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How do you make toddlers drink medicine?

My almost 3 year old daughter has mastered the art of not drinking her medicines. This has caused me sleepless nights and anxieties as her situation at times gets worse... I tried being sweet to her, explaining to her the importance of drinking her medicine, threatening her, bribing her... but to no avail!!! she knows how to close her mouth, spill the medicine, she knows how to cry cry cry... Help!!!


Asked by mom_ni_elle at 11:41 AM on Jul. 2, 2009 in Kids' Health

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Answers (8)
  • put the meds in a small cup of apple juice, this is what they did whenever my DD had to go into the ER b/c she wouldn't take meds and her fever would be awful. always worked. just make sure she doesn't see you do it, and put it in just a little bit that way you know she gets it all. if that doesn't work, its mean and it sucks, but someone hold her and her arms, you plug her nose, she'll open her mouth to breath, when she does put the dropper in her mouth towards the back cheek then hold her mouth closed. this worked for my dd for a few months but she figured out not to swallow until i let go then she'd spit it out.

    Answer by vabchmommy at 11:46 AM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • I tell my 3 year old it is sweet juice. He doesn't know the difference. My 19 month old takes all medicine except liquid Tamiflu. (although I can't blame her that stuff is nasty)..I don't really have a problem with giving medicine. I would not advise telling her it is candy(i know some people who do that)...I hope you get her to take some medicine soon.

    Answer by 2wndrfl_btrflys at 11:47 AM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • Ok ladies I'm an LPN....I was always taught not to mix the medicine in juice or formula because if the child refuses to finish the drink they are not taking all the med......I would check with the pharmacist about flavorings for the meds...use the med syringe and some sort of goody treat for the child...push the med and give the treat immediatly......I have a almost 11 year old autistic girl and she doesnt give me any problems taking any meds......just be firm can be done.

    Answer by michaux at 3:07 PM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • O.K. get a medicine syringe. It lookes just like a regular syringe but no needle. Then you can get it into her much easier. You only have to get the medicine into her mouth then you can give her a little drink of something. With mine I use soda, because they don't get soda much, so its a little treat.

    Answer by teamquinn at 9:55 PM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • I use a medicine syringe when I must give liquid meds. Sometimes it's a struggle but my guy is getting old enough now to reason with. Last time he had liquid meds he was about 3.5 and we'd make a deal, something cool he'd get after he took the meds like a spoon of ice cream or a trip to the park. For tylenol and motrin i buy the meltaway tabs instead of liquid and he takes those easily.

    Answer by RhondaVeggie at 10:53 PM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • I agree with michaux - another LPN here. You could also explain to your daughter that if she doesn't take her medicine, she'll just have to go to the doctor to get a shot. That works beautifully!

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 11:39 PM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • The only trouble I have had giving my sons medicine was when I gave them nasty tasting cough syrup- my oldest would spit that back out at me. I have since found better tasting cough syrup. For Rx medicine I do ask the pharmacist to add flavors to it and I let the sick child pick which flavor. When I give medicine I always let the kid pick out a treat (like a sucker or small candy) and tell them as soon as the medicine is down you can have the treat.

    What do you use to dispense her medicine? If my 3yr old gets resistive to drinking the medicine out of the measuring cup or medicine dispenser tube I will get out the medicine bulb syringe, suck up the medicine in it and then squirt it in his mouth quick. then give him his treat.

    Answer by MizLee at 8:34 PM on Jul. 3, 2009

  • My son was really terrible about this when he was about two, yet he had terrible ear infections frequently, so not taking medication was not an option....might sound a bit drastic, but I was single and this is what worked for us. I would lie him down on the floor, then I would kneel down over him pinning each arm with one knee (did not hurt him, yet kept him from kicking me)....I would have the medicine in medical syringe, I would pinch his nose and when he opened his mouth for breath I would give the medicine. I would not let go of the nose until he swallowed. Thank goodness that stage with him only lasted for about a year.

    Answer by lucindamartinez at 6:23 PM on Jul. 8, 2009