Winning at giving medicine to babies & toddlers

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I had one of those “winning at parenting” moments when I finally figured out how to get our then baby to take medicine by cutting a hole in her Soothie pacifier. I’m sure someone will sell/market a product for this if they haven’t already, but seriously, just cut a hole in a pacifier that you already have.  It’s not rocket science and you’ll only use it for a couple months anyway.


That lasted for a while; basically before they were weaned.  It didn’t work every time, but most of the time it at least reduced our frustration.

We just had to go through a course of medicine with Cora, now 18 months.  I had been able to talk her into taking the occasional Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen, but a dose twice a day for an extended time just wasn’t happening.  I was struggling with Cora, trying to get her to cooperate, while Chloe, now 2.5 years old, bounced up and down begging for medicine.  Then, the light bulb went on.

I got another syringe and filled it with the first thing I could grab in the refrigerator that would could even remotely resemble medicine.  It was one of Jason’s yogurt smoothies.  I handed it to Chloe who gladly took it and polished off the decoy medicine immediately.  Cora, who had watched the entire thing, was then begging for her medicine.  WIN.


This continued for the course of the medicine.  When we didn’t have any of the yogurt smoothies handy, I used full-strength apple juice (“apple juice” at our house is water with a splash of juice, basically juice-flavored water), regular yogurt, watermelon juice that had gathered at the bottom of a container of cut watermelon — whatever.  It didn’t matter what it was, it was a treat for the non-sick child and motivation for the sibling.

They now occasionally ask for medicine.  I say “sure” and whip up a syringe of decoy as a treat.  I imagine this will work with medicine cups as well, although only Chloe has used one thus far.  They both now willingly take medicine at will — for the moment.


1 Comment

  1. Awesome Baby Hacks - Happy-Go-Lucky

    July 26, 2016 at 10:48 am

    […] Tip for giving a baby and toddler medicine.  I had to give Easton Tylenol for the first time last week and it ended up all over him.  I wish I would have seen this tip sooner. […]

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