How I Syringe-Feed My Toddler Alone

All solo, loads of laughter, zero cries.

Having to syringe feed meds to a child on the autism spectrum can be plenty stressful. I’ve always felt we were lucky as our son usually takes his meds pretty well using a medicine cup. But as always, there is a first time for everything. So we had to use the fall-back plan: Syringe feed!

Needless to say, the first attempts was an almighty struggle. Hubby had to pin him down while I tried shoving the syringe into his mouth. This was easy if he was a baby. But at 2 years and 8 months, even Hubby is struggling! The ordeal left all 3 of us stressed out. Sad part about it was, for all that trouble, we managed to get barely a quarter of his required dose in!

This went on for 2 more days, then came the moment of truth. The weekend had ended, Hubby needed to go to work on Monday, and I was left to do it alone. Thankfully an idea came to mind. I sought to test it and the outcome?


Execution en perfection; all solo, totally stress-free, loads of laughter, zero cries! Here’s how I managed to game it. Literally.

1. Setting the Play Mood

Just like the Reading to Your Hyperactive Child article I wrote, it all starts with us. Set a playful mood around feeding the medicine, like it’s fun game. It can be any game your kid likes. Be creative! For my son, he loves interactive rough-and-tumble games so I played chase with him. I chased him around with the syringe, pretend to “catch” him and get him to taste the medicine.

2. Break down into few “Catches”

You don’t need to get all the meds in at a go. I’d break a feed down into 4-5 times of “catching”. Eventually after the first few times where he will struggle abit (while laughing cos he thinks it’s a game) he would just stand still and let me feed him. Don’t forget to CELEBRATE wildly for each successful gulp your child manages – this helps re-enforcing the game and continue to make it fun!

3. Show Zero Stress or Anxiety

As always, it is very important to make the whole experience a happy one instead of a negative one! Let go of your fears and anxiety and take this as a time to bond and play with your child. Make a lot of happy sounds and laugh a lot, even if your child is initially resisting or whining. Don’t show frustration (even if you are howling on the inside!), keep the game setting on and continue as if the game is still running. If your child is anything like mine, he would have some Superpowers that can sense our insecurities!

Laugh loads, even if you are howling inside!

By the end of the day, when he sees his Mommy approaching him holding the syringe, he would let out a big laughter and start running again thinking the chase game had begun. What fun!

Do try it out and let me know if it works!

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Creating Awareness in Autism to Embrace Neuro-Diversity. Mom of a Neuro-Divergent.

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