20 answers

My Daughter Refuses to Take Medicine with Out a Fight

Hi moms. Im hoping that someone might have an idea or can steer me towards something that works. My daughter has had a cold for almost a week now. Thursday 11-13, she ended up in the emergency with hives on her legs and arms. Happens to be a reaction to a viral infection. I now have to give her motrin when needed, a steriod 2 times a day and benedryl when she gets the steriod or if needed before. She is 21 months old annd fights tooth and nail with taking her medicine. I have the 1st years syringe and if she sees that or the one that comes in the motrin bottle she runs. As of right now it takes 2 of us to hold her down and give her the medicine, which in turn she usually spits out or makes herself gag and throw up. With my oldest he took a bink and he had the pacifer dispenser. My dd wants nothing to do with a bink, so that is out of the question. Im afraid if I put it in her juice then she will take forever to drink it and not get all that she needs. Not like she is now with the way she spits it up. I dont want her to have bad experiences with medicine. I tried to make a game out of her taking it and she wants nothing to do with that either. Help me please I dont know what to do to make it more pleasent for her let alone me. I have to give her a bath every time she takes it b/c she gets it in her hair. Any ideas are welcome. Im at my wits end and its only been 1 day with all three medications. Thanks in advance.

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So What Happened?™

Thank you all so much for the suggestions. I ended up trying the little bit of juice in a cup since she usually drinks from a regular cup without a problem. I swear she new it was in there even though she was still in bed when I put it in. She still fights us with everything she has. I even went out and bought a new medicine for her so that she could do it herself, well needless to say that she wont touch it. I got a feeling that it will be a fight for a long time. Thanks again for all the responses

Featured Answers

A.,

My daughter hated the syringe, too. I have found that a dropper works better. I think that the issue is that a syringe shots the medicine into their mouths and that feels scary. When I use a medicine dropper, my daughter (18 mos.) takes it willingly and sucks it right out.

Unfortunately, the steriods usually taste pretty bad, so that may also be a deterrent, and motrin is REALLY hard on the throat (I taste everything my daughter takes, just so I know what she is dealing with. - Just a lick, mind you.)

I always have a cup of water at the ready so that the second my daughter takes the medicine, she can rinse the taste out of her mouth.

HTH,

C.

Hi A.,

A reward to go with the medication would likely help. Most kids respond well to having more control over the situation so allowing her to take the medication on her own, or at least help can make a big difference. Some people find that distraction also helps, either engaging her in an activity and pairing it with taking the medication. Lastly, some kids just hate the taste so experimenting with different flavors and/or allowing her to follow the medication immediately with either milk or juice can really help. Good luck!

More Answers

My son was 2 1/2 when we needed to start giving him daily medications. The first month was a battle until we found something that worked. For the yucky tasting ones we fill a shot glass 3/4 full of juice - usually really strong lemonade or fruit punch (from a mix) but sometimes also snow cone syrup. Then we add the medicine, stir it in and use an oral medicine syringe to administer it. If any meds remain in the bottom, we add a bit of water, mix it up and use the syringe again. We've been doing this for two years and it has worked very well for us. We also expalined to him that he was sick and that was why he had to go to the doctor so often and that the doctor gave him this medicine to make him better. We used a lot of praise and a sticker chart to motivate him as well. Best wishes!

This is one idea--what about a freezer pop to sort of "freeze" her taste buds a little & then try small squirts from the syringe in between freezer licks? I know with my dog (I am NOT comparing your daughter to a dog!) they told us to aim the syringe far back so he would just swallow--not much chance to spit it out.
See if you can find a pharmacy to flavor the meds. Also ask if you could mix with applesauce.
As for the other post about "scaring" her--my son used to completely freak out with cutting his toenails. One day he happened to come with me to the podiatrist. After that, I told him if he didn't let us do it the doctor would have to do it and he uses a looooong shaaaarp blade! Sounds cruel but it worked like a charm. Good luck. This is tough.

I had the same problem with my kids! I would put a very small amount of juice in a cup and then put the medicine in it and let them drink it with a straw. Apple Juice works well to cover up medicine taste. It worked for my kids. They didn't mind taking it because they couldn't taste it (yes, I told them there was medicine in it). Good Luck!

