Caring for Baby

7 Tips to Help the Medicine Go Down

7 Tips to Help the Medicine Go Down

It's bad enough that your baby isn't feeling well. The last thing you want is a struggle administering her medication. To make it worse, your baby isn't old enough to understand that the pink goo in the syringe is going to make him feel better. Here's some tips to help ease the pain, for you and your little patient.

  1. Follow the directions. Some prescriptions taste better when chilled, and most need to be shaken before giving. Make sure to store and administer according to the pediatrician or pharmacist's instructions.
  2. Be cheerful and calm. This might be hard, since caring for a sick child can mean sleepless nights and frayed nerves. However, even if baby can't understand what you're doing, she will react to your approach. Try to stay positive and reassure her with soothing words throughout the process.
  3. Bypass the tongue. It's the taste of medicine that typically causes infants to spit out their medicine. Make sure baby is upright to prevent choking. Then using an oral syringe, gently insert it into his mouth and aim it towards the side of his cheek so he doesn't gag.
  4. Help them to swallow. If your baby won't swallow her medicine, gently pinch her cheeks together to create "fish lips", insert the syringe, plunge and then stroke under her chin so she will swallow. Another method for helping your baby swallow is by blowing on his face.
  5. Hide it in food. If you're baby has started solid foods, you can mix the medicine in with pudding or applesauce. Ask your doctor or pharmacist, and check the prescription to see if mixing with food is allowed. It can alter the effectiveness of some medications.
  6. Wash it down. Give your baby milk or water, or if he's old enough, a cold popsicle, to numb his taste buds.
  7. Follow up. Snuggle baby and comfort her once it's all over, and know that even though she may not like it, you're doing what is best for her.

If your baby is still resistant, try asking your doctor for a better tasting medication. If your child is required to take medicine frequently, and puts up a fuss every time, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician to help find a solution that works.