Just a Spoonful of Sugar

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We're at the beginning of a 10-day, twice-a-day amoxicillin regimen in this house. As such, one of my goals today was to figure out an easier way to "make the medicine go down."

When we gave Nora her first dose last night, it didn't go too badly. Her little tongue kept thrusting out of her mouth, causing some of the medicine to come with it, but we pretty successfully administered the majority of the dose. It didn't happen without a bit of a mess, though.

Then, this morning, I worked from home for a bit to let Nora sleep in (after the crappy sleep she's had these last several days, we didn't have the heart to wake her!). When she did wake and it was time to get her ready for the day, Michael was already at work and I was on my own. Needless to say, her morning dose did not go as smoothly. When all was said and done, I felt like half of the dose was smeared on her face, down her neck, and on the changing table.

Does she not like the taste? It's possible, but unlikely, given that she used to take gas drops without too many issues, and she's been sucking down the Tylenol like it's going out of style. Maybe it's too cold? Amoxicillin needs to be refrigerated, and the little one is not accustomed to drinking anything that isn't close to room temperature or warmer. Regardless of the reasons, I went to work on a mission to figure out a solution on my lunch break.

I remembered hearing about a pacifier medicine dispenser, which--let's face it--is a pretty awesome invention. One of my "tricks" to getting Nora to take gas drops when she wasn't in the mood was to squirt them in her mouth and quickly put her pacifier in to get her to swallow it. So the pacifier dispenser seemed like the perfect solution. The only problem? I ran out on my lunch break and couldn't seem to find one at Target, except as part of a larger baby care kit that we don't need.

My lunch break was over, so I had to return to work without one. I figured I'd check a drug store or two on the way home. Late in the day, however, I was talking to one of my coworkers about how Nora has an ear infection and is on amoxicillin, and she semi-jokingly said, "Do you have a ReliaDose?"

The name sounded vaguely familiar to me, but still I said, "No, what's that?" She explained that it's a bottle with a syringe inside that allows you to administer medication while your baby drinks his/her milk, formula, juice, etc. I asked her where I could get one. As it turns out, my company used to work with the makers of ReliaDose. So, wouldn't you know--one of my other coworkers happened to have a box full of them under her desk. For free. That I could immediately take home with me. Score!

And let me tell you: It.is.BRILLIANT.
Image from ReliaDose.com. Still confused as to how it works? Check out this diagram.

Without ever having used the pacifier dispenser, I think that the ReliaDose is better for a couple of reasons: 1) It's easier to ensure that your baby gets ALL of the medicine, since the syringe is still technically the "dispenser." 2) Not all medications taste as good as amoxicillin. If you happen to have a nasty tasting liquid, this little gadget can help mask the flavor since you can administer the medication slowly, mixing it little by little with a better-tasting beverage, right in your baby's mouth.

Some might wonder why you wouldn't just mix the medicine in with the baby's milk or juice. Well, you usually can, but the advantage to using this is that the medication and the drink are kept separate until just before they are in the baby's mouth. That way, even if baby doesn't finish all of his/her drink, you know that he/she still got all of the medication. Pretty cool, huh?

Maybe I'm easily impressed, but I love this thing.

When I first prepared it to give Nora her nighttime dose tonight, I turned it upside down to make sure it wouldn't leak and milk came shooting out of the nipple. It concerned me that maybe the milk flow would be too fast for her to handle, but to my surprise, she took it like a champ and didn't mind it at all. In fact, the medicine itself was gone in less than 30 seconds and I had to wait several more minutes for her to finish the amount of milk I had put in the bottle part--tomorrow, we'll be using less milk!

Anyway, I've been meaning to write a post about my recommendations for "must-have" baby items--you know, the things we personally cannot live without--but it keeps falling to the wayside because I just don't feel like I have enough time! I'm still planning to get to it eventually, but I couldn't wait to tell you all about this gem. I think this might be on the list of little-known baby gadgets that I'll be giving as baby shower gifts from now on!


Marie December 28, 2010 at 10:47 PM  

What a neat and handy mommy tool to have! Hope your Nora starts feeling better soon.

Jacki December 29, 2010 at 9:53 AM  

Wow... that's awesome. Will definitely be asking for one when we have kids!

Anonymous,  December 30, 2010 at 9:49 AM  

Heather, I don't Twitter, but I was noticing your recent messages on the side bar. We had Aubrey in the swaddle for the longest time. Like Nora, it was hell to get her to sleep without it. As she was constantly breaking free, though, I don't know how much good it was doing.

I'd recommend the sleep sack. While it doesn't restrain her arms, it does provide some security to the baby, and there's nothing to really bust out of as it zips up.

While Aubrey hasn't fully gone back to sleeping through the night, we are down to one wake-up call. It's getting later and later, so I think (hope / pray / beg) we're on the brink of STTN once again...

~Kristen M.

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