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New Parent’s Guide To Baby Medication



The health and well-being of your baby is paramount above everything else. Mums and dads want to give their children the best start in life, that’s why they spend so much time researching whether or not organic milk is right for them and what foods will help them to develop.


So, when they become ill for the first time, this can be extremely distressing and stressful for new parents. 


While medicine is not always needed for minor sicknesses such as colds, colic or coughs, there are occasions where medication is appropriate treatment and care.


In this article, we look at the different types of baby medicine that is available over the counter at a pharmacist and how they can help your child.


Anti-Colic Medicine For Babies 


Colic is when your baby cries but there is no clear cause(*). It is difficult to identify the exact cause of this discomfort as your child can’t tell you. However, here are some telltale signs that your baby may be colicky are;


  • They clench their fists
  • They go red in the face
  • Their tummy is unsettled or rumbles


Colic can be extremely upsetting and distressing for both parents and babies. Naturally, you want to comfort them and relieve them.


Anti-colic drops can help settle and soothe your colicky baby. Medicines such as Woodwards Gripe Water can provide rapid relief to wind and gripe. Both can cause cramping in the stomach and spasms and can cause an immense amount of discomfort. Made with natural dill seed oil, it reduces the wind in their stomachs and can relieve them off any distress.


If these anti-colic drops do not work, your baby is older than four months and continues to have colic or you are simply worried, call the NHS’ non-emergency number (111) or see your healthcare provider.


If your baby has a weak or high-pitched cry, please call 999 or go to your nearest A&E.


Cough & Flu Medicines For Babies


Babies and their untested immune systems are faced with viruses such as cold and flu. This can cause a lot of discomfort to your child, causing sleepless nights.


Don’t worry, you can help and support them through this difficult time. There are a variety of cough medicines available that can help soothe and provide relief, that is perfectly safe for babies.


Soothing syrups like Calpol Sugar Free Infant Liquid Suspension is designed for young children and babies over 2 months and over 4Kgs. Made as a sugar-free strawberry flavour which helps make taking medicine much easier and not harmful to new teeth.


This product is specially made for infants over the age of two months and over 4 kg for pain and fevers. If unsure if this medicine is correct for your child, please consult your pharmacist.


Most coughs will subside within three weeks. If your baby’s cough persists along with a wheeziness, a high temperature or has trouble breathing, please contact your GP immediately.


Saline drops such as Calpol Saline Nasal Drops are designed to help to unblock noses. These are easily applied with a pipette and is perfect colds, flu and congested sinuses. It can also be used for treating hay fever.


It is important that you read all instructions provided. If you are unsure, discuss this with a pharmacist or healthcare provider.


Paracetamol & Ibuprofen For Babies


Both Paracetamol and Ibuprofen are perfectly safe to give to your infant to help treat pain and soothe fever symptoms (*). You can give your baby paracetamol after the age of two months and ibuprofen after the age of three months and at a weigh of over 5 kg or 11 lbs.


It is important the medicine and dosage are appropriate for your infant. So, always check the packaging and any information provided to ensure if this is right for your baby.


If you are unsure, feel free to check with your pharmacist. They will be able to provide you with further information on the best medication for your baby.


Cradle Caps & Babies


Cradle Cap (*) can appear like a bad case of dandruff or show itself as a red area over your baby’s scalp. It would be covered with yellow scaly patches and can be greasy to the touch. These scales can become flaky and, over time, be daily rubbed off, taking their hair with it. This skin condition occurs with babies younger than eight months and can linger for some time.


Though it can appear like eczema, it is not itchy and will not cause any discomfort to your child. This is caused by hormones that are left in your baby’s body from the pregnancy. This stimulates oil glands in the skin, making the skin cells on their heads to stick to the scalp.


This can be treated with Cradle Cap shampoos. Through gently massaging the scalp and allowing it to sit for some time, it will clear away the cradle cap.


However, if it begins to look red or swollen, it could be infected. See your GP immediately.


At Chemist Direct, we understand how stressful and difficult it can be when your baby is sick; especially for first-time mums and dads. As the UK’s leading online pharmacy with over two decades of working with the public and helping new parents, we work with leading baby brands to provide our customers with the best products.


Check out our baby medicines today.


This article has been medically approved by Superintendent Pharmacist Shilpa Shailen Karia, MRPharmS. - GPhC Reg No: 2087328




  1. NHS
  2. Baby Centre
  3. NHS
  4. Calpol
  5. Baby Centre