Motherhood

How To Get a Toddler To Take Medicine

Team Peanut
Team Peanutlast month4 min read

Is your little one refusing to take their meds? But they HAVE to take it. What do you do? Read on to find out how to get a toddler to take medicine.

How To Get a Toddler To Take Medicine

Tried asking, tried telling, tried coercing… and still no success?











Trying to get a sick toddler to take medicine can drive parents mad.

But take a big breath.

We’ve got some helpful tips on how to get a toddler to take medicine.

Ready?

Let’s get started.

In this article: 📝

  • How to get a toddler to take medicine
  • What do you do when your child refuses to take medicine?
  • How do you give a toddler medicine when they won’t take it?
  • How do I force my 2-year-old to take medicine?
  • How can I trick my toddler into taking liquid medicine?

How to get a toddler to take medicine

Getting a toddler to take medicine may sometimes seem like an impossible task.

Especially if they’re feeling rotten and grumpy.

If the stars are aligned, it’s possible they’ll take their medicine straight up with a little bit of coaxing.

An honest approach is always best.

Try explaining to them how important the medicine is and that it will help them feel better.

You could also try telling them a story about how the medicine will fight off the bad germs in their body, the ones that are making them feel sick.

We’re guessing you’ve already tried the straight-up approach, though.

And now you’re back at square one wondering how to get a stubborn toddler to take medicine.

So, what next?

What do you do when your child refuses to take medicine?

Getting into a battle of the wills isn’t going to help.

Stubbornness is classic toddler behavior.

If you can, try to stay calm and firm.

Explain that they have to take the medicine but they can help choose how.

When a toddler won’t take medicine, it’s best to not push back, directly.

Trying to force a toddler to swallow medicine can feel like war, and it can waste a lot of medicine, as well as time and energy.

How do you give a toddler medicine when they won’t take it?

Here are our Peanut mamas’ top tips and techniques to getting their little ones take medicine when they need it.

Giving your toddler a choice can help empower them in the situation.

You could ask if they’d prefer their medicine in a syringe or a spoon.

Or something else altogether — think egg cup, sauce spoon, or a swirly straw.

(But make sure your little one drinks some water or juice through the same straw after the medicine, so no medicine is left behind in the straw.)

You could try to squirt or drop the medicine into the back of their mouth.

The plan here is to get it beyond their taste buds.

Sometimes it helps to divide the dosage into smaller amounts over a few minutes.

Having to drink 10 ml of some really strong-tasting stuff can be a big ask.

That said, some might prefer to have the experience over quickly.

You could offer something tasty as a chaser, to have just after the medicine.

This is a situation where it’s okay to break out whatever juice your toddler wants.

How do I force my 2-year-old to take medicine?

If none of the above has worked, maybe it’s time for a little bribery.

You could offer a treat — whether it’s a special toy, a favorite food, or their favorite song — to enjoy after they’ve taken their medicine.

Another option you could try is flavor drops.
There are a number of different brands, and they’re great for hiding the taste of the medicine.

They’re designed to mask the bad taste of liquid medicines.

How can I trick my toddler into taking liquid medicine?

If all else fails, sometimes the only way to get the medicine into a toddler is to hide it.

You could stir the medicine into something sweet, like ice cream, fruit juice, applesauce, or pudding.

It’s essential that your toddler eats ALL of the ice cream or applesauce, to get their full dosage.

So don’t make the portion too big.

And always check with your doctor to see if the particular medicine you’re trying to get in can be combined with food.

We know this is all much easier said than done, especially when you have a crying toddler with a raging temperature.

Take a moment to calm yourself before you start, and remember to breathe.

You’ve got this, mama.

For more tips, check out our Peanut community.

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