Mom tips on how to get kids to take medicine

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I almost had a nervous breakdown recently trying to get my 3 1/2 year old to take her first dose of antibiotics. For an easygoing kid, I have never seen her get so hysterical about something. It was awful! I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do or how I was going to get her to take it so I reached out to my Facebook followers for real mom tips on how to get kids to take medicine. 

If you don’t already, please follow Tiny Oranges on Facebook, readers are seriously the best. Total wealth of mom to mom info on our Facebook page.  Your tips worked and you all saved me from my breakdown. Thank you.

Here is what tips our moms had on how to get kids to take medicine.  If you have more ideas, please comment below…

1. Mix with apple juice.

2. Mix with yogurt or applesauce.

3. Use oral syringe and bribe with a treat.

4. Try to reason with them and tell them it will help make them feel better.

5. Mix with fruit Hi-C.

6. Negotiate with M&Ms. Two before, two after.

7. Use an oral syringe and place in back side of cheek to not get as much of the taste.

8. Mix with Gatorade.

9. Ask pharmacy if they can add flavor.

10. Syringe to back of cheek, shock and awe, follow with an Oreo chaser.

11. Ask about chewable tablets vs. liquid.

12. Cherry popsicle.

13. Ask doctor to prescribe pills you can smash up and add to yogurt or applesauce.

14. Flavor added is called flavor x. They have a zillion flavors they can add…fruit punch even masked the flavor of oral iron for my 18 month old! All big pharmacies carry it but never advertise. Then use a syringe placed in back of cheek pocket (not back of throat, they could choke), follow with a chaser of whatever “treat” she likes.

15. Mix with something very sweet, like chocolate syrup or maple syrup.

16. Syringe with shot of Diet Coke or Sprite.

17. Bribery.

18. Room temp antibiotics, not chilled. Try letting them do syringe themselves.

19. Had to ask a nurse to show me how to administer the med, seems harsh but totally worked – squeeze her cheeks tight and put the syringe at back of cheek, then lift her chin to swallow. Follow with two M&Ms.

20. At 3.5 I was able to talk to my daughter and tell her, “I know you don’t like it and it tastes yucky to you, but I need you to be a big brave girl and drink it to make the infection go away.” It was followed by a hug and me telling how great she is and a treat.

21. Mix in blueberry applesauce.

22. Syringe, water chaser, and candy.  Syringe a little at a time, water, repeat, then 4 Junior Mints. My pediatrician says root beer chaser works, but haven’t tried. Oh yeah, stay calm.

23. Parents Magazine suggests injecting the meds in a spoonful of yogurt.

24. Plug her nose – she will have to swallow.

25. Maybe try a thicker juice or smoothie like Naked Juices Green or Blue Machine. I only put like an inch or so in a cup mixed with the meds and let my son sip it with a straw so I know he took it all. He thinks it’s a treat!

26. A straw can help get it as far back in her mouth as possible, then follow with a juice or cookie. I’m all in favor of bribery.

So, this is what ended up working for us:

The syringe was definitely better than making her drink it in a cup.  I told her I was going to put it far back on her cheek so she couldn’t taste  as much. Then I asked her to pick the yummiest thing in our house. She chose ice cream with sprinkles so I got a spoon full of ice cream with sprinkles, a cup of water, and the medicine in a syringe.  I put it in the back of her cheek, she swallowed, and immediately got a big bite of ice cream, water and lots of hugs and attention for taking it so nicely.

Thank you for all the suggestions mamas! Anyone have any others to share…?

[Disclaimer: All the above are tips from moms; check with your pediatrician on the best way to administer your child’s medicine.]

2 Comments

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2
  1. 1
    Anah says:

    That’s great Jen!! Giving medicine is the worst for my family! But with my baby girl having Bronchitis, she needed her antibiotics. She’s too small for negotiations – #19 was my comment 🙂 good luck to all parents out there!

  2. 2
    Lisa Rimke says:

    Our son has GERD and is on 5 doses of medication a day, so we have tried a lot of ways! For pills we either crush them up and put it in applesauce, or if they are in a dissolvable capsule, we cut the capsule open and pour out the tiny balls INTO THE STRAW of a smoothie cup, same thing for his liquid meds. That way the smoothie is dense enough that the medicine will stay in the straw and not get in the smoothie, making sure he drinks all of it first thing.

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