Q&A: My toddler refuses to take medication. Help!
My toddler refuses to swallow any medication, whether in liquid form or tablets. I've tried everything I can think of to get her to take them, including mixing them with food or juice. Nothing works! Any suggestions?
Forcing a toddler to do anything she doesn’t want to is a challenge. Children at this age are exercising new-found control, and this often plays out around issues of toilet-training, eating, and choosing what to swallow.
Some general suggestions are:
- Remind yourself that you are right. The medicine is necessary and not taking it isn’t an option.
- Give your daughter some control over the event. Let her choose the spoon or syringe for example.
- Work as a team, with her dad, for instance, to diffuse the frustration.
- Sometimes, masking the taste of a crushed pill in a strongly-flavored food like chocolate pudding works, but check with your doctor or pharmacist first to be sure the medicine can be taken with that food.