Trying to give medicine to a baby can be messy business. There are loads of different medicine droppers on the market and fancy dummy droppers. I’ve tried them all.
Here is a low down of administering medicines to babies and a product review of sorts for medicine droppers.
Medicine dropper #1 Snookums dropper
This worked really well. The dropper is made of plastic and is easy to use and clean.
The only disadvantage of this dropper is that the bulb is made of rubber and is not suitable for microwave sterilising. This is not indicated on the packaging but I found out after ending up with a molten mess which destroyed one of my Tommee Tippee bottles.
Medicine dropper #2 Safety 1st dropper
It looks pretty but is a pain in the ass to use and clean. It is difficult to take apart. My biggest complaint with this dropper however is that you can’t turn it upside down when filled as it leaks when you turn it right side up again.
Medicine dropper #3 Dummy shaped medicine dispenser
At a cost of +R40 I was sure that this was the solution to all our medicinal needs. Sadly I was very much mistaken. It is fiddly to fill and difficult to be accurate with smaller doses. Once it is in baby’s mouth you have about a millisecond to press the plunger and get the meds into baby before they realise there are meds inside and spit out the dummy and refuse to let it pass their lips again. I found the plunger hard to depress. This is a white elephant of the nursery and a complete waste of money.
Medicine dropper #4 The Winner!
By far the easiest way to administer meds are with an ordinary syringe. You can by them for about R1 each at your nearest pharmacy in either 3ml or 5ml. You can accurately measure within 0.1ml and it doesn’t leak.
How to give meds with a syringe:
Hold baby in your lap with their head cradled in your left arm. Let them lie with their head up higher than their body and facing slightly towards you. I like to give my boys their dummy at this point to keep them as calm as possible. You can slide the tip of the syringe between the edge of the dummy and the corner of baby’s mouth and squirt some of the meds in. Larger quantities might require on or two squirts. Rather squirt less in and do it a couple times than squirt all of it in and have baby spit half of it out thus leaving you to try figure out how much they actually drank.
Now with the boys being older and rather wilful I find it helps to skip trying to use a dummy but rather distract them with something new and entertaining (a bunch of keys is always a hit) bring the syringe to their mouth from below their chin and out of their line of sight. Often they will swallow the meds as they play without even the slightest fuss where as if the see the syringe coming they will try bat it away or shake their head. Once it becomes a battle of wills then you have lost and should rather stand up and try again in a minute or two instead of wrestling with a screaming baby.
And finally… whenever possible, give a suppository. It is 100% easier when they are still babies. They don’t seem to mind at all.