You have fallen into the oldest trap in the world-- a power struggle with a toddler. Check with the pharmacist and see what is safe to put the medicine in-- juice, applesauce, oatmeal, etc and see if they can be combined. You have to get it into her. Another option is to get one of those medicine spoons and see if she'll take it from that, rather than the dropper. I'd also try a little reverse psychology... tell her she can't take her medicine, that you want it instead, and pretend to drink it. Maybe enlist your son and have him take some "medicine" (juice, really) and get some kind of treat for it. My guess is that she'll be begging for it within a day.

Hope she feels better soon.

I did it with a syringe and had a table spoon handy in case she spits it out. I would not make a big deal of it and be honest. say i know not tasty but the yuckier the medicine the more it works.

with my son we had many of the same issues. I sit him down and tell him I am sorry he has to take medicine. "No one likes to." Tell her she needs to take it so she can get well. Tell her the Dr. is afraid that if she does not take this medicine that she will get MORE sick and will then need even MORE medicine and may have to go to the hospital and get a SHOT! or even have to spend the night there. I know it sounds mean to scare them, but in a sense, you are not lying totally. I then tell my son, if he is a good boy and he takes his medicine real quick, I will give him a lollipop to get the yucky taste out of his mouth. Some times he agrees and sometimes not. either way, I try to make it as painless as possible and use the syringe and squirt it in the back of his mouth and have a drink (her favorite) close at hand so she can rid her mouth of the taste. Good luck, I know how hard it is. My son loves lollipops, so this is a great tool for me. Maybe for your daughter it will be goldfish or something else, but make sure it is something she really likes. A bribe is never ok....unless it is used in this case lol

I think the juice with the straw idea sounds great, but if that does not work maybe talking to your pharmacist to see if you can get a flavor added. Also my 21month old stoped liking the syringe but will use the medicine measurung spoon now since it is more like drinking out of a cup, but it seems like your daughters issue is more with the flavor than the method or maybe its both!Trial and error to find the right combination.

Good Luck!

A.,

My daughter hated the syringe, too. I have found that a dropper works better. I think that the issue is that a syringe shots the medicine into their mouths and that feels scary. When I use a medicine dropper, my daughter (18 mos.) takes it willingly and sucks it right out.

Unfortunately, the steriods usually taste pretty bad, so that may also be a deterrent, and motrin is REALLY hard on the throat (I taste everything my daughter takes, just so I know what she is dealing with. - Just a lick, mind you.)

I always have a cup of water at the ready so that the second my daughter takes the medicine, she can rinse the taste out of her mouth.

HTH,

C.

My oldest daughter (now 5) was the exact same way and STILL is that way. I end up wasting half of the medication because she either has it all over her or ends up throwing it up. We've found a few tricks:
* Try using one of the medicine cups. My daughter liked to be able to "do it herself" rather than trying to force it down her throat.
* Have her show Grandma and Grandpa what a "big girl" she is with how she takes her medicine- we'd all count down to drinking it and then clap and shout and make a big fuss about how "big" she was.
* If it was something that could be mixed in to another liquid, we'd put it in the drinkable yogurt (she got a kick out of the little plastic container that the yogurt comes in) or in a little bit of Kool-Aid or in a little bit of orange juice.
Good luck to you!!

My oldest daughter was the same way. I ended up having to sit with her on the couch and give her the medicine from a syringe in very small amounts followed by a sip of her favorite juice. At first it would take 1/2 and hour or more for her to take a tsp of medicine, but each time I was able to increase the amount of medicine in each swallow. After a couple of times, we could do it in about 5 minutes. We also did this crazy cheer when she was all done; really loud woo-hoo's with clapping and flailing arms. We looked totally stupid, but she loved it! It also helped me to put the syringe in the back corner of her mouth and aim toward her cheek. Because it was on the side of her mouth it was hard for her to spit out, and because it was in the back she had to swallow it. I would try to be positive about it and not make it too much of a battle (I know that's hard). For my daughter, the sympathetic "I know you don't want to honey but you have to" worked. Good luck, this is a tough one!

I had this problem too, same thing gotta hold her down to get it in then it gets on you and her and everything else been there so i feel your pain. Try letting her take it herself from the spoon dispenser...its gonna take a minute tho because of what she is used to go through. I used to give it to her make her sit and take her time to finish it then also bribe a little but it beats the stress of fighting and cleaning. My husband was able to get my daughter to do it on her own really well. When she used to fight me i used to wrap her in a towel(like swaddling) and lean her back put it in, it used to frustrate me like no other. Oh and don't put in the juice it does take the effect of the meds away and they don't finish it in time. I tried that too then you always wonder if they even got any. Good luck

My only idea is the mixing it in with a liquid, but it sounds like you've either tried it already or are reluctant to try it. If you're reluctant, give it a shot. Many liquid meds can be safely mixed with drinks, but if you're not sure ask at the pharmacy. Some meds may not work if mixed with acidic juices or with dairy drinks. Good luck.

