: Before administering ANY type of medication to your child, consult with your pediatrician or family doctor. This article is not meant to provide professional medical advice; it is meant to provide guidance as to how to potentially help ease pain for your child. Giving the wrong type or dosage of medicine – even over-the-counter medications – could be very harmful for your child’s unique medical health condition.
Research has shown that newborns actually do experience pain. As parents, we never want to see our children hurting, but there are situations when procedures must be done for the health of your child. Immunizations, heel sticks for screening tests and other procedures are necessary for newborns, but there are ways to help minimize the pain they experience.
Non-medical options include:
- Holding your newborn closely to you as the procedure is done.
- Look your newborn in the eyes to provide parental comfort.
- Talk softly to your newborn during the procedure.
- Give your newborn a gentle massage as the procedure is being performed.
- Give your newborn a small amount of sugar 2 minutes prior to the procedure (ask your doctor for the correct amount of sugar to provide a very temporary natural pain-killing chemical reaction).
Medication Option for Newborns
Sometimes, your newborn may require medication to truly provide pain relief. Conditions such as an ear infection or discomfort after a vaccination may cause your newborn a great deal of pain. Your pediatrician may recommend that you give your newborn acetaminophen (Tylenol) in a liquid form. Your child’s doctor will be able to tell you exactly what dosage of acetaminophen to give your newborn based on your child’s age, weight and medical history. You will also learn how often to administer the medication.
Please do not assume you know the correct dosage or timing of medication! Giving too much medicine to a newborn could be disastrous – causing a host of complications such as liver damage, overdose or even death. Please always err on the side of caution and follow your pediatrician’s instructions exactly and completely.
Do not give your newborn infant (under 6 months of age) any type of cold medicine. This could be dangerous for your infant.
Your Pediatrician Knows Best
Your pediatrician will know what other medications your newborn may be taking – medications that may interfere with acetaminophen. This is another reason why you should always check with your child’s doctor before giving any type of medicine.
Check Expiration Dates
As with all medicines, make sure you check the expiration dates of any type of medicine you are giving to your newborn. If it is expired, err on the side of caution and throw it away.
The team at Westgate Family Physicians are pediatric doctors in Spartanburg, SC, who care for children of all ages, including newborns. If you have questions about pain relief for your newborn in Spartanburg, please call (864) 574-0070 or click here to schedule an appointment.