Mom holding spoonfull of medicine for kid seated nearby.

5 tips on how to give medicines to kids

Giving medicine to kids and babies can feel impossible! But, with our 5 simple tips, giving medications to even the wiggliest little ones is doable.


1. Keep it positive!
Try to avoid creating a negative association.
  • If we need to give medicines, our little one is already not feeling well. If we abruptly hold them down and forcefully squirt medicine in the back of their throats when they are already upset, they are unlikely to feel like cooperating. They also won’t be very excited about getting treatment the next time.
  • Try to give the medicine when you and your child are calm. Some protesting may be unavoidable, but do what you can to make them comfortable before you start. Try to tell them in a calming voice what you are doing beforehand. For tiny babies, swaddle them and get them nice and cozy before giving the medication.


2. Be prepared.

Get everything ready before you start.
  • You don’t want to be scrambling to open a medicine bottle while holding a squirmy baby.
  • What do you need?
    • Double-check your dose, draw up the right amount of medicine beforehand and set it in a spot you can easily reach.
  • Call in backup if you need it.
  • Even tiny babies can be tough to keep still, and having an extra set of hands to help with holding the baby or handling the medication can make things go a lot smoother.


3. Master your technique.

Yes, there is a technique!
  • What not to do:
    • Squirting the medicine straight in at once usually ends up with them spitting it out or gagging on it.
  • What to do:
    • Slide the dropper or oral syringe inside the mouth, along the inside of one cheek. Squirt a small amount of medicine to the back of the cheek and listen for a swallow. Repeat until you give the whole volume.
    • You can even let them suck on the oral syringe if they like the taste.


4. A spoonful of honey helps the medicine go down!

Offer something yummy and comforting after the medication, like a breastfeed or bottle to soothe and help wash it down.
  • For toddlers, you can offer something tasty like honey (only if your child is over age 1,) diluted juice, Pedialyte, or even a popsicle.
  • As a bonus, offering your child extra fluids will help them stay hydrated, which is always important when they’re sick!


5. What if they spit it out?

Sometimes even with the best technique, your little one will spit that medicine right out.
  • If it is relatively immediate (less than 30 minutes):
    • If it is close to the total amount, repeat the steps above and give another dose.


  • If it has been more than 30 minutes and they vomit:
    • They have likely absorbed some of the medicine, so it is best to wait until it is time to give another dose.
    • In the case of fever/pain remedies, you may be able to provide a different medication instead.
    • Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen work differently and are safe together, so if your child has vomited after administering one and still has symptoms, you can give the other.


child blowing her nose with winter clothes

Cold and Flu Home Remedies for Kid

One of the most frequent questions we get from parents in our pediatrics office is “what are the best cold and flu home remedies?” Although it comes around every year, cold and flu season can still bring stress and sleepless nights. If your child is in daycare or school, it can feel like the colds are nonstop from fall through spring. Even though we can’t eliminate those nasty viruses, we can give you the inside scoop on our favorite cold and flu season home remedies. Read on to learn what we stock our medicine cabinets with as pediatrician moms!

Stuffy Noses

Nasal saline spray or drops– help loosen up nasal congestion and soothe dry, irritated nasal passages.

  • We recommend 1 spray in each nostril or 1-2 drops in each nostril.


Snot sucker (nasal aspirator) – just like it sounds, these are devices designed to help suck the mucous out of your baby or child’s nose since they can’t yet blow their noses effectively.

  • There are many different types, but we recommend one that comes apart entirely so you can clean it well. The bulb suctions you get in the hospital for your newborn are ok for a few uses but are difficult to clean thoroughly, so we recommend replacing them pretty quickly.
  • Nasal suction works best after nasal saline drops or spray to loosen the congestion.


Humidifier – adding moisture to the air can help loosen nasal congestion and soothe dry coughs.

  • There are many great options out there! Be sure to use them as directed and clean regularly to avoid mold and germs.


Gentle face wipes or tissues with aloe – runny noses can be constant, and continuous wiping can irritate little noses.

  • We recommend soft tissues with aloe or unscented wet wipes that contain mostly water.


Fevers and discomfort


Fever and pain medicines – Fevers are one of the body’s ways of fighting off infection. They don’t always need treatment, but if they are making your child feel poorly or not eating or drinking well, treating the fever can help them feel better. If they have pain from body aches or a sore throat these medicines can provide some relief.

  • Acetaminophen is the only safe option for pain and fever medication for babies under six months.
  • Ibuprofen is a pain reliever and fever medication that decreases inflammation and is safe to give after six months of age.
  • For more information about fevers, check out our article, Fever FAQ.


