How To Give Medicine To Young Babies Who Refuse

Do you struggle to get your baby to take liquid medicine?

Getting an infant to take oral medication when they are poorly can be traumatising for both adult and child. 

As a parent, I find it heartbreaking seeing them sick and want nothing more than for them to feel better and be back to their old silly selves but without the right prescribed medication or over the counter medicine, the ordeal is prolonged - so needs must. 

If your baby is a little bugger when it comes to taking medicine, here are six safe strategies to try, all of which are approved by parents:

How to give medicine to young babies who refuse:

  1. Take it slow.

    With baby sitting on your lap in an upright position, hold them close with one of their hands secured around your back and gently stroke their cheek. It will get them to open their mouth. Once open, insert a small amount of medicine and repeat the process until the full dosage is gone.

  2. Disguise it.

    With approval from your pharmacist or GP, place small amounts of the essential medicine into yoghurt or some porridge but remember, if you mix the medicine into foods or fluids, your child needs to eat or drink it all to get the full dosage. 

  3. Swaddle her.

    Sounds easy, right? Swaddling your baby will secure their flailing hands from pushing the medicine away, giving you a better chance of giving them the medication. If you don't have a swaddle, you could wrap your baby up in a large blanket.

  4. Try this genius mom hack.

    This hack is simple, smart and very effective, especially for smaller babies. Disguise a syringe in the nipple of a baby bottle to trick your baby and to prevent the medicine from going everywhere. 

  5. Give them control.

    Depending on the age of your baby, you could let them choose how and when they take their medicine. For example, allowing them to hold the cup, syringe or spoon will encourage them to take medicine quicker.

  6. Change it up.

    Using an oral syringe will not only reduce the risk of the medicine spilling; it will give you more control when inserting it directly into their mouth. The key to using a medicine dropper is to aim for the side of the cheeks when squirting. Pointing it towards the back of the throat can cause gagging or coughing leaving your child even more distressed.

And remember, your approach for giving child medicine is critical. Keep it positive and matter-of-fact, especially if they are a little older. 

For younger babies give small amounts and let baby swallow medicine to avoid further distress and if all attempts fail, and you continue to struggle to administer much-needed medication to your infant, give your GP or practice nurse a call. 

Kellie Kearney

Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of five kids aged newborn right up to nine. She loves coffee, cloth nappies, travel and sharing her every day true to life family moments on Instagram.

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