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How to feed a toddler medicine?

  1. #1
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    How to feed a toddler medicine?

    My 3year old has a cough and when I make attempts to give her medicine e throws a tantrum....I've tried using the syringe, mixing it with water, using a spoon...there MUST be a better way! Can anyone help? At this point I'm just increasing her liquid intake so she can heal naturally on her own...but it is heartbreaking when I hear her cough in the middle of the night in her room. Would love to hear what works for other families. Thanks!

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    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    back when my son was 2, he got some yucky anti-biotics for a bad ear infection. the ONLY way i could get him to take the meds was to promise him a chocolate afterwards to "wash it down". i did that for the first few times and then after that, i've never had a problem again.

    but if she REALLY refuses, then there's not much you can do.

    good luck! one of the WORST things about being a mum is not being able to really help your sick kids.
    thanka2 likes this.

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    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    oh, and i also demonstrated the syringe with water in the sink and let my kids try it, too... then i filled it and let them give themselves the meds.

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    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    I've used a syringe and you put in their cheek, all the way in the back. Worked quite well and makes it easier to swallow. My youngest girl had very horrible antibiotics (which couldn't be flavored, or it wouldn't make a difference that's how bad it was) but she had MRSA so she had no choice. Luckily she was still very young. I always found the cheek/syringe combination best.

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    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
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    Hi Leslie

    I think if it's a cough medicine, it's not worth the fight. It would be nice if they would take it, but it doesn't really cure the cough - just soothes a bit. There are some nice-tasting homeopathic cough medicines (there's a Nelson's one at Bumps to Babes that tastes of honey) - so maybe you could try with something like that. Put a bit on a spoon and let your little one dip a finger in and try it. Or put a spoonful in a cup and add 50 ml of warm water to make a soothing drink. But unless she cooperates, you don't have much hope of success.

    When it's something important like an antibiotic, then you sometimes just have to be forceful (pin the child down and do the syringe in the cheek squirt). My eldest is now 6 - between the ages of 12 mths (when he learned to spit out) and 5.5yrs, he never willingly took medicine. For fevers, we resorted to paracetamol suppositories (usually inserted while he was asleep!) For bad colds, we could hide Polaramine in Ribena (as it doesn't have much flavour and it's only a 1.25ml dose). For de-worming tablets, we could crush them up and hide them in chocolate icecream or even in cheesy baked beans!

    Yet a few months ago, he surprised us. He had to take a foul-tasting antibiotic, very bitter, the taste couldn't be hidden in anything. We reasoned, explained, threatened, begged, bribed... and eventually he agreed to take a syringe of it every night, swiftly followed by gummy bears and cuddles. I would sit on the kitchen floor with him for 20 to 30 minutes talking it through, while he plucked up courage to swallow it. It was a huge leap forward for him - we thought we'd never see the day.

    So eventually, no matter how stubborn and strong-willed, your child will reach an age where medicine makes sense ("you won't get better unless you take it"). We still have the battle with our 4-yr-old; whereas the 17mth-old is at the age where we just hold him tight, and syringe it in the back of his cheek. Different stages for different ages.

    Good luck!

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    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    Thanks guys....will try the cheek squirt when I get the courage to (accept defeat ;) at the hand of my daughter)....completely gave up today as I was so exhausted from trying yesterday...have the homeopathic one, Honkyblues, but she even refuses that! Didn't taste all THAT bad! My younger one LOVES her medicines so much I'm freaked out shel become a druggy in her teens....now tell me I'm being crazy....please? Or you think I really should be worried?!? I resorted to suppositories too when she had a fever...they're the best!

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    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
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    Don't worry - I had no success with the honey-tasting homeopathic one either! ;-)

    I'm sure you're younger one won't become addicted - just be glad you've got one willing and pliable child!

    Hope your daughter is better soon!

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    Ureshii3 is offline Registered User
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    Medicine time for LO used to b battletimes Now he kinda noes it helps and usually cooperates well
    Syringe never works in our case whichever style
    The trick is to minimise d 'medicine time NOW' signs and try to do it before he realized anything, and this has to be done with some distraction eg toys, books etc Not easy especially when kids get older but it helps somewhat Practice makes perfect!
    When that fails,I will either hide medicine in his food/drinks that will cover its taste OR do the rogue way-force it down his throat with spoon
    Definitely don't recommend this method to anyone,especially if there r other choices that will work beta
    Thank gdness i rarely have to resort to do it too My thoughts in such rare ocassions is that I rather be the bad cop get the medicine into him for faster recovery than to let him think that he could avoid taking med by refusal or throwing earthshaking tantrums Cos it will elove into a vicious cycle making each time harder & harder to feed him
    That's what happened in our case
    Hope u will find an effective way Good luck!

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