40 answers

Giving Meds?

Does anyone have any tricks or tips for giving their baby meds? I have to give my 14 months old med twice a day and its one big fight. Just wondering if anyone had any advice or if I just have to fight it out. Thanks!

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M., I have a 2 year old and the only thing that has worked for him is threatening to take his medicine myself. There is a little bit of age difference, so it may not work yet, but you will soon find out that everything is "mine!". Hopefully it will work. Good luck!

I would get my daughters medicine flavored from walgreens, its like 3 dollars but well worth it, takes the yucky out of medicine. I would then have my husband hold her down while i used a syringe to squirt just a little at a time into her mouth and then i would close her mouth with my hand so she would swallow.
We have never had any more problems getting her to take it!

One of mine hated meds, she still does, I had to hold her down and force her mouth open, I never found a solution, it was a fight everytime.

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My son just finished Augmenten for an ear infection and I forgot to have the pharmacy flavor it, so we had a fight on our hands too. I had been told once by my pediatrician's nurse to use a little chocolate or strawberry syrup (the kind for milk). He didn't like the chocolate, but loved the strawberry. My daughter also had constipation problems and had to take mineral oil (double yuck!) for a few months, we also used the strawberry syrup for her as well.

Here's a couple of suggestions: Mix it in a food the baby likes (applesauce is a good way to do it, and you can even get flavored applesauce. They do this all the time with Alzheimer's pts, so it has no effect on the medicine). That way they don't see you comming with the dropper, med. spoon, or whatever. You can also go to the pharmacy and get flavorings to add to the medicine itself, and that alone often works, particularly if your child is crazy for grape, or cherry, or whatever. There are a number to pick from.

I mix the meds with a little chocolate syrup for my 18 month old and he asks for more!!

are you using an oral syringe? that works best. squeeze it just a little at a time slowly aiming inside toward her cheek.

If it's not easy then most likely not much advise will help but I've found when mine when thru that stage it was easy to just give them a little at a time while they cried with their mouth open. If you have a big fighter you can hold them down but I always hated that but if you have to you have to. That stage didn't last too long all 3 of mine take medicine easy now even my 16 month old. I just call them & they come & take it. Hope it gets easier for you.


try using a syringe squirter thing and quickly squirt it to the back of her throat

It was always a fight to get my son to take anything. We tried the pharmacy flavors to no avail. I finally broke down and bought some orange Fanta soft drink and mixed his medicine in with a couple of sips of soda. The Fanta is caffiene-free (Sunkist is not) and he drinks it with no problems. Granted it is not a good idea to give kids lots of soda, but I decided a few sips was worth it if he would be able to get his entire dose down! Sometimes you have to do whatever works! :) Good luck!

We used a syringe. I think that Target may provide this with the prescription. If not ask at the pharmacy if they have them. You have to administer it slowly and maybe stop and then start again, but at least you aren't wearing it and neither is the baby. Good luck.

M., I have a 2 year old and the only thing that has worked for him is threatening to take his medicine myself. There is a little bit of age difference, so it may not work yet, but you will soon find out that everything is "mine!". Hopefully it will work. Good luck!

One of mine hated meds, she still does, I had to hold her down and force her mouth open, I never found a solution, it was a fight everytime.

We had the same issue with my daughter. The doctor said I could put it in her juice, but had to make sure she drank it all! It worked like a charm!

I would get my daughters medicine flavored from walgreens, its like 3 dollars but well worth it, takes the yucky out of medicine. I would then have my husband hold her down while i used a syringe to squirt just a little at a time into her mouth and then i would close her mouth with my hand so she would swallow.
We have never had any more problems getting her to take it!

I have a four year old son. You can use a syringe and try to let him help you put it in his mouth. Sometimes with kids you need to make it look like fun so that they know they won't get hurts. Hope this helps.

I used several methods that worked from time to time...depending on the mood of my child that day! A small syringe filled with meds and squirted along the back of the inside of the cheek kind of forces swallowing and gets the meds down. Mixing it in a small amount of water/juice sometmes works. Having the pharmacist flavor it is sometimes helpful. Prayer is also a great tool!

