From Tami: Giving Medication

Hand giving baby medicine
When the kids are sick, no one is happy. Giving small children medicine is almost as unpleasant as the sickness itself—since they are too young to understand the benefits of the treatment, we parents need to find increasingly creative methods of hiding both liquid suspensions and crushed tablets.

Ice cream is always a favorite, especially for crushed pills. Pudding, yogurt, and applesauce work well too.

Sometimes, however, a bit more creativity is called for. One notable medicine Macgyver moment was when a crushed pill needed to be administered to a toddler, and he was in a stage where he was boycotting both yogurt and applesauce. And we were out of ice cream. So we took two squares of chocolate, melted them slightly in the microwave (so they were gooey but retained their shapes), and sprinkled the powder from the tablet onto one of them. We then sandwiched the other chocolate piece on top, making sure that all of the powder was hidden between the two. A few minutes in the freezer, and—voila!—instant medicated chocolate bar. Mom: 1, Respiratory infection: 0.

My absolute favorite way to mask medications, however, has always been grape juice. Whenever my kids refused to take liquid medications, grape juice saved the day. It is strongly flavored, dark-colored, contains some electrolytes, and is great for medicating and hydrating at the same time.

Once in a blue moon, even grape juice isn’t strong enough to hide the flavor of some fake-cherry goop, but I would tell my kids that this was simply a different kind of grape juice made to help kids feel better, and they could have some regular grape juice afterwards. It seemed to do the trick.

Actually, sometimes it did the trick a little too well—my eldest recently told me that she was convinced for years that there was a special sick-people grape juice on the market. She only realized the truth when she watched me make a batch for one of her younger brothers.

Oops! I promise I wasn’t trying to confuse you, honey—I just wanted you to take your antibiotics!

I thought that now would be a good time to share these tips, in case you needed some new ideas. After all, winter is the season of stuffy noses, sore throats, and rashy faces. You never know when a spare reserve of chocolate ice cream or grape juice will make the difference between a happy kid and a miserable one!

What are your favorite tips and tricks for getting your babies to take medicine?

I’m sure you have quite a few up your sleeve as well—that’s why you’re a Super-Mom.


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