Persuading a reluctant toddler to take her medicine

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medicince, toddlers, toddler , tonsillitis
This is a sight that gives Toddler Adams the fear. I really don’t know how we should handle it. Pic credit below.

I’ve faced a new challenge this week. It’s taken me quite by surprise; getting our youngest daughter to take medicine.

The little mite has, unfortunately, had a mild dose of tonsillitis. The GP prescribed her antibiotics to clear it up.

We went straight to the pharmacy to collect the prescription and then back home to administer the first dose. She didn’t complain too much, but later that night when I tried to give her the second dose, well, everything went wrong.

Elizabeth described it as “disgusting”. She wouldn’t let me come near her with the medication and when Mrs Adams and I eventually persuaded her to take the antibiotics, most of it ended up being spat down her front.

It’s been a battle every time she’s been presented with the bottle. Here are some of the tactics we’ve used:

  • The Mary Poppins approach, mixing the medicine with a spoon full of sugar. Probably the most successful so far, but still didn’t get her to take the full dose.
  • Syringing the medicine into her mouth. We’ve tried this a few times and each attempt has been an absolute disaster with the majority has being spat out.
  • Bribery; this has been an outright failure. No matter how much chocolate she is offered, Elizabeth will not accept the bribe.
  • Mixing the medicine into other drinks. This has had some limited success. I made a fresh fruit juice drink that she drank without question on one occasion. I tried it a couple more times and have mixed it with mango juice and each subsequent time she’s rejected the drink claiming it is “disgusting”.

All this has come as something as a surprise. If Helen, our eldest, has a cough and needs medicine or requires Calpol for some reason, you can guarantee Elizabeth will suddenly develop a faux-cough or imaginary ailment in the hope she gets some medicine. I thought she would like taking the antibiotics.

In her defence, I have to say, it doesn’t smell that nice. Even so, it’s not that bad.

So tell me, how have you persuaded your little ones to take medicine? Is there a trick I am missing? Please leave a comment below. We have several more days of this and I need some fresh ideas.

Pic credit: Frankieleon, Sourced from Flikr.com. reproduced under Creative Commons agreement.

5 thoughts on “Persuading a reluctant toddler to take her medicine”

  1. We find that if our little girl has a drink of water to hand, she takes any medicine (I’ve done it now…). She still screws her eyes up but she takes it. Good luck!

    1. Now this is an interesting one. The antibiotics have to be kept in the fridge so we kept off adding them to hot food but a lolly might work really well. I like this idea.

  2. Good luck! I had this with two of mine and it was really hard. I literally had to chase them round the house while they screamed and hid. Chocolate has limited success, as does squirting it into a Frube. Usually mine had to sip it gradually off the spoon, taking about 20 minutes, in between crying. One day when my daughter had a bad virus, the GP sent her to the children’s ward and it took me, my mum and two nurses to get Calpol into her! She was only 3 and very ill, yet she could still refuse.
    Sorry, I know that doesn’t help at all, but at least it reassures you you’re not the only one.
    I always found they would take it much better at school or nursery than they would at home.

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