Seeing your kids sick is upsetting. You know how to make them better, or at least alleviate the worst symptoms. But that means medicine. And most medicines don’t taste good. So what are the best ways to give medicine to a toddler?
1Mix the medicine into a smoothie or yoghurt
Obviously, pick something that your child particularly likes and which they’re unlikely to turn down even if they’re feeling under the weather. By mixing their antibiotics or Calpol into something like a smoothie or a yoghurt, they’ll be getting what they need without even realising it.
2Reward them for taking their medicine
If your kid is too canny to be fooled by the smoothie/yoghurt trick, maybe try a star chart system. Is there a special toy they’ve wanted for ages, or a film they’d like to see at the cinema? Having their eye on a prize might make the medicine go down more smoothly.
3Dish out the stickers
In the same way, they may be more inclined to take their medicine if they get a fun sticker to wear once they’ve done it. If they have a course of antibiotics, you could transfer each stickers to their new outfit every morning. Then they’ll have loads to show off by the end. There’s a reason why GPs and dentists keep drawers full of stickers for kids – little ones love getting them and feeling like they’ve been praised for good behaviour.
4Let them take their own medicine
Just like adults, children like to have an element of control over what happens to them. So you could invite your youngster to choose whether they take their medicine from a spoon or a syringe, and then handle it themselves. It might get a little messy, but if they feel they’re in the driving seat they may be more inclined to play ball.
Imagine if someone much bigger than you pinned you down and made you drink something that you found absolutely disgusting. This would be a wholly unpleasant and anxiety-inducing situation, right? So be kind to your child when you’re trying to get them to take their medicine. Being calm and gentle is much more likely to work in the long run and will be less stressful for both of you.
6Call for back up
Children sometimes respond better to one parent than the other in situations like these. So if your kid always refuses medicine from you but will take it from your partner, put him or her in charge of doling it out where you can. You might also find that another family member like a grandmother or an uncle might have better luck than you. Make the most of anyone who might be able to give you a hand!