9 Things I’ve Learned About Giving Medicine to Babies

As I write this, we are 6 days into our second 10 day course of antibiotics in the last 2 months. In addition to the two giant bottles of Amoxicillin we’ve had to give to Eli, he’s also been the unfortunate recipient of a substantial amount of both Tylenol and Motrin in the past several weeks. Though I’ve said this before, I cannot tell you how much I hope we’re finally on the downhill side of this winter of germs. I’m not sure how much more he or I can take.

Prior to November, the only experience I had with giving Eli medications were the Vitamin D drops he takes, happily, every day and one or two doses of Tylenol after vaccinations. I really wasn’t too worried about it until I realized that unlike the Tylenol, he actually had to ingest the full dose of the antibiotics. There was no, eh good enough, like with pain/fever meds. I’m still far from a pro and we still struggle with most dosages, but through this wretched winter, I have learned several valuable lessons about giving medicine to babies that I realized may be helpful to the other infant medicine newbies.

Since we’re only 8 months in, I imagine our medicine rituals and lessons will evolve and change. Hopefully they will involve less crying and gagging, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • It’s hardest to spit out when they’re laying down 1 of 9
    It's hardest to spit out when they're laying down
    My son has become quite adept at spitting entire mouthfuls of medicine out, so laying down makes that harder, because of gravity. But...
  • It’s also most stressful for the baby laying down 2 of 9
    It's also most stressful for the baby laying down
    Eli struggles the most when we do meds laying down because of the reason I like it- it takes away his last resort. I try to save laying down for when other methods aren't working because this way feels the most like torture for both of us.
  • It is going to be sticky 3 of 9
    It is going to be sticky
    I know this is a little silly, but even the most calm and reasonable babies will dribble some and Tylenol, Motrin and antibiotics are sweetened (they still smell terrible) and, well, sticky. When we were having to dose Eli with Motrin and antibiotics, I felt like I needed a shower 3 times a day. Now whenever we give medications, we come prepared with a damp papertowel so we can clean up the mess before he's able to smear it all over his face.
  • Each dose is different than the last 4 of 9
    Each dose is different than the last
    For whatever reason, the evening does is the easiest, the morning is the hardest and the middle of the day one varies in between. I mean, the medication tastes the same, looks the same, is administered the same way, and yet, the battle and reaction varies dramatically. Eli happily takes the nighttime dose of his antibiotics while he's in the bathtub. He opens his mouth and doesn't fuss and every night I think we've finally gotten past the fighting. And each morning I find out we haven't. If I had the time and didn't care about wasting water or drying out his skin, we'd do baths 3 times a day to make the medicine go down easier.
  • Don’t do it at meals 5 of 9
    Don't do it at meals
    I thought I had won the brilliant parent award for thinking I could sneak antibiotics on the spoon with his solids. And then he completely refused to eat solids for 2 days. I had to put a tiny bit on his lip to show him that it tasted good before he would even consider eating again. And though for a few doses he took it off a spoon, I've since realized that it's making him resent food and that is not what I want. We no longer give meds in the high chair, period. He's already lost too much weight while sick, we can't make eating anymore of a battle at this point.
  • Distraction is king 6 of 9
    Distraction is king
    When my husband is home, he is the biggest key to decreasing the struggle. Other options are the swing, under the play mat and while watching Sesame Street. There is still usually fussing and even sometimes crying, but it's better than when it's just him and me engaged in a struggle.
  • Let him try for himself 7 of 9
    Let him try for himself
    This trick only works about 30% of the time for us, but basically if I hold the syringe out to Eli, (sometimes) he'll put it in his own mouth and I can squirt some in. Now, since this antibiotic dose is so big I have to do it in multiple shots this really only works for the first go since he immediately remembers how much he hates it, but it at least makes the first part easier.
  • Try to keep your cool 8 of 9
    Try to keep your cool
    I am failing miserably at this, I must admit. I know how much he needs these antibiotics and so I stress out every time he dribbles even the tiniest bit out. When I go into the dose calm and not stressed, the outcome is usually better. And of course, snuggles afterwards.
  • Amoxicillin doesn’t stain 9 of 9
    Amoxicillin doesn't stain
    This was a pretty great realization, for if it did, my entire house would permanently be a beautiful shade of pink. Still, best to not to dose while wearing dry clean only or particularly fancy clothes. So far we haven't had any staining from Tylenol or Motrin except on our white couch, so maybe best not to give grape medicine there. Also, fun fact, butternut squash DOES stain. The more you know.

What helps/helped with giving medication to your baby?


Article Posted 4 years Ago

Videos You May Like