How to Get a Toddler to Take Cough Syrup

5 tips to get it down the teeny, tiny hatch.

*We’ve partnered with Maty’s, a company started by a mom, that makes all natural and organic whole food health remedies, to help ease your cold & flu season.

Getting your kids to take their cough syrup was so much easier when they were unsuspecting babies. All you needed was a surprise shot from a syringe, and, barring too much spit-up, the deed was done. Getting your toddler to take cough syrup, on the other hand, usually requires CIA-type techniques. Unless you’re one of those parents who live in an Instagram-perfect world, whose kids are always dressed in white pinafores and who obediently line up to take their medicine as instructed, you’ll have to get creative come cold & flu season.

Well, not to worry, Mama. We’ve partnered with Maty’s All-Natural & Organic Cough Syrups, to arm you with 5 tricks to put up your sleeve while facing off with a medicine-averse toddler:

Matys Kids Cough Syrup

1. Make it a game. Does your kid run and hide as soon as he sees you even glance at the medicine cabinet? Think about a high-reward object or activity that he would do almost anything for, and offer that as the “prize” for taking his cough syrup. This may require you loosening some of your rules for the time being (i.e. you normally wouldn’t give your kid a lollipop at 6 am). But hey, think about the means to the end.

2. Use it as a secret ingredient. A cup of cough syrup on it’s own does not look very appetizing to a toddler. But smoothies, yogurt, juices, or oatmeal? Two toddler thumbs up! Maty’s cough syrups are made with whole food ingredients, so you can use them the same way you would use a spoonful of honey or maple syrup. You can even drizzle it on your kid’s morning pancakes!

3. Stay ahead of the game. A cold (or worse, the flu) doesn’t have to be an inevitability. Build up your toddler’s resistance by giving him a dose of Maty’s cough syrup as a daily immune booster (see our tip on the Secret Ingredient above!). Maty’s cough syrup contains 10 immune-boosting ingredients in every serving, so if you suspect your kid is coming down with something, start doing a daily dose to keep coughs and colds away in the first place.

toddler cough syrup

4. Don’t force it. When you’re feeling frustrated, you might be tempted to hold down flailing arms and legs, pry open those clenched jaws and hope for the best (no? Just us?). That tactic will make it rough getting him to take medicine the next time (or ever again). If your toddler starts backing away from you like you’re a Disney villain when he sees you approaching with cough syrup in hand, explain that you are not going to force him to take it. Tell him that he can hold it himself, or he can help you hold it. The more control you (seem to) give him, the less scary the medicine-taking experience will feel.

5. Try the M&M Trick. We don’t know what it is about M&M’s (ok, yes we do, they’re delicious), but kids are just wild for those tiny balls of sugar. We know lots of mamas that swear by M&M’s for potty training, but you can also use them to get your kid to take cold medicine. Place a small pile in his cute little palm, and for every sip of cough syrup he takes, he gets an M&M. (Make sure to wash those hands before and afterward, unless you like rainbow-covered furniture. Nervous toddler hands have a tendency to melt candy-covered-chocolate pretty fast.)

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash.

SHOP MATY’S ORGANIC CHILDREN’S COUGH SYRUPS

Matys' children's cough syrup

Matys Organic Children’s Cough Syrup

Maty's Children's Mucus Cough Syrup

Maty’s Organic Children’s Mucus Cough Syrup

Maty's children's goodnight Cough Syrup

Maty’s Organic Children’s Goodnight Cough Syrup

Alexis Barad-Cutler

Alexis Barad-Cutler

ALEXIS BARAD-CUTLER is an Associate Editor and a frequent contributor to Well Rounded. A children's book author and essayist, she writes candidly and often humorously about the "stuff no one talks about in Mom Group" for sites such as Romper, Glamamom, Mommy Nearest, and other online outlets. You can read more of her work on website, or you can follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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