How to Give Your Preschooler Medicine in 15 Easy Steps


If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had to deal with giving your kids a round or two of antibiotics for various childhood ailments.  It’s definitely a less enjoyable part of parenting, but this last sickness had me at my wit’s end. Here’s how the medicine finally went down:

How to Give Your Preschooler Medicine in 15 Easy Steps:

1. Have a rational conversation with your child, explaining that he has to take this medicine to fight the infection in his body. Get verbal agreement to take said medicine.

2.Allow child to pick what flavor medicine they will take and pay extra for that special flavoring.

Did you know you can get chocolate-flavored antibiotics?

3. Drive home feeling confident in your parenting.

4. Attempt to give first dose of medicine. Realize your child doesn’t give a crap about what flavor it is, he is not going to take it.

5. Discuss options with partner and develop a positive incentive chart (read: BRIBE) to get kiddo to take meds. Let him pick images to print and hang the chart on the fridge. Get one dose in. Add one star on incentive chart and send a quick text congratulating husband on our co-parenting skills. Go team!

6. Wake up the next morning confident and prepared to give morning dose of medication. Realize your kiddo no longer cares about the agreed upon positive incentive, and he will not take the medication. Call pediatrician for ideas.

7. Mix medicine with chocolate syrup per pediatrician’s advice and attempt to deliver dose.  Clean chocolate syrup medicine from your hands, face and surrounding floor. (I never knew how sticky it is!)Some people try to hide medicine in chocolate syrup.

8. Crowdsource from moms on social media!! Get several dozen suggestions. Try ALL THE THINGS. Mix medicine with juice, smoothie, yogurt, tough love, payment, etc. Realize you may have birthed the MOST stubborn child in the history of the world.

9. Attempt to reason with kiddo again. Explain the consequences of not taking the medicine, consider showing him a YouTube video on how IVs are put in. Think better of it, but realize he is not capable of understanding consequences or just doesn’t care about them.

10. Call the pediatrician to ask about other options.

This prescription goes well with PB & J.

11. Drive across town to pick up special chewable medicine in a new fruity flavor.

12. Administer first dose, kiddo says, “no big deal.”

Immediately get lured into a false sense of hope.

13. Wake the next day to kid refusing to take medicine. Beg, plead and try to convince your preschooler to take the medicine.  Dust off the mortar and pestle from the way back of the pantry and grind medicine to a fine powder. (Pretty sure THAT was not the intended use when I purchased it.)

14. Discover that meds crushed to a fine powder are undetectable in peanut butter and jelly sandwich and applesauce.

15. Allow him to eat peanut butter and jelly or applesauce three times a day for the next 8 days.


A morter and pestle for grinding antibiotics.

Do your kids require tricks and incentives? What’s your best trick for getting your child to take their medicine?

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Ashley DiMercurio
Ashley was born and raised in Vermont and now lives in Colchester with her two children and husband. After getting married, she spent four years living outside DC to gain work and life experience, as well as perspective and a renewed love for her home state of Vermont. She is highly caffeinated and runs her own online reading tutoring business Your Reading Tutor and teaches ESOL online to students in China. She recently made the decision to homeschool and is loving the opportunity for a flexible learning environment for her kids. Her favorite things to do include making fairy houses with her kids, drinking coffee with her husband, and networking with other moms and entrepreneurs.



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