So.. Your baby hates antibiotics? How many ways have you tried ?
So.. your little bundle of joy is unwell? Your probably one of 2 parents, the "oh I'm sure it's nothing and they will fight it off' ( this is me ) or the other "OMG I'm so worried! What's wrong! They need to go and see 5 doctors to make sure they haven't missed anything!" (this is Jamie) So to say the least when our little one is unwell, we both have different opinions, and neither of us are incorrect, if anything it works really well because I calm Jamie down whilst Jamie notices things I might not.
So in this blog I'm going to tell you all about trying to get your little ones to take antibiotics, any tips and tricks we have tried, that may come inhandy.
So we are at the point where Isabelle had a throat an ear infection back in December, the doctor prescribed her with 5 days worth of antibiotics which she took perfectly fine, she seemed to recover and was back to being her jolly little self. Then comes a week ago she starts being grumpy, miserable, and like a tornado had hit us! So we had a look inside her mouth ( which if your a parent you will know yourself is a challenge in its self) we did this by using the rubber end of her cutlery to push her tongue down whilst the other shone a light inside her mouth and unfortunately we needed her to be crying so she opened her mouth.. and there were those little white spots on the back of her throat again. So 9pm on a Friday night (Bye Bye Friday evening watching tv) we were sat in the waiting groom at Stoke Mandeville waiting for an appointment. Even though Isabelle wasn't very well she had no problem running around the waiting room which when you're trying to explain you have a sick child, kind of counteracts your argument. Doctor however took one look inside Isabelle's mouth and throat and said 'Tonsillitis'. So it was made apparent that before the age of 2, little ones need antibiotics for 10 days NOT 5, so the bacteria had grown back and never got fully destroyed in the first place. ( TIP-always make sure you finish the course of antibiotics that you're given even if your little one seems to be feeling better) even better make sure the doctor prescribes you for the right quantity in the first place.
So to be on the safe side we decided to start these antibiotics Saturday Morning. This medicine had to be given 4 times a day and on an empty stomach ( so basically trying to give a baby something they're going to HATE when they're already hungry and grumpy.. oh good) So up we got Saturday morning, gave Isabelle her milk which always makes her happy, then off I went too get two syringes - one of Calpol, one of Penicillin. You can take them both together as penicillin isn't a pain relief, its to fight the bacteria. Isabelle took one look at the syringes and she burst into tears, we knew straight away this wasn't going to be easy. Long story short we were back at hospital Sunday night with Isabelle running back around the waiting room to ask the doctor what else we could give her as she was refusing all her medication, antibiotics and Calpol.
We were given a different medication which instead off being given 4 times a day only required twice a day. Which we already thought was a winner as thats half the amount of times we had to try and get her to take the antibiotics. So.. here we are on Thursday, and I am still struggling to get her to take her medicine, If I find a surefire way to get a toddler to take antibiotics I will let you know! But below are some of the ideas we have tried that either have or haven't worked and the positive and negative to them. 1 - The first thing we tried was just giving it to get, letting her get familiar with the syringe and then trying to ease it to her mouth and encourage her to take it. This is good for trust building as you are only going at the pace the baby/child wants to, however it can be very time consuming and may not work - for us, she took and taste and exploded. Not a winner for us.
2 - So the first medicine was pink, so I thought about mine it with something that colour so it was disguised and the taste would be disguised. So I mixed it with strawberry sauce! Every kid loves sugary things like strawberry sauce right... no. We have the 1 child in the world who does not like sugary ice cream sauces. We gave her a quarter of a spoonful of the strawberry sauce to start with so she got used to the taste without the medicine, and she didn't even like that. We didn't even bother to try with the medicine.
It was going well: Just to clarify yes that is the medicine down her front, no it is not blood. Also no.. her foot is not broken.
3 - I then tried making a Jam and antibiotic paste to put onto toast ( she LOVES toast).. but she does not love toast with jam and antibiotics onto.. that was a no!
4 - The next thing we tried was something many had recommended to us which was mixing it with yoghurt. The 2nd medicine was white so we gave that a go. We were hopeful, down came the yoghurt aeroplane straight into Isabelle's mouth, and straight back out again. With even more tears this time! This then led to Isabelle refusing a spoonful of anything from us because she thought it was going to include medicine "sigh"
5 - Number 4 on the list was trying it with milk, the doctor had said not to mix it with too much milk as if its too diluted she won't be getting the full percentage of the medicine, so Tuesday morning I was awoken by a crying baby at 6am. I went and got her out her sleeping bag and out of her cot, took her downstairs and made her 2oz of milk, and without her seeing put in her Calpol and her Antibiotics. Popped her on the sofa and gave her the milk and she picked it up and started drinking.. and continued.. and continued! We thought we had it, we were so relieved. We had been told to try and give her it when she is really hungry it will be easier for her to accept.
So Came round Tuesday evening, we had given her an early dinner, got her ready for bed, sat her down to give her her evening bedtime milk, and off she tantrums. Although she had taken it that morning - she wasn't silly, she knew it wasn't her normal milk. So joy for us this was now a spoon she was refusing, and now a bottle.
6 - The last idea we had was to put it in some chewy type food that she would pick pop and feed herself, she loves bananas and banana cake. So I decided to trial by making one banana muffin with 1 dose of antibiotics inside to see if that would cover the taste and she would scoff it down. I'm guessing you can guess how that went? Yes not well. One bite and she threw it on the floor crying. So back we went to google for more ideas.
7 - Before we were about to give up hope we read some articles about mixing it with juice or putting in a juice carton so they think its juice and are fooled. So considering Isabelle doesn't like juice, we decided to go for squash. We gave her a little bit of squash to see how she reacted to squash alone without antibiotics.. and she spat it out, so tbh there wasn't any point trying to put antibiotics in there.
We were out of ideas - we had also tried what many people said which was basically to just pin her down, put the syringe in deep in the the cheek so to miss the taste buds, squirt in and try and keep the mouth shut till they've swallowed, sometimes its kind to be cruel, however even this she gagged and brought it back up.
So this morning I made another doctors appointment to go and see a GP at our local doctors, to see what other options we had. They made an appointment for her at 10:20 this morning so off we went. Sat in the doctors room we were then told that back in December she actually had laryngitis (NOT tonsillitis returning due to shortened antibiotics) We were told that their protocol had changed from 10 days down to 5 days for her age (NOT the other way around) We were also told that although her tonsils were a little inflamed, they were no longer red and pussy and no longer had spots on them. Considering she was eating fine, drinking fine, wet and dirty nappies and she was chatting away fine and was basically herself, to stop trying to give the antibiotics because it was more stressful for us and her to give them than to not.
I am so glad I made the doctors appointment today ( after Jamie had insisted I make one ) we have been told to monitor her and if she starts getting a temperature again or her eating and drinking deteriorates then to take her back and they can give her something else which comes in flavours such as banana and strawberry (YUM) but for now it seems to be healing on its own. I won't lie, I found it very stressful trying to give her antibiotics, we both did, nearly in tears feeling like your failing because your little one is kicking and screaming at you and all your trying to do is help them. My advised would be to just ask for advice, ask for a second opinion, or even just ask for a second paid or hands, it was much easier trying to do it when Jamie was at home to distract her than it was on my own once he had gone to work. But definitely if you are unsure about anything, seek a doctor or health advisors opinion, we saw 3 different people, all telling us something different. But for now I am happy not stressing her out with antibiotics and to monitor her and be able to watch her play and chatting and laughing without worrying when the next dose is.
If any of you have any other ways you have tried antibiotics, feel free to comment below - I will try them next time !!
You can actively see she looks better now :)