How to trick your toddler into taking medicine

Getting your toddler to take medicine can be just as traumatising for parents as it is for children. But when our kids are sick the most important thing is getting them to take their medicine in order for them to get better and be back to their old-selves.

It’s heartbreaking seeing them sick – so tackling medicine time is a needs must, and we also need to ensure they take the full dosage prescribed by the doctor or the medicine will not take full effect and you will go through the whole ordeal again.

Now, we know this is nightmare. Between spitting it out, knocking it out of our hands, losing half of it down their chin or mixing it with a bottle or food that they don’t fully finish.

Here are some tricks that will help your toddler take medicine

First up – trying giving it to your toddler in another way. If he/she has already turned their nose up at a spoon, use a syringe, if that doesn’t work try a cup (with measurements to ensure you are fill with the correct dosage), or any way you can think of that might distract your toddler into taking it.

Break it up into smaller dosages– this takes a bit longer and more patience but it is not as traumatising especially for babies.

Mix it – with food, drinks or snacks. Please check with your doctor first if it is okay to do this because sometimes medicine will bind with calcium and becomes useless. Also if you are doing it this way remember they need to eat or drink every bit to ensure they’ve had the full dosage prescribed by your doctor.

Take the right aim – taste buds are concentrated on the front and centre of the tongue so do your best to bypass them and place the medicine on the back of the tongue or the rear of the gum and the inside of the cheek where it will easily glide down, however, this does need some skill but we’re sure there will unfortunately, be lots of time to practise.

Be careful how you react – even though it’s a terrible thing and you can feel like you are force feeding your child, do not apologise for it. Be matter of fact or even better be cheerful, this enforces the message that taking medicine is not a bad thing.

Offer a treat – with toddlers sometimes bribery is the only way. We know it shouldn’t be the go to option but if all else fails, this usually works…

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For smaller babies – try wrapping your baby up in a blanket including their little arms to restrain them as much as possible, sounds terrible but must needs when they are sick. Give them the medicine a little bit at time so it’s not too traumatic.

Tips from other parents

Get your child to lick an ice-pop or ice cube before and after the medicine, it numbs their taste buds a bit and lessens the bad taste of the medicine

Just a spoonful of sugar really does help the medicine go down! I dip the syringe in sugar and let my 14 month old taste it. Once she tastes the sweet sugar she sucks that syringe of medicine down quickly all the while I am praising her!

Suppository. It sounds gross, but it made our life “battle-free”. I would simply insert them during a nappy change (lube well) and it was over in a second–without an ordeal!

What works best for us is to have him lay on his back, that way it doesn’t come out, and I use a syringe and put in a little at a time in his cheek. Sometimes we play a game and when he tries to grab the syringe or try to get up, I weave my hand with the medicine around and around until he tries to catch it, then I put it in his mouth fast. I also blow on his face as I put it in, I learned that in the hospital. It makes them swallow, and they also like the feeling, it distracts them.

Try turning it into a game. Pretend to taste it and love it.

I decided to pretend to give it to his favourite stuffed horse saying, “Horsey needs his medicine, lets give horsey his medicine.” Then praising the horse and saying,”Now horsey gets a sticker for being such a good boy!” Then I would put a sticker on his horse. By the second day my son would take his medicine right after his horse took it and they would each get a sticker( each time my husband and I would clap and do a victory dance as well).

I play with her, then I tell her it’s medicine time, and if she takes all of it, she’ll get a surprise treat. It usually works if there’s a reward behind it.

Try giving it to him when he’s asleep or napping. My 15 month old still takes a pacifier and will just suck the medicine right out of the syringe without realizing she’s doing it.

Remember kids don’t hold grudges so be brutal it’s for their own good!

maternity & infant

Originally posted 2015-09-02 11:09:15.