At some point in your baby's first year, they may get ill, or might get a fever and you may have to give them some pain relief to help them out. It can be a tricky business getting some much needed medicine into a baby, so here are a few tips:
Photo: Praisaeng, Freedigitalphotos.net
1) Try using a baby syringe, which many parents find easier for measuring the correct dosage and also for the actual administering of the medicine.
2) If you have a wiggly baby, try wrapping them in a blanket or towel so that they keep their hands by their sides and can't swipe the medicine away.
3) Have some of your baby's normal drink on standby for straight after the medicine swallowing. This will help take any nasty tastes away and will also promote effective swallowing of the medicine.
4) Try to keep your babies mouth closed after they've got the medicine in their mouth so that they don't just dribble or spit it out when they decide they don't like it. You could give them a kiss on their mouth, or you could gently hold the sides of their mouth to keep them pursed and closed.
5) Even though it can be stressful giving medicine to a sick baby, try to keep the situation calm. Try to sing a lullaby, or talk to your baby in soothing tones so that they don't pick up on a stressed environment.
6) For older babies who lose their cool upon sighting the medicine, try to enlist the help of a partner or other adult. They'll be able to help hold your child and help to get their mouth open too. A good method for coaxing a baby's mouth open is to try aiming the syringe initially for the corner of their mouth, in the fold of their lips; often by doing this the mouth will open momentarily.
7) If your child uses a dummy, have this immediately to hand so that once the medicine goes into their mouth, they can then suck on the dummy which helps the medicine to get swallowed.
8) Also for children who use a dummy, there's a great product called the EeziMed Dummy which combines the comfort of a dummy with a unique patented syringe.
The EeziMed Dummy available from TulaTula
Parents can give their child a dummy that has been filled with their medicine and slowly depress the syringe until the baby has taken a full dose. This even works well for babies who don't normally take a dummy, but for whom taking medicine is a real struggle. Available from Tula Tula, this is a great product to prevent medicine administration becoming a battle.
9) Some medicines can be mixed in with your child's regular milk or juice, but check with your pharmacist about this first. Some particularly vile tasting medicines can be mixed with formula or yogurt to make them more palatable.
10) Finally, if your child seems to hate the medicine as soon as it gets into their mouth, you can also ask your pharmacist for advice on alternative flavours of pain medications as some children seem to tolerate one flavour more than another.
What tricks did you use to help your baby take their medicine?