Oral syringe helps kids “sip” water without completely waking up

Melanie’s doing what she must to help her toddler sleep through his cough:

My little guy (22 months) has been hacking and coughing at night for some time now. I find that one way to calm the cough is to let him drink a bit of water. But, if he sits up and drinks water from a bottle or sippy cup, it wakes him up, and makes things worse for all of us. So what I do is get a cup of water, and use a syringe to get it to him…he can stay lying down, and half the time he doesn’t even really wake up. And, it eases the cough to let him get back to sleep.

More: Best of Parent Hacks: Cold and flu season tips


  1. says

    dry mouth and nose can make the night breathing stuff worse – while I like this hack (cough, hack), and have used it for medications as well, a humidifier may also be in order for the winter. (My kids are prone to croup brought on by dry air irritation, so we do the humdifier as a standard protocol as soon as the heating system kicks in during winter. It helps reduce the night-time water loss that happens just by breathing dry air.)

  2. says

    My kids just love the syringe in general, and possibly the sweet taste of Infant Motrin. So sometimes, if one twin is getting some meds for teething, the other gets a little squirt of water that is still slightly sweet from the other’s dose of Motrin.

  3. Jessica says

    Those are the best syringes you have pictured there. My pharamicist always makes my day when he gives us cool, parent-friendly tools.

  4. Melanie says

    Hedra, thanks for the tip…we tried a warm-mist humidifier and found it made the room too sticky/hot, now we are using a cool mist humidifier and it is definitely a big help. I think it’s just the actual closing his mouth long enough to swallow some water that breaks the coughing cycle and thus helps…I’ll keep doing it as long as it works :-)

  5. jim d. says

    i don’t if i’d use an oral syringe to give a semi-conscious of half-awake kid medications. they could easily aspirate it into their lungs. it’s dangerous.

    jim d.
    paramedic for 16 years (5 years at a children’s hospital)