Hey M.,
Meications can always be a fun time, but it is just finding what works for your child. I am a pediatric nurse and we use many different ways. It is usually called any cover up they like and if nothing works then we go back to the syring and hold them close, put the syringe in the mouth and a little tip if they can't smell it they can't taste it so pinch the nose until they swallow the med and have another drink of something else. We don't hold the nose to block breathing, and make them swallow, it is so they cannot taste the medication. The hersheys strawberry syrup is great to flavor meds with and cheap too. You can add as much or as little as you like. I hope this helps. And good luck!!!!

This may sound alittle odd but my son was the same way! We had to fight with him every time! We tried holding him down and blowing in his face, etc! Nothing worked. When he was alittle over a year old, I convinced our doctor to give him the right dose in a pill. We had to cut them into small pieces but he had NO problem taking and putting a pill in his mouth and drinking water! So from that day on, he never took liquid again! I would try that if your doctor would mind prescribing you a new med. Also, sometimes if chewables are available I would try those first!!

I'm not sure what medication it is, but most of the liquids can be flavored at Walgreens for a 2.99 charge. I haven't heard any children complain about the flavored medication, so it may be worth the money. Combine that with a syringe which you can also get at Walgreens and that should make things a lot easier. If you do get it flavored ask about their flavor card. They will stamp it everytime you get flavoring and after 4 or 5 you get a free flavoring. Hope this helps.

Isn't it frustrating?! I have a very hard time with my daughter, she is extremely adept at spitting everything back out at me! I assume you are using liquid meds...two pieces of advice that have helped me: This one came from my day care and worked well especially when she was younger - I don't know if it will do the trick with a 14 mos. old or not. Gently blow in her face as you put the medicine in her mouth. It startles her a little bit and causes her to swallow. The second bit of advice is to check with your pharmacist and see if they can increase the strength of the medication and give a corresponding decrease in the dosage. My pharmacist was out of the prescribed dosage once on ours, so he gave a double strength medicine and halved the dosage. I thought that was much better since it is so hard to get it down - that way I only had to get half as much down her! Good luck!!

Use a syringe. You can squirt it in there mouth without spilling it all over the floor.

Have you tried one of those medicine pacifiers they have, if your child still uses one. I would occasionally just put the meds into the bottle or sippy cup if my boys were being especially difficult.

I know Walgreens will flavor meds for you....did you try that already?

M., this may sound a little unorthodox, but a nurse suggested it to me many years ago when my daughter had multiple ear infections before she was one year old. Lay your child on the floor & kneel down with your knees on either side of her head. This way you can hold the head steady between your knees and keep arms pinned down next to her body. She will probably yell & scream, but that's what you need - an open mouth. And eventually she will have to take a breath & swallow. It sounds terrible, but you aren't actually putting your weight on her. And it was the answer to our problems because she could taste the medicine, however we tried to disguise. And as soon as I was done giving the med, she was fine. And after my daughter had the tubes put in her ears, she was rarely ever sick anymore! Oh, and she's 24 years old now. Give it a try; after a couple of times, I think you'll find it helpful. C. M.

My 9 month old daughter doesn't like bubble gum flavored medicines and she spits it back out if we give it straight to her. We put her medicine in about 2 ounces of formula or pedialyte. We give it to her right before her bottle so she drinks it right down. If it's a tablet or chewable, ask the pharmacist if you can crush it to mix in a couple ounces of fluid.

Both my kids have CF and so we give meds alot. If the meds are in a liquid, ask the pharmacist to give you a syringe for the liquid meds. It's just like a little plunger.
IF she won't open her mouth, cradle her head under your arm and hold her nose, then put the syringe in the back corner of her mouth-aiming at the inside of her cheek. This is so you are not shooting it directly down her throat possibly causing her to choke. If you aim into the back of the cheek, she will have to swallow and it will be harder for her to spit it out since it is so close to her throat and you are holding her nose.
The other alternative is adding it to her milk or juice or food.

When my daughter was little I always used liquid medicine and shot it into her mouth and down her throat with one of those needleless syringes. It was in her so fast she didn't have time to respond. Good luck.

