Need a Prescription for Your Toddler? Tips for Getting Them to Take Their Medicine


Has getting your toddler to take their medicine led to power struggles and tears? There are some tricks you can use to make medicine timeless, time-consuming, and frustrating. Try one of these tips next time your child needs to take their medicine.

Make It a Game

Your child will take their cues from you on what to expect when taking their medicine. Avoid approaching it like an unpleasant chore, turning it instead into a game. If your child always wants your food, try a little medicine yourself, and tell them how yummy it is. You can also try the same games you play at dinnertime to get your child to open their mouth.

Take Your Time

Liquid medicine goes down easier for toddlers when they can take small sips, similar to the small sips they are used to getting from a toddler cup. Use a medicine syringe and squirt small amounts into your child’s mouth, taking the syringe out of their mouth to give them time to swallow it before giving them another taste.

Change the Flavor

While most over-the-counter children’s medications have a pleasant taste, some prescription medications may not have a great flavor. Luckily, the drugstore can flavor many prescription medications, giving you a head start on getting your child to take them.

Change the Texture

Sometimes children don’t want to take medicine because it feels strange in their mouths. This can be especially true when young children have to chew and swallow their medication. Most chewable tablets can be crushed and mixed with sweet foods like pudding or applesauce to disguise the medication's taste and texture. Getting your child to eat a favorite food can be much easier than getting them to chew something they aren’t familiar with.

Other Ideas

If, after following these tips, your toddler still will not take their medicine, more drastic measures may need to be taken. Information on the Seattle Children’s Hospital website includes other ideas and information on how to force young children to take medicine without making them vomit.

If you are having a hard time getting your toddler to take their medicine, follow these tips to make taking medicine less frustrating for you and your child. Flavoring medication, mixing it with sweets, and turning it into a game are a few things that can help.

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