24 April 2008

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

Your comments

Feed Follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

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.

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.

That's actually a great idea. I'd never even thought about that before. I think my sons a pretty light sleeper though so I don't know if thid would work but I can guarantee you that we'll be trying it soon!


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.

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.

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!

We close comments after a month to guard against spam. Want to talk about this hack? Join us on Twitter and Facebook!


Free updates

  • Subscribers are my VIPs. My weekly newsletter includes a personal update, the latest from Parent Hacks, interesting links and news.

    Subscribers also get priority event invitations and occasional surprises via snail mail.

Asha's Book

  • At Amazon: Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less

    Find out why doing less is the key to resourceful, thriving kids, and a calmer, happier YOU.

    Minimalist Parenting is an encouraging roadmap for decluttering your schedule, your home, and your vision for family life. Reviewers call it "a much welcome alternative to the usual parenting advice."

    Learn More at Amazon

    Also available at Barnes & Noble or your favorite local bookstore.

New Book Coming Soon!

  • Coming soon: Parent Hacks Book

Start Amazon shopping here