I'm not a pediatric nurse but I did have to do a pediatric rotation in nursing school. What us nurses do is put the medicine in a syringe (of course with no needle) and squirt it little at a time towards the back of their mouth in their cheek (not straight down--you don't want your baby to aspirate it into the lungs). Your pharmasist may have a syringe for you to use if you them him/her what it's for--if not ask your pediatrician. Good luck!

have you tried adding the medicine to a drink?

I used to put my daughter's medicine in her bottle/sippy cup. I would try to match the taste of the drink to the taste of the medicine--for example, if the medicine was grape-flavored, I would give her grape juice. If it's a flavor that couldn't be matched, I would put it in milk. She didn't catch on to this until she was three!

Have you tried putting it in something like applesauce, or pudding? Sometimes, the baby will be happy to eat a treat and not even realize they are taking the med, if they don't see you add it.

Temperature can sometimes make a difference, too. If it's a med you have to keep in the fridge and your baby doesn't like cold things, it's usually ok to leave it out for just for a little while to take some of the chill off of it. Although, sometimes chilling it actually makes it taste better. So, if you are not keeping it cold you might try that. Either way, sometimes it was really just the temp that my babies reacted too. Good luck!

My little boy was born with a heart problem & had to take meds from birth til he was about 3 yr old. A medicine syringe works wonders. You can get them from the doctor or any pharmacy.

When our son was young he had to take lots of medicine. He didn't like the taste of most of it and couldn't swallow pills. The best trick we were given was to put the medicine in sherbert. That worked like a charm! It would slide down better than apple sauce or yogurt and the sweetness covered the taste. We kept the sherbert only for that purpose so it continued to be a treat. Good luck!

D. K

Do you put the dropper to the back and side of the mouth if yes and that hasnt worked.

I used to take the dropper and put a little at a time on a spoon and spoon feed it to my son, it took a little longer to give it to him, but no struggles and he took it easier.

Good Luck

Hope it helps

I think a dropper works the best cause you can shoot it into the mouth then rub their neck under the chin as that makes them swallow. Also flavored meds work.

I would check with your pharmacy to see if they can flavor the medicine. She'd probably take it no questions asked if she thought it tasted better! Until then, once you have the meds in the syringe put it deep in her mouth, between her rear gum and cheek before you squirt it in. Don't squirt in more than she can swallow and make sure the syringe doesn't touch the back of her tongue or she could gag. Have her favorite drink ready after she swallows. If you have the book What to Expect the First Year, pages 538-539 have some good tips for getting the meds down. I hope that helps and good luck!

We tell our children that their meds are "special mom or dad medicine" that is just for them. And that if they take this medicine it will help them feel so much better. They love the fact that it is "specially made" just for them. Also, depending on the type of medicine, you may let them know the flavor, say something like "ok it is time to take your yummy grape medicine now so that you can feel better." Or if it is something that is yucky, try offering their favorite juice after the medicine is taken. Keep the juice specifically for after medicine time. They will eventually catch on that they get something they love if they will take their medicine well. Yes I know that is bribery, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. And if your child is still on a pacifier, they have medicine dropper pacifiers at walmart, you just fill it up and give it to them and they suck it out as they suck on their pacifier. Hope this helped!

I work in an ER and I see the staff hold the childs nose shut. My own 17 month old took his meds much better when he was tinier. I myself have held his nose a few times, and still have to chase him around and catch him...but we do that to get his coat on too. As long as I say Ahhhhhhmmmmmmmm to him...he goes along with it. I have noooo idea if this will help. Hope so.

Try putting it in applesauce. Then make sure she eats all the applesauce. Worked for me.

I give my son his meds in his morning milk or in chocolate or kool aid or juice depending on what he'll tkae it with. WOrks wonders cause trying to give anything regularly he'll gag himself and puke. hope it helps

We had to give our daughter meds from 5 months on. It was a struggle for a LONG time! We usually just laid her down on the floor and put the syringe far back in her mouth and made sure she swallowed it before we pulled out the syringe because she would be able to push it back out if she could close her mouth.

She is now 3 1/2 and started swallowing pills at age 3. There's hope!

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