How to Give a Baby Medicine

Are you having problems giving your baby medicine? You are not alone!

"It IS an epic battle, and SO stressful. I hate it," says one PSP member to the Advice List. Here, parents share the different ways of administering medicine without overly restraining the baby or losing too much of the medication.



Important Message from Park Slope Parents (PSP): Just a reminder, PSP member posts are not checked for accuracy. The content is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. is not intended to, and does not, provide medical advice diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on the PSP groups or on the website. Always check in with your pediatrician and pharmacist!  


On giving it:


Mix it with food:

“We've mixed it with food (ice cream seemed to dilute the taste the best), but that is dicey especially if you mix too much or they aren't hungry anymore. I would just mix small amounts of food he likes with a little bit of the medicine.


Mix it with milk:

“This doesn't sound ideal, but I'm thinking maybe you could add the dose of tylenol to an ounce or two of expressed breastmilk or formula...not a full bottle of milk in case your baby doesn't finish and then doesn't get the full dose.”


Alternate it with food:

“Lately the most successful attempts have been giving him squirts in between bites of the cracker / cookie he likes (Obleas from Colombia).”


A little bit at a time:

“Little bits at a time helps.”


Try different flavors:

“Also [our baby] really prefers the grape to the cherry and it stains less. At this point she likes to lick and chew on the dropper after she has her Tylenol. It did take a while for her to decide she liked it though.”


Blow on your baby’s face:

“When I was at the ped yesterday for my daughter's 6 month shots, she was fighting taking the rotavirus oral immunization. The nurse told me to blow on her face to get her to swallow it. Weird, but it worked! I don't know if either suggestion will keep your little one keep the tylenol down, but it can't hurt to try! Good luck, hope you can figure out a method that works.”


Consider different options:



“When [my son] had a high fever a few months back, we struggled with liquid medicine.  [My son] would actually gag at the taste of it, no matter what flavor we tried.  He just didn't want it.  We went to suppositories. It was surprisingly easy and made me much more comfortable to know that Jason was getting the medicine that he really needed.”

“We also have a toddler that gags at liquid medicines.  We have had much better luck with the acetaminophen suppositories.  You can buy them at the Neergard on 7th Ave or the one on 9th Street.  They go by the brand name "Feverall" and come in three dosage strengths - infants (80 mg), childrens (120 mg) and jr. strength (325).  Based on our 2 year old's weight (guessing somewhere around 28-30 lbs), our doctor told us to give her one and a half of the children's (120 mg) dosage.  I wish they made Advil/Motrin suppositories but so far I haven't found any.”



Chewables can be crushed into a paste


Squirt/ syringes (with needle removed):

Lay your baby on their back and squirt into the back corner of their mouth.


On doses:


Make sure you know the correct dose:

“FYI, we thought a dose was one suppository. After a visit to the ER, we learned that based on his weight, he needed 1.5 suppositories.  Also, they only have suppositories for Tylenol (acetaminophen) not for Advil or Motrin.”


Remember, no medicine is the same:

“Just a reminder that there are different concentrations of tylenol. It looks like the two doses mentioned (8ml and 1.25ml) are for different concentrations of the product, according to my dosing chart that I got at the doc's office. The former is from the 80mg/.8ml infant drops, and the latter is the 160mg/5ml new infant acetominophen oral suspension stuff. It looks like the 1.25 ml dose that Maya mentioned is half as strong as the .8ml that Tania mentioned. (In case I got any of that wrong, don't take my word for it without double checking.) Anyway, I hope that a) I'm not stating the obvious and b) that made some sense despite being a jumble of numbers.”

“I'll second this warning about dosing for Tylenol. It's really important to get the right dose for Tylenol (more so than for ibuprofen) and so we have just switched to Children's Motrin."


Make notes for yourself about the dose:

“I just put a post-it note on the box with how much H&E could have and how often, and we include medications on their daily tracking charts so we all know who had what when (including their vitamins! - my husband thinks I'm crazy and keeps asking how much longer we have to do this).”


Be mindful with your child minders:

“If your child is regularly watched by a caregiver who isn't as savvy with numbers and charts and reading mg/ml and all that, it helps to have only one type of tylenol or motrin in your main medicine area, and then rather than leaving the dosing chart that shows 10 medicines on a grid against about 7 weight categories - which often conflict with co-listed age categories -- write out on a piece of paper (that you will replace as the baby grows) exactly how much of a medicine to give, so it's easy to figure out. I now have one that says, "If fever is 100.4 or higher, give ?ml of Tylenol every 4 hours." (I filled in the question mark with a real number.)”


Take advantage of resources:

“Tribeca has all the dosing charts online.”


Related Reading on PSP:

4 year old refusing to take medicine


Please make sure you read Park Slope Parent's Disclaimer HERE