It was absolutely heartbreaking when my infant daughter was diagnosed as having a hemangioma, otherwise known as a vascular birthmark, that was so large that it required immediate attention. Worse was the news that leaving the hemangioma untreated would likely cause optical damage that would be irreversible. So, we ordered up the required medicine and hoped with everything we had that it would work.
What I hadn’t realized was how hard giving her the awful tasting medicine would be, and how frequently we would have to give it. The first night, we tried the dropper and syringe against the cheek as her pediatrician had recommended only to have her spit back out the medicine immediately. In one instant I had a million things rushing through my mind – if the medicine is the only thing that can save her sight and she refuses to take the medicine, where does that leave us?
I began an exhaustive search of the web to see what I could find to get her to ingest some of the medicine and found the Munchkin Medicator, amongst other infant medicine dispensers. I canceled my plans for that evening and went on a tour of area pharmacies to try and track down a dispenser so we didn’t have to wait for one to ship. After six stores I had finally found the Munchkin dispenser and I couldn’t wait to get home and try it.
Designed as a cross between a bottle and a pacifier, the Munchkin dispenser has a small medicine measurement container with select cc and tsp labels that screws onto what looks like an oblong bottle top and clear nipple. We went home and washed up the Medicator, filled it with the awful tasting liquid and screwed the nipple back on. It was time to try again and see if we could get baby to ingest any of it this time.
Shockingly, she took it like a champ, gulping the liquid right out of the dispenser without any prodding on our part. I can’t even tell you what it felt like to have hope again in the midst of so much worry. Part of the brilliance of the Munchkin Medicator is the fact that the nipple dispenses the medicine at the far back of the throat, which means that baby doesn’t taste the liquid in her mouth at all as she gulps. The method of dispensing medicine into a baby’s cheeks works fine for some medications, but not this awful tasting pink goopiness that is to be her morning snack and her after dinner dessert for the next few months.
The one main flaw I see with the design is that it is rather easy to screw the cap on crooked because the measurement container doesn't have threads to screw into the top, it just has plastic tabs to line up with the cap threads. This means that whatever liquid medicine you have inside will flow down the side of it and get all over everything if it is not together exactly right, which will ruin outfits, blankets, you name it. It's happened enough times that I now turn the Medicator upside down completely to test it each time before giving medicine in it.
The other flaw I noticed is that only certain measurements are marked on the medicine container itself, which means that unless your dosage is one of the ones listed you will be guesstimating, which is not usually recommended by physicians. We ended up using a syringe to measure the liquid before filling the Medicator, but it would have been so much nicer to be able to use the measurements on the Medicator itself.
I wish someone had told me about this dispenser before I needed it, and I could have had one on hand, just in case. It would have saved a lot of worry if I had known that my baby eventually would take the medicine as prescribed. I absolutely recommend that every expectant parent get a Munchkin Medicator to have on hand. At this low price and the almost guarantee that at some point your child will need to take some sort of medicine or vitamin, you just cannot afford to not own one. I currently own 5, because it makes me worry less that something is going to happen that will prevent me from getting her the medicine she needs. When your baby’s sight depends on something, you will do anything and everything to make sure that it happens.
Functionality: High, even with the two design flaws mentioned, it is vastly superior to the other methods available.
Looks: Does it matter in any way, whatsoever? It’s a medicine dispenser, and it works.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 marks, because I can ignore any small flaws when a product gives you an easier way to take care of a sick baby.