No parent likes to think about their baby getting sick or hurt. You would do whatever it takes to keep that fragile little body as healthy as it can be. But the fact is that illnesses and injuries do happen. For your sake as well as your child's sake, the most important thing you can do for them is to be prepared. That means stocking your medicine cabinet with a few essentials for your baby - even before they're born. Here's your checklist:
For newborns up until six months old, a rectal thermometer provides the most accurate measure of your baby's temperature. After six months, you can switch to an ear or forehead thermometer if you prefer. It's best not to even try taking your squirming baby's temperature using their mouth or armpit.
Remember when your mother squirted liquid medicine into your mouth with one of those numbered plastic tubes? It's still an easy-to-use and easy-to-clean choice.
Bulb syringe and saline nasal drops
The syringe will help you to clear mucus out of your baby's stuffy nose, and then to administer saline drops to help them breathe easier.
Gas drops approved for babies contain simethicone, which helps to break up painful gas bubbles in the stomach that make your baby feel bloated and uncomfortable. You can mix them in water, formula, or breast milk - whatever your baby likes to drink best.
For fevers and pain from teething, Tylenol makes an infant version of what you might take for a headache. But be sensible: If your feverish baby is younger than 12 weeks old, don't give them any acetaminophen before making a call to your pediatrician. Some doctors will want you to bring the baby in for a check-up instead.
Balm and sterile gauze
A safe baby balm with beeswax, like the one on Clary Collection, is always good to keep on hand for diaper rash, dry skin, and minor cuts. Combined with the gauze, it also helps you care for your baby boy after circumcision.
We don't recommend using cotton swabs on your baby's ears or nose, in case you mistakenly push it in too deep. Cotton balls are a safer way to clean the most delicate parts of your baby's body.
All of the above items are good to have on hand at home. To be on the extra-safe side, you'll want some additional supplies for the diaper bag or the car. A well-stocked first-aid kit for your baby might contain the following:
- cold pack
- vinyl gloves
- foil blanket
- saline wash (for wounds and eye care)
- lint pads (for wounds and burns)
- adhesive tape
A clear head
No, it's not the sort of thing you can fit inside a medicine cabinet. But it's the single most vital thing you can possess if your baby is ill or injured. If you end up overwhelmed with worry over what might be going on with your child, you're missing the wherewithal to take the necessary steps to make everything better. Take a deep in-through-the-nose, out-through-the-mouth breath, count to 10, and use what's in your medicine cabinet for its intended purpose. If it might be more serious, take your baby to see a doctor and find out from them what you need to do next. Don't turn yourself into another patient when your little one needs you to be up and ready.