Is it better to give a young infant (under 1 year) Infants’ Tylenol or Advil?

Your questions

Thanks to help from my pharmacist advisor, the answer to this question depends on why you want to give this medication to your baby. Is it because they will or have received a vaccine? Do they have a fever, or are they ailing?


For fever, Infants’ Tylenol (Atasol, Tempra, acetaminophen) and Advil (ibuprofen) work very well.


If your baby was just vaccinated and they have a big bump on their thigh, Tylenol will act better as an analgesic for acute pain than Infants’ Advil. You can also apply a cold compress. Why? Because the anti-inflammatory effect of Advil requires that they take the medication regularly for about three days to get the full effect. So don’t consider the anti-inflammatory aspect to treat your baby after a vaccine. You won’t often give them medication for that long of a period.


For pain, both Infants’ Tylenol and Advil are effective and pretty quick. Tylenol seems to act better for acute pain, but Advil is more effective over a longer period since its duration is up to 8 hours. If you want to soothe a baby’s pain after surgery, for example, Advil will be more appropriate. However, if you want to soothe their pain after jamming their finger, and it’s a bit swollen and bluish, Tylenol will be the first choice given the acute yet short-term pain.


Don’t forget always to base the dosage on your baby’s weight if they were recently weighed. If not, use their age. Follow the charts and manufacturer’s recommendations included in the packaging along with a tool to administer the dose precisely.


If a baby under three months of age has a fever, consult your doctor before giving them anything so any you don’t hide the fever’s symptoms during the medical evaluation.


Usually, you should use acetaminophen first when treating a young baby, and ibuprofen shouldn’t be given to a baby under six months of age unless advised to by a health professional specialising in pediatrics.

You now have information about when to use one medication or the other and don’t hesitate to ask your pharmacist if you have doubts.


Talk soon,
The Baby Expert

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