Whether you’re expecting or you’ve recently welcomed a new baby into your home, your to-do list is probably a mile long. Sleep may rank sleep at the top of that list, but you can’t forget the little details like stocking your baby’s medicine cabinet with the little bundle of joy in mind. If you think about what you had in your cabinet prior to getting pregnant, you’ll think of many things that your baby needs as well.
There are also some specialized items that apply specifically to growing babies, and it’s important to have those items on hand before they’re actually needed. From providing fast relief for swollen, aching gums when your baby is teething to soothing minor diaper rash so that it doesn’t become painful, it’s best to prepare today for situations that may cause your baby discomfort in the future.
Your Checklist for Baby’s Medicine Cabinet:
What exactly do you need in your baby medicine cabinet? This simple checklist will highlight the most common items that all parents, grandparents, and caregivers should have on hand at all times:
- Anti-inflammatory Creams: “No Time for Baby Eczema” and Aveeno are two examples of brand-name creams that fight inflammation and irritation on the skin. These creams are useful if your baby receives a bug bite or experiences other skin irritations. Make sure not to use these creams for more than a week at a time.
- Basic Accessories: You may need empty syringes or cotton balls and your baby may have other personal needs. These accessories will ensure that you have what is needed to apply other products quickly and efficiently.
- Cold Compress: You can buy instant compresses that provide fast relief for swelling that may come with minor injuries. A heating pad is also useful for older children able to handle the heat when needed. (We LOVE these! Handy AND adorable!)
- Cold, Flu & Allergy Medications: You put yourself out of your misery when you have a cold or the flu, and your baby will appreciate the same consideration. You can buy medications designed for mixed symptoms when your baby is in need, but it’s best to keep a standard antihistamine and a decongestant on hand at all times. You can buy all-natural cold medications if you’re concerned about chemicals in some products.
- Diaper Rash Protection: This includes the thick, white creams that contain zinc oxide (this one is our favorite!) as well as the clear ointments that contain petrolatum. Zinc oxide is the best course of treatment for an existing rash, but petrolatum ointments will effectively soothe many other types of skin irritations while helping to prevent rashes. You may keep these in your diaper bag, but it’s best to have a tube designated to the medicine cabinet as well.
- First Aid Kit: Minor cuts and scrapes come naturally with childhood, so get a good baby first aid kit and keep it on hand right from the start. You may need to replenish bandages and other items as they’re used up.
- Mini Flashlight: You may need to look down your child’s throat to check for signs of strep, or you may need to look closely into their ears for signs of infection. Small flashlights are easily found in the camping section of local stores or online.
- Nail Clippers: Buy the small ones designed for baby-sized fingers. A baby’s nails grow remarkably fast, so you may want to keep a pair in other areas of your home so that they’re within reach when your baby is relaxed or asleep for easier clipping.
- Nasal Aspirator: These are those bulbous things that you were probably given in the hospital to free your newborn’s nasal passages of anything that can stop them up. You may refer to them as “booger snatchers” or other fun names. You will use them regularly until your baby is old enough to blow their nose properly.
- Pain Relievers: Make sure that you keep infant pain reliever in the medicine cabinet and then upgrade to children’s products as your baby gets older. Tylenol and ibuprofen are readily available and are essential for bringing down high fevers and keeping your baby comfortable if they get sick. Some babies may also need pain relief due to injuries, medical procedures, or other personal circumstances. In that case, talk to your doctor to see if they prefer a certain brand or dosage.
- Petroleum Jelly: This is one of the most versatile products that you can add into your baby’s medicine cabinet. It could be listed as a diaper rash product, but there are so many other uses that it deserves more attention.
- Rubbing Alcohol: Use this to clean thermometer heads and other tools that may pass germs or collect bacteria.
- Saline Nose Drops: These salt water drops will effectively clear a stuffy nose, especially when used along with a humidifier in your baby’s sleeping space.
- Sunscreen: Keep a bottle in your diaper bag and car as well, and make sure that the SPF is suitable for your baby’s age.
- Teething Gels: Oragel and similar products will quickly dull the pain that comes with teething gums. It could make the difference between no sleep and a few hours of sleep on a rough teething night. You may also want to stock up on frozen teethers and teething toys while you’re at it.
- Thermometer: You have so many options beyond under-the-tongue models. You can buy a forehead (our favorite!) or under-arm thermometer or even a pacifier thermometer. Rectal thermometers are often used for newborns. You may also want to buy plastic covers so that you don’t have to worry about a sick baby depositing germs on an oral thermometer.
- Triple Antibiotic Ointment: Neosporin, anyone? You may already have this in your medicine cabinet, but double check or increase your supply before your baby starts crawling. Little bumps and minor cuts can occur as your little one starts to move toward two-legged transportation, and you don’t want them to suffer infections.
Today Is Stocking Day for Baby’s Medicine Cabinet
If you haven’t given much thought to your baby’s medicine cabinet, consider today stocking day. Start by printing this checklist or making a more condensed version that you can use as a shopping list. If you already have some items in your medicine cabinet, make sure that you have the baby version or that it’s safe to use the adult version for little ones. Some products are universal, but you should still research proper usage for babies.
Armed with your list, start ordering items online or head out for a shopping trip. You may also want to ask your pediatrician or family doctor about items that may relate to any medical conditions specific to your baby. Personalize your baby medicine cabinet!
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