Apply antibiotic ointment while the kid’s asleep

When you can’t win the game, change the rules. (In a good way.) From Jeff:

Our 4 year old son was diagnosed with impetigo (also known as infantago, among other things). His doctor prescribed an antibiotic ointment for him, which he did not like AT ALL. He would cry and wipe it off as soon as it was put on his face. Then my wife came up with the idea of putting it on him while he was sleeping; this ended up working like a charm. We put it on him once just after he went to sleep, and again just before he usually wakes up. After a few days, his impetigo cleared up with no more fussing or crying.

I should mention that the impetigo was on his upper lip and nose, both of which are easily accessible while he sleeps. Other body parts may not be so easy to reach, but this is definitely worth trying if you can manage it.

This tip has popped up in other variations — other Parenthackers have suggested cutting nails, applying lip balm, and other tricky care tasks while kids are asleep.

Related: Cut baby’s fingernails while she’s in a front carrier

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  1. Duffgirl says

    I have a newborn with conjunctivitis. The doctor prescribed an ointment to put in his eyes. But the tube was really pointy and I was scared to death that if he quickly turn his head while I was putting it in I would stab his eye. So I found that if I waited until he was asleep I could safely administer the ribbon of eye ointment as prescribed.

  2. says

    My toddler son recently broke his arm, and the cast rubbed a raw spot on his thumb and near his elbow.

    He also hated having ointment on those spots when he was awake, so we applied it after he fell asleep.

  3. nbartusi says

    Mine would also fight getting ointment put on, until I asked if he wanted to put some on me. He smiles and pretends to put some on me, then I can put it on him where he put it on me.

  4. LK says

    We often cut our 6 year old’s toenails when he is asleep. We have found that if we wait too long after he initially falls asleep it does not work. If we do it about 1/2 hour after he falls asleep all is well. If we wait and longer he flails around in his sleep every time we touch him.

  5. zgma says

    I used to cut my son’s toenails all the time while he slept. Now he’s 5 and he happily lets me do it while he’s awake.

    My 1.5-year-old son, however, is such a light sleeper that every time I try to cut his nails while he’s sleeping, he wakes up. So now I tend to do it only when he has fallen asleep in the car and it’s not convenient for him to be asleep – and I do only the nail that is the worst offender, because one nail is all I can do.

    I also used to give my son haircuts that way, before he was old enough to know to stay still for a haircut. I never thought about using that trick for applying ointment, though – good one!