The scariest scenario is having a sick and crying baby in the middle of the night without proper medicine on hand or in the medicine cabinet.
Sure, pharmaceutical stores are now open 24/7, but it’s not always possible to run to one in the wee hours of the morning!
Our best tip is to fill up your first aid kit or medicine cabinet with the necessary medical supplies (with the doctor’s approval), so everything will be within reach at any given moment.
Baby’s Medicine Cabinet and First Aid Kit Checklist
A baby first-aid kit is just like any other first-aid kit but with baby-safe medical supplies. Of course, you can throw in over-the-counter products, but ensure that these won’t be harmful to your children.
This list we’ve prepared will give you an idea of the essential supplies for your first aid bag or medicine cabinet, but you don’t need to include everything.
Choose the medicine and supplies that are appropriate and safe for your child’s age, and make sure you have an easy-to-access medicine cabinet during emergencies.
1. Infant Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
As we’re familiar with Tylenol for adults, infant acetaminophen is a pain and fever reducer/reliever for your sick baby.
This fever reducer/pain reliever will definitely come in handy!
Keep in mind that there are proper ways to administer infant acetaminophen for pain relief to your kids.
First is the cycle. The usual process is every 4 hours until the symptoms last, but make sure to not give them more than five doses within 24 hours — this is excessive.
If the symptoms don’t get better with around four doses, it’s best to consult your child’s pediatrician or go to the nearest emergency hospital for assistance.
The second important consideration is the medicine dosages of giving Tylenol.
Remember that this will largely depend on your baby’s weight — NOT AGE. Here is an infant acetaminophen dosing chart for your guidance.
If you’re unsure, it’s best to seek the help of a medical professional. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help!
2. Saline Nasal Drops/Baby Nasal Aspirator
The next must-have in the medicine cabinet or bag is saline drops. When your baby’s nose is stuffy, it can be highly uncomfortable for them — and even dangerous for a newborn.
Though a child’s nose becoming congested is normal and unavoidable, it’s best to relieve them as soon as possible.
Your baby will be fussy and won’t be able to sleep because he can’t breathe properly. A few drops will do the trick.
BE CAREFUL, though.
There’s a limit on how often and how you use a baby nasal aspirator in general. Excessive use will lead to the irritation of your baby’s nose and cause even more discomfort.
Alternative: Vicks VapoPads
But say you don’t have a nasal aspirator or you run out of saline drops at the last minute, you might find some Vicks VapoPads in your home.
Lucky for you, Vicks VapoPads is safe for babies as long as they’re two years old and above.
You can keep some stocked up inside your baby’s medicine cabinet, but again, please take note: it’s not safe for infants or babies aged two years old and below.
Vicks VapoPads are only for quick fixes, and there are CONS to using them a lot.
Remember that this is mainly a product for adults! Run to your local pharmacy first thing in the morning and stock up on nasal aspirators.
3. Vitamin D Drops for Babies
Next on the list is to keep some Vitamin D drops. This is a good vitamin option to nourish your baby’s body and overall health.
We suggest keeping decent supplies of vitamin D drops so you have them handy in your baby’s medicine cabinet.
If you’re still looking for reliable brands, we have a buying guide on the best baby vitamin D drops that are approved and recommended by doctors.
But of course, we still encourage you to consult your child’s doctor. They will know best since they can examine your baby’s physical well-being first-hand!
4. Healing Creams and Gels
We all know too well how sensitive our baby’s skin is and expect that irritated skin can also mean an irritated baby!
To be extra safe, don’t use these products hastily on a newborn child since a wrong move may harm your baby’s health rather than help them.
After all, these are still over-the-counter medicines with chemicals (but not all substances are BAD!).
We’re all familiar with petroleum jelly. It’s made of wax and oil that can be used to moisturize and calm down irritated skin.
It’s safe to use as a topical medicine for toddlers and children, don’t use it excessively.
