How Do You Feed Medicine to a Toddler?

I was down with mastitis again over the last couple of days.  Is it me or was it a particularly nasty bout this time?  Ordinarily, I would have been on the road to recovery after a day or two.  This time, I started to feel crook on Thursday and was still feeling rather delicate on Saturday.  It wasn’t until Sunday that I felt some semblance of normalcy.  I wonder if this is part of old age, the stubbornness to soldier on when I should have been resting (I had to take Gavin to Heguru after school on Thursday), or possibly a complication of having picked up Gavin’s bug while I was down with mastitis?

That’s the other thing that seems to be going around in cyclic fashion – Gavin gets sick, Gareth gets sick, then I get sick.  By the time I’m recovering or even before that, Gavin gets sick again and the whole cycle starts again.  I guess this is another “normal” and expected part of raising two young kids, especially when one of them is attending playschool and bringing home the school’s communal germs?  Now that Gavin has adopted the hand-sucking habit in effort to be just like his baby brother, the effect is worse.

I’ve said once before that what’s worse than being sick is being sick with a sick baby.  Well, we can now go one step further – being sick with two sick children.  Thankfully, Gavin and Gareth weren’t too crook or I’d probably still be sick right now.  Gavin is also a little better with taking his medications these days, except for one particular medication and I can’t figure why.  It’s a orange coloured, sugar solution that you have to mix up yourself and it is supposed to help him clear his mucous.  Like I said – it’s a sugar solution so it tastes like water with sugar.  Unfortunately, every time we try to feed it to Gavin, he screams bloody murder.  Go figure…

We’ve tried bribing him, we’ve tried masking it, we’ve mixed it with a variety of things that Gavin loves, we’ve changed the method of delivery, we’ve coerced, we’ve punished, we’ve cajoled, and we’ve threatened.  None of it has worked.  Daddy managed to make it more appealing by mixing it with 100Plus (Gavin’s all-time favourite drink) and feeding it to him in a syringe.  When Daddy asked him if it was nice, he replied, “Mmm yes!”  It worked for all of four doses until the novelty wore out.  Now he claims he doesn’t like it, clamps his mouth shut and we’re back to square one – force feeding.

What methods do you employ to feed your children their medications when they are sick?

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

4 thoughts on “How Do You Feed Medicine to a Toddler?

  1. Husband holds him and we play with him while I hide the syringe… then suddenly we signal to each other, grab his mouth, sneak the syringe in and feed. Get through with it asap. Then feed him water which he loves. Maybe it’d get tougher when he grows bigger and stronger.


  2. I think there’s also something to be said about the kid involved. I find it a lot easier to feed Gareth medications compared to Gavin when he was Gareth’s age. With Gavin, he would start howling, choking, coughing, crying and then vomiting. Gareth sits there, screws up his face but swallows and waits for you to feed him the rest. Let’s see how he fairs when he’s older…

    Maybe therein lies the key to why Gavin’s such a fussy eater. We’ll see if Gareth is more eager to consume solids as well. There is a general consensus that Gareth looks a little more like my side of the family – maybe he’s also inherited our easy-going taste buds…


  3. that’s my problem with 12months old infant all the time she sicks!!! and I really don’t know what to do!! 😦
    I don’t give her any friut juice yet, so water is the only thing she drinks!
    and I don;t want to make her hate medicine 😦 it’s a big dilemma for my family!


    1. Ella – I think that there are some things that cannot be helped – like medicine. We can only hope that as they get older, they will understand more and accept that medicine is just one of those things you have to take – like it or not.


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