Baby Accidentally Ate Honey? Here’s What to Do

Photo of author

Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

Published on

BabyFacts logo

You may be feeling panicked because you realized that your baby accidentally ate honey. But, rather than be alarmed, let’s break down the practical steps to take. 

Overall, if your baby accidentally eats regular honey or a product containing honey, you should remain alert. However, there’s no need to panic or stress out, even when it’s hard not to. Look for unusual signs and symptoms and seek medical attention if they occur. 

Let’s dive into more about what these symptoms are, when to take your baby to see a healthcare provider, and other information to know about honey and your baby. Read on to learn more!

My Baby Ate Honey: What Should I Do?

First, it is understandable that you would be worried and anxious when you learn that your baby under 12 months old has eaten honey.

However, it is essential to do something proactive and responsible and learn what to do to keep your baby safe. 

Honey drip in jar on the table

Now let’s go through the steps to take when you realize your baby has consumed honey. 

1. Reach out to a healthcare provider.

First, if you learn that your baby has consumed any trace amount of honey, reach out to your baby’s pediatrician or healthcare provider right away.

2. Monitor for symptoms of botulism.

Next, monitor for symptoms of infant botulism in your baby for the next couple of weeks.

Signs and symptoms of botulism include constipation, flattened facial expression, difficulty sucking or gagging, weak cries, difficulty breathing, sluggish pupils, poor feeding, and eyelid drooping (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]).

If you notice any of these symptoms or any other unusual symptom or behavior in your baby, contact your baby’s pediatrician and seek medical care immediately.

3. Remind yourself of the risks and odds of infant botulism.

Keep in mind that the odds of your baby contracting infant botulism from honey, in a small amount, are low. However, at this point, after your baby has already eaten honey, it is crucial to continue to monitor them to keep them safe.

4. Be cautious, but do not panic. 

Finally, do not panic. Panicking will not be helpful to your baby or to you during this time. Instead, as mentioned above, be cautious, alert, proactive, and calm. 

Will a Small Amount of Honey Hurt My Baby?

A small amount of honey, such as in commercially-made processed foods, is still not known to be safe for your baby under one year old. In addition, every product on the grocery store shelves is produced slightly differently.

Therefore, there is no standard on which products or types of products are safe from botulism and which still can contain viable bacterial spores (source: California Department of Public Health). For example, honey graham crackers that have real honey should be avoided.

pile of honey graham crackers on a plate

To reiterate this, the American Academy of Pediatrics also states to avoid giving your baby processed foods containing honey. 

When these foods are consumed, since they contain very little honey, it is more unlikely that your baby will develop infant botulism. This is especially true if they consume just a little bit of honey, as opposed to a spoonful of pure honey, for example. 

However, still, monitor your baby for signs and symptoms of botulism (as mentioned above) and continue to stay calm and alert in the situation.

In conclusion, I hope this article is a helpful reminder not to worry and just take proactive steps to ensure your baby is safe after accidentally consuming certain forms of honey.