How to Give Your Child Medicine Without a Fight

Providing medicines to children can be torture for all parties involved. When my daughter was a toddler, the process often escalated from bribes to pleading to “Wow, okay, let’s just squeeze her,” as my husband and I continued to inject a dose of syrup into her screaming mouth with a syringe. … The struggle is real – and universal. Fortunately, over the years, doctors and parents have come up with some clever tricks to reduce the effectiveness of the drug. Here are some ideas to try.

Note. If you are using any of these medications, make sure your child is still receiving the full dose of the medication. And here are some tips that will help you correctly identify the dose, because it appears that parents are very bad at measuring the dose of the liquid . Also, check with your doctor before adding anything to the medicine and before giving any medicine to a child under 2 years of age.

Squeeze it out of the bottle nipple

Allow infants to take their medication from their convenient location: the nipples. You can either buy a nipple-shaped medication dispenser , or, as shown in this Facebook post by Nurse Helena Lee, you can simply stick the syringe directly into the bottle’s nipple.

Freeze their taste

Here’s a trick from Gym Craft Laundry’s Gerchel Scruggs that includes popsicles. Everyone loves popsicles. She writes about how she forces her daughter to take twice daily medications for juvenile arthritis:

If her tongue is cold and numb before taking the medicine, she will hardly taste it. Let’s call this the frozen taste buds effect. (It really took me too long to figure it out.)

I start by giving her a popsicle a couple of minutes before taking her medication.

Then I stop her half of the popsicle, give her a dose, and she finishes off the ice-cold ice.

Seems to work with the same results regardless of medication. It works with creamy antibiotics, juice-filled capsules, and works primarily with prednisone (but nothing can completely overcome the bad smell that liquid prednisone presents).

Use the chaser method

Who said that all these nights of eating lime slices after a shot of tequila, one day you won’t show your parental ingenuity? Similar to the ice cream trick, prepare a cup of juice or milk on standby when your child needs to swallow some unpleasant tasting medicine.

Dip a lollipop in it

While you may not want to do this if multiple daily doses are required, letting your child dip the lollipop in the liquid medicine and lick it off can be fun. As mentioned above, just make sure they are getting the full dose. And don’t tell your kids that hard candy is the real medicine , as it can backfire.

Add flavor

Some parents swear by the medicine of fragrant drops, like this , to sediment bitter liquids. One reviewer writes, “I like to think I am giving her food, not torture.”


It won’t work for every kid, but there is power in branding. Call the medication “superhero juice” or “flammable monster” or whatever you want to help your child swallow more readily.


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