Coughs and Scratchy Throats

Natural cough syrups – conventional cough medicines typically contain dextromethorphan, which is not safe in children under six. They are also not as effective as some natural remedies such as honey. I bet you can guess our go-to’s for natural cough medicine for our kids!

  • ZenOsa’s Organic Children’s Cough Syrup – has delicious organic honey, which soothes the throat and decreases cough. Honey is only safe for children over one year.
  • ZenOsa’s Organic Baby Cough Syrup – is safe for babies less than one year of age and contains monk fruit instead of honey.
  • Both of our formulations contain powerful immune-boosting vitamins to help your child recover faster!


Menthol Chest Rub – for children over age two apply a mentholated chest rub over their chest and neck to help relieve symptoms of cough. If your child has sensitive skin test a small patch of skin before applying liberally.


Liquids – Helping your child drink plenty of fluids helps to avoid dehydration and can thin out mucous that causes stuffy noses and coughs.

  • Water
  • Pedialyte
  • Diluted juice (half juice/half water)
  • Popsicles



Immune supporting vitamins – there is evidence that certain supplements can help cold symptoms resolve faster!

  • ZenOsa’s cough syrup formulations contain the recommended immune-boosting ingredients, so you don’t have to give multiple medications; parenting win!
  • We recommend elderberry, zinc, vitamin c, and vitamin d to help your little one recover sooner!



We hope these effective home remedies help you get through cold and flu season with a little less worry. As always, if you have questions or concerns about your child’s health, be sure to discuss them with your pediatrician! Best of luck this cold and flu season!


Brown medicine bottle with medicine dropper containing a honey colored liquid.

Is Natural the Same as Organic?

Is Natural the Same as Organic?


There is a growing demand for organic and natural products amongst savvy consumers. However, brands can use these terms on their labels differently, and it can be unclear. Customers may be unsure whether natural is the same as organic or whether it even matters! We are big fans of natural, organic ingredients at ZenOsa, but it is important to know that “natural” doesn’t always mean better! Read on for more info on what it means for a product to claim it is “natural” and what to look for if you want to make sure that you are an informed consumer!


What does it mean if a product says it is “natural?”

A product saying “Natural” is fine, but the truth is, it doesn’t tell you much by itself! The word “natural” doesn’t have a clear legal definition or require a special certification. If this is important to you, you can be a savvy consumer by checking the label for what specific ingredients are listed. Pay attention to how transparent the company is about what is and isn’t in the product. For example, brands can list “natural flavors” as an ingredient without clarifying what that means. This term is loosely regulated and can contain >100 different chemicals that companies are not required to disclose.


Are natural products automatically safer?

Not necessarily! Natural doesn’t mean that the product doesn’t potentially include harmful things that could cause adverse or allergic reactions. Beware of vague or misleading ingredients. Supplements generally are also more loosely regulated than other types of medications. Therefore, you want to make sure you research, check labels and choose brands you trust! 


What does it mean if a product says it is “organic?”

Organic ingredients have to meet strict guidelines about how the producers grow and source them. A product must contain at least 95% organic ingredients overall to get a USDA Certified Organic seal. We chose to offer certified organic products because this certification holds brands accountable for higher quality and sustainability standards throughout the production process; from growing and sourcing ingredients through manufacturing and production. Choosing certified organic to us means choosing the safest option for our planet and our kids, a no brainer!


The ZenOsa Difference:


But we mean it! At ZenOsa, when we say “natural,” we mean our ingredients come from nature and that our products are drug-free and contain no artificial flavors or colors.


Our products are USDA certified organic, so you can be sure they are of the highest quality and standards.


As Pediatrician Moms, we created our formulas with the help of a team of physician-scientists who use the latest scientific evidence to support their efficacy and safety. Our products are also drug-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and alcohol-free.


We formulate our products using simple ingredients backed by science. We are committed to clearly listing every ingredient in our products so that you, our consumers, can make an informed choice. We even take it a step further, and when we use something in our products, we want you to know why! So if we use it, you can be sure that it is not only safe, but it is there for a reason. Check out our learn more page for more info about each of our ingredients and shop for ZenOsa products here.

Read more about our choices regarding organic ingredients on our faq page, here. For more information on USDA organic certification requirements head to the USDA website. To deep dive into what labeling requirements are in place by the FDA for food and dietary substances, read more here.

In summary, some excellent natural ingredients can be great for our health! However, natural products aren’t automatically better. There is a growing body of research studying which natural remedies and supplements have scientifically proven benefits and which do not. Choose companies that back up their ingredients with science and tell you the whole story about what is in their products!