How to trick your toddler into taking medicine
Whether it is antibiotics or children's pain reliever, it seems like your youngster hits the door running as soon as he sees you pull out the spoon. Resorting to force-feeding your child medication only to have him spit it out on your shirt isn't the only option. From masking the meds in food to dividing up doses over a few minutes' time, discover fuss-free tips on how to trick your toddler into taking medicine.
Bribe him with a treat
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Hide your true feelings
Making faces or comments that the medicine is yucky will automatically put your toddler on the defensive, so don't set yourself up for a fight. When it's time for him to take his medication, mask your feelings and offer lots of praise when the deed is done.
Use a different doser
Mask it in food or drinks
Give him a say in flavors
Talk up the benefits
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Divide up the doses
Sometimes, a mouthful of medication is recipe for gagging, so let your toddler know he can take his medicine a few drops at a time. "I tell parents that I am interested in the medication getting in and staying in. Don't try to force down medicine or it will come right back up or be sprayed in the parent's face," warns Dr. Sean Diamond, MD, pediatrician at Loyola University Health System. "If it takes 5, 10, 20 or 30 minutes to coax down the whole dose, it usually doesn't make a difference with most medications."
When it comes time to take medicine, try not to engage in a struggle -- or else taking over-the-counter drugs or antibiotics can foster a negative connotation every time. Although it may be tough to convince your child the topic is not a free pass to argue, learning how to trick your toddler into taking medicine may cut down on the tears -- both yours and his -- so your little one can be on the mend sooner!