Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Has anyone used Benadryl to help their toddler sleep?

Please don't bash. I haven't done it, but I might consider it soon. My 17-month-old does not sleep well at all. My sister suggested using a little Benadryl at bed time. I'm leery about this, of course, but . . . Has anyone done it? Did it help? For how long did you use it, or was it a one-time thing? Thanks!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:13 PM on Jan. 29, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (19)
  • not benadryl. I have used tylenol when it's something like a bad diaper rash or something like that.

    Answer by watersgirls at 1:15 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • I wouldn't do it. And I am not being mean either- think of it like this say you do decide to do it once to get some good sleep. And it works. Well then the next night you fight with him and finally say forget it and give him another dose. and it works. Then it can become a cycle in which your child gets addicted to it. I know how frustrating it can be to get them to sleep but I wouldn't go this route. Warm bath, cuddles, and stories- not medicine.

    Answer by ZaTa at 1:16 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • Ummm...I'd NEVER drug my kid to make her sleep. That's a horrible thought. Doctors even advise against it. My brother is a pediatrician and goes ape when he hears this kind of stuff. If I were you, I'd just face the fact that some kids aren't good sleepers...some eventually grow out of it. Seventeen months is too young to be taking drugs for sleep, don't you think? Best wishes...I'm sure you're exhausted!

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:16 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • I would never, never, never give my child something that they don't need. Unless they are ill then I would not give it. Unfortunately part of being a parent is the lack of sleep. Is your lo just a light sleeper, have trouble going to sleep, staying asleep? Depending on the issue there are different ways to help, but making your child sleepy with medication is not the answer.

    Answer by kboney29 at 1:19 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • not ashamed to say that i have used benadryl to help him sleep my son suffers from night terrors and has since he was 15months old i give half the dose recomended 30 mins before bed and he sleeps like an angel and isnt drowsy in the morning i stopped using it when he was 17 months old and havent had an issue since. bear in mind that some kids have a diff reaction to benadryl sometimes it can make them hyper and jumpy my suggestion to you is do it for one night a week for a few weeks and see what happends.good luck...

    Answer by connorsmom22607 at 1:21 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • Nope. Yeah, it may make some children drowsy, but some children it makes my 4 yo son. I have never given him Benadryl to make him sleep, it was for allergies, but he would start bouncing off the freaking walls!! Plus, it's not recommended to give to toddlers son's allergist told me to give it to him and figured out the right dosage according to his where on the packaging does it have a dosage for a toddler. (It's for ages 6 and up.) I wouldn't chance overdosing my child just to get them to sleep.....(continued)


    Answer by Anonymous at 1:23 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • You should never give your child medicine unless they really need it! try a warm bath, aromatherapy, soothing music, whatever! But, don't drug the poor kid! I know it's tempting to try whatever it takes to get him to sleep, but I don't think you should resort to unneeded medicating!

    Answer by jacy3031 at 1:24 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • Instead, try making a night time routine. Include lots of quiet time activities. Turn off the TV, turn on soft lullaby music, give them a warm bath with lavender, slather on lavender lotion. Read a calm book or two while they are drinking a warm bottle/cup of milk. Help them get into the habit of settling down to go to sleep. Yes, our night time routine take about an hour from start to finish...but when I walk out of their room, they are already half asleep. Establishing a good bed time routine is so important on so many levels...not just for them, but for you as well.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:24 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • A child should not be given drugs they don't need, and a tranquilizer besides. I agree with the above poster about getting into the habit of doing this. Who knows what the long term effects would be or even if the child would grow up and tend to over-use drugs. The parent has a responsibility to do what is best for the child, not for the parent. Unless the doctor has prescribed a drug for sleep, then the parent should not give the drug to the child.

    Answer by Bmat at 1:24 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • my PEDS dr was the one that told me to try it and there is a dosage for benadryl on the bottle that has a weight chart...there is no known long term effects from using it if there was they wouldnt have as an everyday alergy drug...

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:28 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.