42 answers

Getting 2 Year Old to Take Tylenol

Hi, Moms,
My 2-year-old has been sick with a cold or flu and fever for several days. I know he caught it from me so I know exactly how he feels -- and that he'd feel better if he would just take some Tylenol but he just won't take it. The doctor's office said to try mixing it into a smoothie, which worked for a day and now he refuses them. I've tried mixing it into everything -- pudding, ice cream, etc. I've tried crushing the chewable tablets into foods & he can still detect it. When he was feeling particularly warm tonight, I tried to force it down with a syringe-style dropper but he ended up just gagging it all up and throwing up his dinner in the process. He's asleep now but if it's anything like last night, he will fitfully sleep for awhile and keep getting up. I've tried to calmly explain to him that he'd feel a lot better if he would just take a little but he's stubborn. Any hints? Do any of the other brands of fever-reducer seem to taste better to your kids, etc. Thanks for your help. I know he'll get better soon but I hate to see him suffer.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I usually didnt use any meds on my boys for colds. Fever is the way the body fights the cold, tylenol just makes the process last longer. If you feel he's getting too hot put him in a bath of warm water and gradually cool the water down while he plays. Vicks on the bottom of the feet with some socks to cover is also comforting, helps with cough and fumes keep the nose running instead of stuffy. When kids are sick it makes them moody which is probably why he's refusing the flavorful meds.... just to show you he doesnt feel good. When the fever breaks he'll be good as new.

1 mom found this helpful

I've had more luck with the grape than the cherry. Sometimes I'll hold my daughter on my lap facing away from me, squeeze the sides of her mouth open, use a srynge to squirt it in the side/back of the cheek (NOT straight back in the throat, which causes gagging) then hold her mouth closed.

More often than not, though, outright bribery with a small amount of her favorite junk food works even better. I show the junk food to her, then tell her that I will eat it myself if she won't take the Tylenol. I'll look her in the eye and nibble just a bit of it. Ninety percent of the time this will get her to open her mouth. I use a (kid-sized) spoon for this method.

1 mom found this helpful

I had the same problem and ended up mixing it in with a little 7-up which was a huge deal because we do not drink soda. It worked like a charm, also if you have some med that tastes really bad I mix it with Pepsi or Root Beer to disguise it even more. I find that the grape flavor of most meds tastes the best. My son is now 4 and he happily takes the Triaminic Thin Strips and Mucinex Mini Melts. Good Luck!

More Answers

I've had more luck with the grape than the cherry. Sometimes I'll hold my daughter on my lap facing away from me, squeeze the sides of her mouth open, use a srynge to squirt it in the side/back of the cheek (NOT straight back in the throat, which causes gagging) then hold her mouth closed.

More often than not, though, outright bribery with a small amount of her favorite junk food works even better. I show the junk food to her, then tell her that I will eat it myself if she won't take the Tylenol. I'll look her in the eye and nibble just a bit of it. Ninety percent of the time this will get her to open her mouth. I use a (kid-sized) spoon for this method.

1 mom found this helpful

I usually didnt use any meds on my boys for colds. Fever is the way the body fights the cold, tylenol just makes the process last longer. If you feel he's getting too hot put him in a bath of warm water and gradually cool the water down while he plays. Vicks on the bottom of the feet with some socks to cover is also comforting, helps with cough and fumes keep the nose running instead of stuffy. When kids are sick it makes them moody which is probably why he's refusing the flavorful meds.... just to show you he doesnt feel good. When the fever breaks he'll be good as new.

1 mom found this helpful

My soon to be 5yrs old son is the same way. He does not like strong, thick, and flavorful medicines so now I give him homeopathic medicine,(from wholefoods or rainbow at sf) which he gladly takes and asks for it. It is not instantly effective as it works with the natural body defenses to fight the cold, cough, or fever. Usually, I don't jump to give medicine until fever is too high (over 100 or 101) as the fever in itself is our defense and it needs to run it course. There are other things that can help such as chamomile tea, clear chicken soup, honey, and inhaling steam by running water in the bath . Good luck with your child.
-R.

I've been here! Sounds like you have tried everything! We had to force it with my daughter - she is older now - 3 - but I've since decided that if she won't take it, she won't take it. It's a bummer that then she might not feel better - but part of me wonders if the suffering and anxiety over taking it is as bad as how they feel anyway. So now I offer it - repeatedly - and encourage it - but if she is unwilling, I just let it go.
Obviously, if it's antibiotics or something prescribed, then you have to find a way. But in this case, I offer and leave it up to her. Hope he feels better soon!

Kim's idea is perfectly correct for giving a liquid to a child. I am just amazed, however, that you can't find a paracetamol based fever medication in a suppository form. That's how I've always administered to my son, still do at age 4 when he's just too sick to swallow. Plus, a suppository works really fast -- in about 15 minutes your child already starts feeling it's affect. Sorry I can't reccomend a name, I live in Europe; I would check with a pharmacist about this.

I would also look into getting a suppository ask the pharmacist at the store to help you find it and then just slip it in while changing the diaper and they won't even feel it. My boys both went through this where they would only take orange flavored medicine, so motrin was what we had to use. If we didn't have it and they were sick I used the bribing also, told them do it quick and then eat this to make the taste go away, if that didn't make them do it on there own I would squirt the medicine in the back of their cheek and then when they swallowed gave them the candy or snack.
good luck,
C.

I had the same problem and ended up mixing it in with a little 7-up which was a huge deal because we do not drink soda. It worked like a charm, also if you have some med that tastes really bad I mix it with Pepsi or Root Beer to disguise it even more. I find that the grape flavor of most meds tastes the best. My son is now 4 and he happily takes the Triaminic Thin Strips and Mucinex Mini Melts. Good Luck!

My two year old granddaughter will only take the grape flavored medications so you might try a different flavor. If that doesn't work, I used to wait until the children were asleep and then use the syringe to give them medication. They would automatically swallow when I put it in their mouth and never wake up. It's better than fighting them to take it!

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