The Smart Mom’s Medicine Cabinet Essentials for Combatting Fall Woes #KnowTheDifference

Don't let fall's woes get in the way of all your fun! Check out our medicine cabinet essentials!

Fall is supposed to be all about back-to-school learning, fun and exploring new things, right? I remember as a kid, I would climb trees, build forts out of golden leaves and roam the forest near my house after school. I tried not to let the end of summer break get me down! Now that I’m a mom, I want to make sure my son has the same experience. I won’t let anything interfere with these golden moments of childhood.

Unfortunately, fall has a way of sneaking in a few woes that threaten all the fun. From bumps and bruises (I can’t even tell you how many trees I fell out of as a kid!), to the dreaded fall cold. Oh, the fall cold! It’s the worst, isn’t it? I think colds should stay confined to winter. It’s only fair. They have a whole season in which to wreak havoc. Viruses have a mind of their own though, and they don’t take my opinion into consideration.

Combatting Fall Woes: The Smart Mom’s Medicine Cabinet

As moms, there’s nothing worse than seeing our kids in pain. We want to do everything possible to protect them from the not-so-pleasant parts of fall and help them feel better so they can continue learning and exploring.

My medicine cabinet is filled with all the things I need to get my son back on his feet. I’m pretty well stocked up on things like bandages, antibacterial cream, itch relief cream and wound cleanser. I keep a basic First Aid Kit in my kitchen and in my car so I’m always prepared.

I also keep both Children’s Tylenol® and Children’s Motrin® on hand at all times. Maybe you’re thinking “why both? Aren’t they the same thing?” I’m so glad you asked! They’re NOT the same thing, actually. Knowing the difference between the two and which one to use for which condition can go a long way to beating back those fall weather woes!

Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin: What’s the Difference?

We’re going to talk a bit about the differences between the two medicines, but first, check out this super handy chart! I recommend saving it or printing it out so you can reference it when the cooler weather bites back.

Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin: What’s the Difference? 

As you can see, there are quite a few differences between the two aside from the active ingredients. Let’s go over some of them and see why it’s important to keep BOTH on hand.

Pain Relief

Both Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin provide relief from pain. However, when it comes to pain with inflammation (such as a sprain or muscle aches from over-exertion), I reach for the Children’s Motrin, as it tends to be more effective to me. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory, while acetaminophen is not. Children’s Tylenol is great for the aches that come from a cold, like a headache or sore throat. It’s a “first line of defense” medication. If pain persists, or is extreme, I reach for the Children’s Motrin.


Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin differ in the duration of relief. While I recommended giving Tylenol every 4-6 hours, you’ll need an 8-hour gap in between Motrin doses. The great thing about that: you can give it to your child before bedtime and not need to wake him up for a dose in the middle of the night.

Fever Relief

When it comes to relieving a fever, I feel that both Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin can get the job done. However, some parents have told me that ibuprofen brings their child’s fever down faster and more effectively, for those really serious high body temperatures. I’ve noticed that fevers also tend to get higher at night, which is where the 8-hour duration of Children’s Motrin comes in handy.

Effects on the tummy

Tylenol tends to be gentler on little tummies than Motrin, as acetaminophen doesn’t irritate the stomach the way ibuprofen can. When my son has no appetite, I reach for Children’s Tylenol first. I always make sure he has something in his stomach before giving him Children’s Motrin.

I recommend keeping both on hand so that you are able to alternate between the two. I don’t feel comfortable giving my child too much of one medication. I always follow the directions on the label, and talk to my doctor before giving my child any OTC medicines.

Stock up with a money-saving coupon!

Now that you know why it’s important to keep both on hand, grab this money-saving coupon so you can stock up on Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin! You’ll save $5 when you buy both medicines together!


This post has been generously sponsored by the makers of Children’s Tylenol® but the opinions expressed are my own.

How did you do stay prepared for your child’s fever and cold? Share in the comments!

36 thoughts on “The Smart Mom’s Medicine Cabinet Essentials for Combatting Fall Woes #KnowTheDifference”

  1. great idea to compare two top brands when giving medicine to the little sick ones! thanks for making it easy to read and compare… ‘mental note to myself about this’ ha!

  2. I always keep both Tylenol and Motrin on hand for my youngest since he still requires liquid medicine. I thought he was coming down with something yesterday as he was running a low-grade fever. I opted not to give him medicine so that his body could fight off whatever it was.

  3. This is great information. I always keep both products in the house. It is that time of the year again where everyone always gets sick.

  4. This is the one thing I hate about this time of year. Everyone seems to get sick around this time. I always keep some products in our medicine cabinet for times like these.

  5. I can remember back in the day when my children were younger and had a high fever. The doctor always suggested alternating Children’s Tylenol with Children’s Motrin. 🙂

  6. We always have Children’s Tylenol on hand. When you need it, you don’t want to have to rush to the store. This has been a lifesaver for us on many occasions.

  7. Oh yeah! It’s that time of year again and I definitely need to start stocking up. Nothing worse than getting the fall sniffles and finding out the medicine cabinet is still wiped out from last year. Thanks for reminding me. 🙂

  8. We always keep tylenol in our cabinet! All year ’round. It’s the only thing my 5 year old can take due to his kidneys so I make sure we always have it on hand just in case.

  9. My grandson is teething right now and he is so fussy. I feel it hurts him when he uses his bottle and his pediatrician prescribed Infant’s Tylenol to relieve his pain. I hope he gets over this phase so he can get his appetite back. Thanks for the infographic. It is very useful for parents who need to know which would be the best to give their child.

  10. With each season comes a new set of health issues that you might face and it’s good to be prepared for them. I really think these are important to have in your medicine cabinet!

  11. This is a great post. Seriously, many parents don’t understand the differences between Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen and they SHOULD. These are great guidelines

  12. Goodness such a good idea to be prepared for this! I love entering fall and winter but I recall the germs and sickness that can be easily spread as we gather around more often.

  13. It always surprises me that people don’t know the difference between Motrin and Tylenol. This is a great breakdown of it!

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