Monday, May 4, 2009

Just a Spoonful of Sugar...

Remember how cool that Mary Poppins lady was? Snapping her fingers to clean up everything, Fitting all her belongings into ONE bag, chalk inspired adventures. But maybe the MOST miraculous of all her tricks was giving the kids medicine. Just HOW did she do that?

I have had a lot of opportunity over the last 14 years, and especially the last few months, to figure out just the best ways to get medicine down a child’s throat. And you know what? It is NOTHING like Ms. Poppins. In fact, I am beginning to think she is a fraud…

Here are some of my very UN-Poppin like methods.

Eye drops. It is horrible to give these things to any aged kid. In fact, I am pretty sure it was invented by some crazy Howie Mandell type mad-scientist that just wanted to make mothers insane. My MIL gave me this idea for giving them to babies and it seemed to work. Although I worry Child Protective Services will be knocking on my door later… Sit on the floor with the baby on his back between your legs with his/her legs facing your body. Hold baby’s head with your feet (preferably they will be clean) that frees up your hands -- one to hold the flailing arms, one to deliver the drops. I never felt so mean – but hey, pink eye disappeared!

Eye drops for older kids is very similar to that of younger kids – except I don’t hold them with my feet (mostly because their feet can now reach my head) But I have to fight off their hands just the same.

For oral medicine, if you are nursing, wait until feeding time to administer medicine. While feeding the baby, slip a syringe medicine dropper between your (hmm, hmm) and the baby’s mouth. Slowly (cuz you have to be sneaky) drop the medicine into the baby’s mouth one drop at a time with each swallow he/she takes. (you might get a little sticky, but hey, your babe doesn’t know what hit them) Of course, this only works for so long, unless you are like my mom who nursed her babies until they were 3 – but then I suspect if that was your thing, you probably wouldn’t be the medicine-giving type. (no offense meant to anyone)

If you are giving your baby oral meds, definitely do a syringe. And, if they are anything like mine, they will spit it O.U.T. , leaving you wondering how much they actually swallowed. So, you have to trick them. You aim the syringe at the inside of their cheek, towards the back of the jaw. Then let it out slowly. They can’t spit it out, but oh boy, do they ever get mad!!! If you just drip it towards the back of their throat and not to the side, they will either choke or spit it out… neither is a good option.

We have told B that she was drinking Princess Juice (not the juice FROM a princess (cuz that would be gross), just juice that would help her grow into one) The boys we told they would grow muscles… I think they really think they did. They would strut their stuff around and we would OOH and AAAHHH over their muscles they had grown with only one dose of meds… I am pretty sure this can lead to serious issues later, but later isn’t here, so for now – dream on kiddo!

We have awarded one popsicle for every dose of medicine. I DON’T recommend this. Not only is it sticky, but soon your child will eat ALL the popsicles in advance. Talk about a “buy now, pay later” attitude. Problem is, he doesn’t want to take his medicine if there are no popsicles. Which there aren’t, because they are all sloshing around in the bottom of his stomach.

We have chased the kids around the house and played airplane. I think the kids like seeing mom and dad do this, but I don’t really like it so much. I get tired. And the game isn’t really that fun when the sticky goo drips all over you.

We have pretended we are sharing the medicine. Each of us pretending to taste it (Mmmm, Mommy some. Mmmm, Daddy some. Mmmm, brother some.) Works well for little ones, not so much for the big kids. In fact, they look at us funny.

For the “swallow whole” kind (pills) it’s all about bribery. And psyching the kid out to realize the pill in his mouth is really MUCH smaller than the piece of pizza he just swallowed. We don’t have so much luck with this one. Even though my children are exceptionally smart – they can’t seem to comprehend that swallowing a pill is much easier than swallowing food. Most of the time, the child is convinced the pill is lodged in their throat and growing larger by the moment.

For the older kids, we turn their bottles upside down at night. If they are right side up in the morning, we know they took the medicine. Except when they take the time to flip the bottle and NOT take the medicine. Hmmm, maybe that’s why J isn’t getting better.

