One mom felt guilty for giving Tylenol to her infant for teething pains, despite a doctor recommending it. Reddit was quick to tell her she was doing great.

By Beth Ann Mayer
July 08, 2021
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Seeing your child in pain is tough, especially when they're too little to understand what's happening. And teething is typically a rough patch for kids. Thankfully, doctors can recommend safe and accessible interventions to lessen the pain.

But a doctor's okay didn't stop one mom from feeling guilty. She posted about it in the Mommit subreddit, and others were quick to give her the support she deserved.

"Does anyone else ever feel guilty or like a bad mom when you give your little (9 months) Tylenol?" u/sweetgibbets posted. "I don't know why but I feel like I'm giving up or out of options. Without it, she doesn't want to do anything and just fusses and wants to be held but also is squirmy and crying."

An image of a baby taking medicine.
Credit: Getty Images.

The poster later mentioned that she tries cold washcloths and teething rings, but they don't always work. Listen: Safe and happy babies are the best kind—and the mom double-checked Tylenol was safe.

"Her doctor prescribed the Tylenol for teething pain, and my husband (also a family medicine doctor) [doesn't] seem concerned about her getting some, but I feel like I keep expecting teeth to pop out," she wrote. "But instead, she just has swollen gums, and you can see the teeth moving slowly."

Swollen gums are a normal part of teething, and again, so is giving a child medication for relieving the pain. Other Redditors had a message for the guilt-ridden mom: Lose the self-shame. Doctors administer certain treatments for a reason.

"Never feel bad about helping your baby with pain in safe, regulated ways. You're only giving it when absolutely needed and after other remedies aren't helping. You're doing great," said one of the top commenters.

This poster hit the nail on the head. But if Mom needed more reassurance, she got it.

"I don't feel guilt at all. In fact, I feel the opposite. I think it's inhumane to not provide relief to a suffering child. I think it's cruel to let a child suffer in pain and discomfort when relief is available," said another.

And another gave a take on the root of the original poster's guilt. "Why do parents (especially moms) think all remedies must be 'natural?' It's because it's constantly pushed on us these days. But if Tylenol gets your kid through their day or helps them sleep at night, you should not feel bad at all," the person wrote.

New parents tend to be magnets for unsolicited opinions that often lead to guilt. But remember, when it comes to outsiders' free advice, you're often getting what you pay for: not much. The only opinions that matter are yours, your partner's (if applicable), and the pediatrician's.

So, give your child some Tylenol if it helps them feel better. They don't have to live in pain, and you don't have to live with the guilt.