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Tantrums from 2.3yo when getting her to take antibiotics - how to handle?

(10 Posts)
euroghoul Thu 22-Oct-09 14:01:47


Have posted this in children's health too as am not sure if it's an illness issue or about how I deal with dd. Any thoughts much appreciated...

Dd is 2yrs 3 months and has bronchitis. She has been prescribed antibiotics that we started this morning. Problem is she absolutely refuses to take them. The first spoonful I just about got in her mouth after much struggle but she stuck her tongue out and spat/blew it all out. Accompanied by a full on tantrum. As it's pretty liquid, this lunchtime I put it in a plastic syringe/pipette thing - we have been treating her fever with baby nurofen which comes with one of these and she happily sucks it down. But again, massive tantrum until I had to lie on top of her to pin her down on the changing table, stick the pipette thing behind her teeth and squirt it into the back of her mouth. She was so upset that she was still sobbing 15 minutes later .

Both times I have got rapidly snappier than I ever like to be with the dcs, and at lunchtime ended up actually screaming at her while she lay there crying, on discovering that she'd hamstered away half her lunch and was refusing to swallow it. This was after trying to remain calm and persuade her to take the medicine, moving upstairs and explaining that nap would be the very next thing, nappy change etc, all in an attempt to change the subject and give us all a moment calm down. But I just lost it. This (shouting) happened yesterday too when she had a meltdown over a nappy change after lunch. I am usually quite a realist about how parents are humans too and children in loving families can cope with the (very) occasional snap, but the last couple of days I have felt like the worst version of myself, let alone the worst version of their mother . And even worse whlie she's really very poorly and I am supposed to be caring for her .

Should add that lunchtimes in general can be stressful for us (she eats well but very slowly and gets progressively more tired the more her slow eating delays her nap). I don't think that was related to today's medicine disaster though, it went well and we were all quite happy.

So, what do I do? Do I try to let her do the medicine herself? Can't see it working with a spoon as it's too liquid but I doubt she'll take the syringe thing either? Or is it about something else entirely? Obviously as she's sick I'm not expecting her to be all smiles and laughter, but there has to be a better way than virtually force feeding it to her. Would appreciate any help as I can't face that sort of struggle 3 times a day till the bottle is empty .

shellki Thu 22-Oct-09 14:30:15

We've had difficulties like this in the past with my DD1 who has had to take antiobiotics a lot for a kidney/ baldder problem. Usually I say to her that it is very important for her to take the medicine, and there is no negociation, but she can decide to take it properly like a big girl rather than be forced to take it. I usually have the telly on or another distraction, which gets turned off if she is not cooperating. In the past I have had to be forceful the first time, but when she understands that there's no negociation she decides to cooperate, and gets a reward after (chocolate, or something). I think at 2.3 years she should be able to understand that life would be easier if she just took it calmly... but they can be such little stubburn people sometimes!

LynetteScavo Thu 22-Oct-09 14:34:20

Can you mix it will something so it's diguised?

I find yogurt & sugar works well.

BlueBumedFly Thu 22-Oct-09 14:58:00

One chocolate button before and a promise of two more afterwards.

We had 6 months on and off antibiotics until I managed to break the cycle when DD was between 18 months - 22 months. Given Antibs was hell, tantrums and screaming, and that was just from me!!!! I totally sympathise, I am in a bad mood today for a hundred different reasons, none of them DDs fault, however, the toddler pace of life is screwing with my head today and I have snapped more than once. Not at all proud of myself.

The only bribe that ever worked for us was choc buttons or mini smarties. I swore I would never be a bribing mother but after a few says standoff when you know they HAVE to take the meds to get better you tend to resort to anything and I was happy in the knowledge that no child can ever only have one chocolate button.

BlueBumedFly Thu 22-Oct-09 15:00:09

Sorry, typos galore... headache!

Mellin Thu 22-Oct-09 15:06:13

I second what BlueBumedFly said - bribery was the only way to get DD to take her meds.

euroghoul Thu 22-Oct-09 15:16:48

Thank you all - will try bribery, I have nothing against it in these circumstances! I did already attempt promising her a sweet if she took it but maybe giving her one first and promising another after might work better. Anyway, feel much better knowing it's not just me and my bad mummy skills smile.

Tillyscoutsmum Thu 22-Oct-09 15:21:43

Just wanted to say you are not being a bad mum smile You're merely trying to get her to take something which you know will make her better. Its bloody frustrating when they won't do something that is going to be good for them.

Agree with bribery. Banana milkshake always did the trick for dd (her "helping" to make a mess it was always part of the deal).

BlueBumedFly Thu 22-Oct-09 15:29:30

Its the lure of the first one that is the magic of the bribery..... promises can be broken but with one in the bag already they can see the potential for more so much more clearly!!!

mathanxiety Thu 22-Oct-09 19:31:07

I had to pin one of mine down and pinch her nose to make her open her mouth shock after a whole original prescription was spat out. The bribery might work too -- mine was too sick with an ear infection in both ears to care about eating so it wouldn't work with her. I remember older DCs getting the option of an antibiotic shot once, and though it hurt, it saved many a desperate and messy scene.

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