Have you ever tried to get a stubborn baby to take a medicine they really weren’t interested in? It’s like they see that syringe coming and immediately turn up the drama. I’ve never known a baby to be so strong and have so many limbs as when I’m trying to gently get a syringe of medicine into their tiny mouth. 

I know it’s hard when our babies are sick, but my best advice is to try to remain calm yourself. Your baby can feel your heightened stress and will respond in kind. I always offer medicine in the bath whenever possible. It makes cleaning up spilled or spit out medicines just a little bit easier.

Here are some tips that might help the medicine go down easier:

  • Try offering while the baby is reclined in a baby bath. Baby might be more relaxed and since you don’t have to hold them, you have an extra hand to play defense. The reclined position will also stop Baby from moving backwards, away from the medicine. 
  • Squirt the medicine (a little at a time) into their cheeks or the side of their mouth rather than towards the back of their mouth. This might keep them from gagging, coughing, or spitting the medicine out.
  • Alternatively, putting the medicine right onto their tongues (think down on their tongues rather than back into their mouths) might work better. I watched our pediatric nurse use this trick and Baby swallowed the medicine with little fuss. 
  • Gently blowing on Baby’s face once the medicine is in their mouth encourages them to swallow – I learned that from the same pediatric nurse. 
  • Try squirting the liquid medicine into a bottle nipple and letting Baby suck on it. Do a little at a time so it doesn’t drip out the back of the nipple.

Take a deep breath yourself. Your baby knows you love them and you are not torturing them by giving them liquid medicine even if they act like you are. You’re doing a great job, mama. 

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