Lesson 69: Giving your kid medicine is like trying to slip him a roofie

J took Zantac from the time he was about 3-months-old until he was more than 1-year-old. In the beginning, it was easy: we just put the medicine in a syringe and squirted it in his mouth. But as he got a bit older and his taste buds developed more, he quickly decided he wasn’t having that nasty stuff put in his mouth.

He doesn’t take Zantac anymore, but it’s still a struggle to get Motrin or Claritin or any other necessary medicine in him. We’ve done many things to trick our child into taking his medicine, and I am not ashamed of it. It’s not that we give him a lot of medicine, but he learns really quickly when we’re trying to fool him. So we have to constantly be on our feet and one step ahead of him on this one. I’ll share a few things that have worked for us.

The first thing to remember is, never let them see you stir. Anytime we try to drug our kid in secret, we always have to mix the drugs in when he’s not looking. If he sees us, the gig is up.

How to slip your kid a baby roofie:

1. Try mixing the medicine in semi-liquid healthy foods that you would normally feed him anyway, such as applesauce or yogurt.

2. Make a smoothie with frozen fruit, yogurt, and 1/2 an avocado. Add drugs.

3. Try mixing the meds in a bit of honey (only if your baby is older than 1 year).

4. When J started going through an independent phase, we realized that just letting him drink the medicine out of a little cup worked fine. If he could do it by himself, he was more than happy to do it.

5. Distract him. Sometimes I can get J to focus so hard on something that I can just pour the medicine in his mouth and he doesn’t even notice.

6. When all the other methods failed (and eventually, they did), we swapped to chocolate ice cream. 99% of the time, it worked. Just put a couple of scoops of ice cream in a bowl, mix in the meds, and spoon-feed.

7. For that 1% of the time when your kid is being too stubborn even to eat chocolate ice cream, swaddle his little butt, hold him tightly, and slowly squirt the medicine inside his cheek. Squirt a little, then blow in his face–he’ll swallow. It’s not fun for anybody, and you’ll probably get a little spit back in your face–but it generally works.

Do you have any medicine-taking tips that have worked well for your child? If so, please share!

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