And I don’t care what people say about generics being the same as brand names… maybe the medicine is the same but brand name medicine tastes WAY better. And whatever Mary Poppins had in her bottle definitely wasn’t generic – actually it may not have been legal.

So what are your tricks?


Beth said...

Oh I so remember getting liquid medicine splattered back all over me...either the spoon being flicked back at me or gagged back at me... Right or wrong...I remember my doctor saying if half the medicine (liquid) gets and stays in the tummy we are doing good...meaning not worry!

I feel for you...what a hassle!

Heres to summer and feeling better!

Emmy said...

For some reason I have really weird kids that like taking medicine. If one is sick the other will be begging for it so I have to talk about no, you can't have it, this is why we take medicine.
Yeah, go ahead and hate me now :)

SO said...

Eye drops really are the worst. No matter the age. And when they were little it took both me and my husband to usually get them in.

With the liquid meds when the kids were younger we did the same as you with a dropper or syringe and just squirt it towards the side and back of their mouth.

As the got older we just reasoned with them. I know it sounds weird but we just told them that the faster they took the meds the faster it would be over with and we always had a big glass of water waiting on hand for them to swig down afterward. Oh and we also asked them if they liked being sick, because the sooner the took the meds when they were supposed to the better they would feel and the quicker they would get better.

Oh and thankfully none of my kids have freaked over having to swallow a pill.

AND those dissoluble strips? Genius.

Diane said...

Since I haven't raised children, I have no tips to share, but I sure enjoyed reading about yours! You and your Mr. Wonderful are so much fun to read!!! Hubby's Mom slipped pills into his hot dogs. Didn't work very well though, as he bit into one and spit pill, hot dog and all the condiments thereupon all over her!!! Loved reading this post.

Many hugs.........


That Girl in Brazil said...

I've totally done that with eye drops. Good times.

I'm all about blowing in the kid's face - it works for about 18 months and younger. Put in the mouth, clamp the jaw shut and BLOW. Works every time.

The worst is when my second son needs to use the nebulizer. Six times a day. Good times.

I just hold him tight, sing hymns at the top of my lungs, and pray the neighbors don't call Children's Services on the screaming coming from our house.

Teanne said...

Thanks! That helps. Haven't ever had to do eye drops yet, but I'm sure I'll have to some day. I like taking advice like this from others so I don't have to get frustrated w/ trial and error.
I saw your post about the Mother's book of secrets and I thought of you when I was reading the exerpt. That is so cool that you know the woman who wrote the book. She is a talented writer and she sounds like a good mom/ person. So sad about her daughter. She looks like such a sweet girl.
Hopefully someday I can read the book all the way through- I'm adding it to my wish list. :)

Fiauna said...

I stick my daughters pills on the end of a banana. She never notices them there. Eye drops, on the other hand, are not as easy. Haven't figured out a trick for those.

Jill said...

Just this morning I had to give my oldest her steroid medication to help control her asthma, because she was in the hospital on Monday. It took two cups of grape juice, threats, bribes, logic (you want to BREATHE, right?) and finally desperation (she was going to be late for school). Of course, steroid medication makes me throw up so I have to acknowledge she was right about not wanting to take it.

pan x 8 said...

I totally agree wicha! Every kid is different with every medicine and at every time!

Huston Family said...

Half our family is on meds for one reason or another so I think I've tried every technique known to man-or woman. For little ones, they now make pacifiers with medicine holders at the end. I'm cheap and just cut a hole in the end on a soothie pacifier you know, the ones from the hospitol and stuck a syringe through the back. For big kids, practice swollowing tic tacs first. They don't have a nasty taste when they go down!

Melissa said...

When my daughter was an infant, she took medicine nightly and we put it in a bottle nipple (without the bottle) and she sucked it right down.

Practicing swallowing tic tacs is good. We use M&M's.

Melissa said...

When my daughter was an infant, she took medicine nightly and we put it in a bottle nipple (without the bottle) and she sucked it right down.

Practicing swallowing tic tacs is good. We use M&M's. said...

I have no were the one to get Gracie to take her medicine.
She used to like it. BOO.