My 3 and half monthChild is having cold and refuse to take medicine. We force her to take medicine with dropper after holding her head and hand. Even if she take her medicine she simply do not swallow it and spit it after sometime. Now, the problem is that she is very frighten even if we kiss her. She blink her eyes very much and try to move herself away. Please someone suggest me in this matter.

  • Did you try different flavor of same medicine? Oct 25, 2012 at 15:01
  • @Shadow Wizard No, I didn't, the current one is pineapple flavour.
    – Namshum
    Oct 25, 2012 at 15:22

5 Answers 5


In my experience, interrupting a nursing session near the beginning to administer the medicine and then resuming the nursing session is what worked best for bad tasting medications like antibiotics.

Starting to nurse may help put her a relaxed state to start, that's why I say, start there, rather than medicine then nursing. But if you wait till later in the nursing session it may be more agitating than helpful, so as soon as she's nursed long enough to be somewhat calm, time to unlatch to give the medicine. Of course, she won't be too happy to be interrupted, and there may be tears involved (so just get it over with quickly!), but if you're ready with your medicine dropper, you can quickly insert the dropper into the side of her mouth near her cheek (toward the back as well), give a squirt of medicine and then re-latch before she's fully realized what's going on. Re-latching will encourage her to both swallow the medicine and also wash down the bad flavor of the medicine with a flavor she likes, and as bonus then distracts her from the unpleasant activity of medicine with an activity she enjoys. Depending on the dose needed, and how much she can swallow comfortably in a single swallow you may need to unlatch a couple times to get the full dose in. Feel free to also distracting her with a toy or funny faces or whatever while giving the medicine if it helps.

Holding the dropper to the side of their mouth near the back is important to keep them from thrusting their tongue to spit out the medicine, essentially you want the medicine behind the tongue where it's harder to spit out and where the swallow reflex kicks in.


Can you mix it with her formula or breastmilk? I don't know if that's possible--clearly if you're nursing and not using bottles then you can't do this, but it's a suggestion.

If it's just a cold, then maybe you can back off the oral meds and switch to other medication. Use a saline solution and nasal sucker to suction out her nose, keep the humidifier going and elevate one end of her mattress. You can even use a mentholated ointment like Vick's Vap-O-Rub or something like that--I'm pretty sure they make a baby version which doesn't use camphor. Or if you don't want to actually rub it on her, they make the same thing in little outlet diffusers that you can just plug into an outlet in the room. Warm, humid rooms--like steamy bathrooms--are helpful for calming coughing.

I'm only saying all this because if it's just a cold, then probably any medication you're giving her is only relieving symptoms anyway--most of which can be accomplished via other methods as well. Unless she NEEDS the medication, like it's an antibiotic you're using to eliminate an infection or you're giving her Tylenol/Motrin for a fever, then maybe not using oral medication would just make everyone happier.

  • Alas! Yes, she is on antibiotic and host of other medicine all oral and there is only injection in lieu of those and also scared of seeing her in cannula. She was admitted in hospital just 20 days back with cannula in her hand and had very very bad experience with those. And also she is on breast feed only.
    – Namshum
    Oct 25, 2012 at 15:00
  • 2
    Mixing medicine with breastmilk is a really bad idea, if the child does not like the taste of the medicine he or she can develop a distaste for mother's milk as well, which can lead to nursing strikes and other problems with the breastfeeding. I won't down vote, though, as your other suggestions are good ones.
    – Mia Clarke
    Oct 27, 2012 at 14:08

We normally do by using a 5 ml syringe (without the needle of course!!!, you can take the medicine into the syringe from a spoon or something) pushing gently (normally after two or three iterations our 7-months takes most of it) and avoiding as much as possible to force her head still.

Another option is to put a few drops on the dummy, and take it quickly to the mouth, repeating the process if the volume to be taken is too high.

We sometimes intercalate with some milk or baby apple juice, which our 7-months love.


Definitely try different flavors and even different brands of the same flavor (if possible).

My daughter hated the cherry flavor of brand X, but brand Y's is pretty much her favorite thing.


If my son, wouldn't like to take his medicines, I usually mix it with his milk or food, so he would'nt notice that it has a medicine. Sometimes, I also try to make up stories so I can divert his attention,so he will take the medicine. Like I'm giving him lots of praises if he will take his medicines.

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