She sounds like my son at that age! I remember how tough it was. The spitting out and holding down and he always knew if I put it in his juice or water too! The only thing that seemed to work w/ him was we found a flavor of medicine he liked at the time it was grape and told him it was Barneys magic medicine. Also when he was giving us a hard time we'd tell him he'd have to go to the emergency room which worked sometimes too...
Good Luck to you and I hope you find something that works !

My son was and still is the same way. None of my other kids had trouble but him. Maybe they are just more sensitive to taste. Good news is that he has gotten better with certain meds. He doesn't fight me for some better tasting medicines anymore.
I would recommend asking the pharmacist which medicines you are allowed to mix with food. I have to mix any nasty tasting medicine in food or it with be thrown right back up. And it is not doing any good on the floor.
Applesauce is an ok option but does NOT work for my son when mixed with the liquid steriod. I had to use yogurt and pudding. You may have to play around and mix it up.
Good Luck!!

We had the same problems...tried the syringe, the paci dispenser, the bottle dispenser, and the "take-2-to-hold-down" method and he managed somehow to spit 1/2 of it out anyway, which was really frustrating! The only thing that ever worked for us is to put it in a newborn bottle, watered down just a little. My 21 mo. old takes it that way every time. Good luck - it's so frustrating!

I had the same problem with my oldest child. He HATES taking medicine. My son was still in a crib when this issue began. I did the whole "hold him down and force it" thing once and it was just terrible so I vowed never to do that again.
I came up with putting him in his crib in "time out" telling him that he could get up when he took the medicine. I put the medicine in apple sauce and he took it. (Reluctantly...and slowly....had to go back 5-6 times to get the whole dose in) But it did work. My son will be 7 years old next month and STILL takes his medicine in apple sauce! Very willingly and happily, mind you. (BTW, it did ruin apple sauce for him. He used to eat it but won't touch the stuff now...he associates it with medicine)
Best of luck to you.

My 1 -year-old is on constant meds and on and off of oral steroids. I've been told the oral steroids taste really bad so we usually get a flavor added to them. Also I have been told that sometimes the oral steroids can alter a child's behavior. So while they may be really neccessary, you may find your child more difficult to deal with. That has not been our experience, but our son is still very yound so it is difficult to tell. Maybe could you free it like a little popsicle? It may not be a perfect solution, but she needs to get her meds:). Best of luck!

It's OK that she hates medicine, you actually don't want her to fall in love with taking it all the time. I have to force my daughter too, it's really the only way. I try to remain calm and positive and say "OK, ALL DONE!" half way through and give her lots of praise. The only thing I've really given her is the Baby Saline for her nose during bad colds and she HATES having it squirted up her nose. Gags, pukes, cries, everything. But it has to be done, so we just pin her down and get it over with quick. Then we point out how much better she feels (true) and what a good girl she is. Luckily your daughter won't be sick forever! I wouldn't worry about her spitting it up, she's still getting some, and that's a lot of meds for a little body. Just keep it quick and simple, don't feed into her fear by getting too upset yourself. Just focus on being really happy and her being a good girl after each dose. I hope she gets well soon!

Hi A.,

A reward to go with the medication would likely help. Most kids respond well to having more control over the situation so allowing her to take the medication on her own, or at least help can make a big difference. Some people find that distraction also helps, either engaging her in an activity and pairing it with taking the medication. Lastly, some kids just hate the taste so experimenting with different flavors and/or allowing her to follow the medication immediately with either milk or juice can really help. Good luck!

We have been there! For a while, the ONLY thing that worked was orange juice. I only put a small amount of juice into my daughter's cup, and put the medicine in there. At least for us, the orange juice was strong enough to cover the flavor of the medicine. We made sure she never saw us put it in...or it would have never worked! I know how frustrating and upsetting it can be when you know they need the medicine, and then they end up throwing it back up. With the orange juice, I only put enough in that I knew within a few minutes she would drink it all. I hope that will help! Good Luck!

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