We know this is self-explanatory, but we’ll still say it.
Make sure that your child won’t ingest petroleum jelly — whether by accidentally eating or inhaling it. If they do, head to your nearest pediatrics clinic.
Use q-tips or cotton balls to gently spread this on your baby’s skin.
Hydrocortisone cream is typically used for allergies, eczema, insect bites, and rashes. Having one in your first-aid bag will be helpful for the entire family, too.
It relieves itching and irritation for your baby’s immediate comfort.
But again, excessive use is highly discouraged, especially for younger babies. For infants in their first few months, consult your doctor first.
Diaper Rash Cream
Diaper rash is common among babies.
This often prevents them from sleeping soundly at night since the itch can be uncomfortable.
But thankfully, as typical as it is, it’s safer to apply creams on this area since there are fewer risks of ingesting them as opposed to parts closer to your baby’s nose and mouth.
Ask your pediatrician what brand of rash cream they suggest, and stock up on them!
Antibiotic cream is for wounds and infections.
But in general, parents and guardians should refrain from giving antibiotics to your baby without medical advice. Be it an antibiotic cream or syrup, always ask your pediatrician first.
Antibiotics are a strong drug, and especially for younger babies, they might do more harm than good.
Only administer antibiotic cream when advised by a doctor (including during pregnancy), but it also won’t hurt to keep a tube in your first-aid bag.
Pedialyte is for diarrhea and vomiting situations. It’s an electrolyte solution to keep them hydrated. Think of its purpose being similar to Gatorade for adults!
How Much Pedialyte Is Safe For a 6-Month-Old?
It can be worrying when your baby has been vomiting and pooping liquid non-stop. We can only imagine the terror for our new moms and dads.
Water isn’t enough to hydrate your baby, and you need an electrolyte solution to keep up with the loss of liquid.
It may be tempting, though, to feed your baby with a lot of Pedialyte. But be cautious of the dosage of Pedialyte you give.
How Long Does Pedialyte Last? Does It Go Bad?
It’s also important to know the expiration of Pedialyte. While we encourage you to stock up on these medical supplies, it’s also crucial to check their expiration dates.
Some go bad in weeks, and you might accidentally feed them to your children in times of emergencies!
As for this case, Pedialyte can expire fast after opening. You can read the article for more thorough explanations, but the quick answer is that it expires within 48 hours of opening.
Other than medicines, it’s also advisable to keep baby tools in the medicine cabinet!
Baby Nail Clippers
Baby nail clippers slightly differ from the ones adults use, so it’s good to have a separate one for your baby. The difference isn’t rocket science, though. It’s more of the SIZE.
Since your baby’s hands and feet are smaller, the standard clippers might cut them, especially if they’re becoming fussy. We all know how hard it can be to cut their nails as they move a lot!
It’s a good idea to have baby nail clippers inside your medicine cabinet at home, and another set of baby nail clippers to store inside your baby’s bag just in case you’ll need one when you leave the house.
For babies aged six months and below, using a rectal thermometer will give more accurate results rather than a standard digital thermometer on the armpits and forehead.
Expect that your baby won’t be as comfortable with this, so prepare to calm them down or have some tactics to distract them.
If you’re not entirely sure or confident about how to do it, ask your doctor for instructions and advice on how to use a rectal thermometer.
This is also where the petroleum jelly we mentioned will come in handy! Use it as a lubricant to not hurt your baby’s rectum.
If your baby gets fussy, then settling for a digital thermometer would be your next best option.
Similar to a nasal aspirator, but the source of suction of a bulb syringe is different.
But like nasal aspirators, a bulb syringe will be helpful for your baby’s stuffy nose.
Home Remedies and Natural Baby Medicine Alternatives
It’s not ideal for a baby (specifically for those under a year old) to receive one over-the-counter medicine after another.
Even healthy babies will get sick a lot, but there’s usually nothing serious to worry about.
