Have you ever felt anxiety over giving your child medication? Whether it’s something you do daily or only every once in a while, giving medication can be stress-inducing for everyone involved.
I have three children, two of which needed daily reflux medication through their first year of life. And guess what? Those same two little ones who needed the reflux medication daily were also sensitive to the taste and hated the process. But, when your little one needs medication to stay healthy, what do you do?
I hate to admit it, but most of the time my husband and I would work together to hold, distract, and squeeze that medicine in as fast as we could. Half the time, especially in the beginning when it was all new, the medicine went everywhere except into my kids’ mouths. It was frustrating, stressful, and disappointing.
Eventually my babies grew and didn’t need the reflux medication anymore, but unfortunately, the need for medication is always there. From tylenol for teething and fevers, to antibiotics for infection, medication is always needed, and can almost always be a challenge.
Today, I share how to make the medication process a positive experience:
1. Set a routine
2. Make it comfortable using Dr. Brown’s Pacidose
3. Reward after
1. Set a routine: Infants and toddlers need routine. They thrive on predictability. When children know what to expect, challenging situations become less stressful. So, set a routine for your medication. Plan to give it at the same time(s) each day. Find a comfortable spot for your child to sit and relax. Give your child a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or toy to hold.
2. Make it comfortable: While we could try various syringes or little cups, giving a child medicine comfortably wasn’t easy. The makers of my go-to bottle system, Dr. Brown’s, have the best solution to easily get medicine into a child’s mouth: Pacidose.
Pacidose is a patented, doctor-designed nipple and syringe that work together to solve these very same struggles. While your child sucks on the silicone nipple, you push the medication slowly through the connected syringe. The Pacidose helps children on multiple levels:
● Sucking on a nipple is calming and organizing for little bodies, so using a nipple to administer medication while sucking is huge.
● With the nipple on top of the tongue, your child tastes less of the flavor of the medication as it passes to the back of the mouth. Bypassing that new and often unpleasant taste can make a big impact.
● With this system, medication transfers slowly through the syringe so your child can swallow it little by little while sucking. When offered medication via syringe only, families often push the liquid into the back of their child’s mouth quickly. This quick transfer can result in losing a big portion through spitting or spilling, or sending it down the wrong tube, both of which can be very problematic.
● Pacidose comes in a two-pack with two sizes, for 0-6 months old and 6-18 months old, though older toddlers can use the bigger version. The nipple is designed for little and growing mouths, so make sure to use the right size for your baby’s age.
● Pacidose also works with any oral syringe, so if parents have been given pre-filled syringes, they can just remove the nipple portion of Pacidose and place it on the oral syringe. No re-measuring needed!
With the Pacidose, a child has the familiar comfort of the nipple, begins to calm and organize through sucking, and the medication flows slowly through the syringe in a manner similar to bottle drinking. All of this creates a very comfortable experience for your child.
3. Once your child is done with this quick and easy process, give him or her a little positive reinforcement. A warm hug, time playing one-on-one, or simply a little verbal praise are all great ways to help your child create positive memories around the medication process. Decide on a reinforcement system that works best for your child’s needs and stick to that.
Giving medication can be stressful for many reasons, but let’s mold it into a positive experience with Dr. Brown’s Pacidose. I used the Pacidose with my own daughter and can tell you through first hand experience, it’s a game changer.
About the author:
Catherine Callahan, MS, CCC-SLP, CLC
ChiKids Speech & Feeding, LLC
Catherine is a speech-language pathologist, pediatric feeding specialist, certified lactation consultant, and mom of three. She resides in Chicago, where she works at a top 10 US Children’s Hospital and owns her own business, ChiKids Speech & Feeding, LLC. In her private practice, Catherine offers in-home and virtual feeding evaluations and treatment for local infants and children; and through her social media and blog, she shares everyday feeding strategies and supports families and professionals across the globe.