If your pediatrician agrees, you can try some non-medical, natural alternatives first if the conditions are still mild (i.e., colds, slight cough, mild rashes, etc.).
Lots of Liquids
Other than milk, it’s also essential to keep them hydrated with lots of water! But as with everything on this list, don’t go overboard or be too excessive or else it could lead to your baby dribbling!
Remember that your babies are still sensitive to everything, and a good balance is essential!
Suction or Saline Nasal Drops
Before giving them a pack of colds medicine for the baby’s stuffy nose, consider sucking out mucus from their noses first.
Frequently, the congestion is because they can’t blow hard by themselves, so they’ll need your help!
Cool Mist Humidifier
If you want to steer away from the nasal drops, you can also try a humidifier to relieve them for a bit. But be reminded to put clean water only and not with those essential oils — they’re not good for them!
Also, don’t keep the humidifier on for long hours. A few minutes should be okay.
Sick or not, your baby will need good hours of sleep.
You’ll notice some of these illnesses kicking in when your baby stays awake crying all night and doesn’t get the right amount of sleep.
You can try switching their milk feeding schedules, sleep training, or any trick that can improve your baby’s sleeping cycle.
You can also ask your pediatrics; they’ll for sure have some suggestions for you.
All in all, it also boils down to the CYCLE.
For example, if your baby has irritated skin or some uncomfortable rashes, they’ll probably have a hard time falling asleep as well!
So it’s crucial to ensure their well-being in ALL ASPECTS.
For older children, you can consider changing their diets and giving them healthier food.
As our kids grow, they’re also more likely to be exposed to junk foods and preservatives — so that may be the culprit.
Parents know very well that this is easier said than done, but it’s worth the stress if it means an overall healthier child, right?
Steam can also help relieve a congested nose.
But rather than exposing your baby to hot steam like a sauna (it can be uncomfortable and dangerous if you don’t know how to control the temperature), consider giving them a warm bath instead.
It can be a regular bath or a sponge bath, but it will surely make them comfortable!
Consult Your Pediatrician
And lastly, know when to reach out to your doctor. If the symptoms don’t go away for more than 2-3 days, it’s probably time to see your pediatrician.
While frequently giving OTC medicines isn’t advisable, it’s also wrong to ignore the symptoms and keep doing home remedies when your child is not responding to the treatments.
Baby Ailments You Should Know About
So, why are parents and doctors frantic about taking proper care of babies?
Babies are exposed to different kinds of ailments. And if we’re not careful, it could be detrimental to their health. Trust us; it pays to be prepared than bearing risks.
Here are some ailments that will be helpful to know.
Colic is when your baby is fussing and crying intensely for no apparent reason or cause.
While crying is normal, you’ll know it’s excessive when it goes on for more than 3-4 hours in a day and 3-4 days a week.
It can be horrifying for parents when their baby’s crying becomes uncontrollable, but there are ways to relieve them.
The MOST CRUCIAL STEP is finding the leading cause — a digestive problem, restlessness, allergies, etc.
Sometimes, amidst the fuss and crying, your baby might spit up a yellow substance too. You can assess if this is just milk or vitamins, but ask your doctor if you don’t know.
It’s best to bring them to your pediatrics to get a check-up for unsure situations.
As we know, crying and vomiting are indications of pain or discomfort, and there might be something you’re missing out on.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
For new moms, TAKE NOTE!
For sure, SIDS is one of the anxiety-inducing conditions for parents.
We suggest paying extra attention to your babies when they’re around 2-3 months until a year old since this is the age when SIDS happens more frequently.
We agree that it’s a scary syndrome, but you can worry less by familiarizing the ways to prevent SIDS.
You know what they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
This long list of first-aid kit and baby supplies might seem intimidating and overwhelming at first, but it’s a worthy investment to make for your baby’s safety and health!
September 13, 2022 – minor content edits
July 27, 2022 – Added 1 new article link