Everything You Need in Your Baby’s First Aid Kit & Why

You would think that by the time I had my third kid I’d know all the baby products I really needed. Right? I mean, as far as the big-ticket items (like a car seat and a crib) went, I was sorted. I had stacks of soft blankets, enough diapers and wipes to see us through the first several weeks, and onesies and sleep suits in a range of sizes. What more could a new mom (and her tiny new human) need? Well, it turns out…quite a lot. There are plenty of items that are absolutely essential for new parents, but because they don’t necessarily scream “baby” we completely forget to buy them (in bulk, no less). From stamps to batteries, there are quite a few purchases you don’t want to be making after the fact of birth — you know, while your stitches are still healing.

What I’d missed on my list? It was a baby first kit aid — I guess with five other kids in the house, I just assumed we had all the illness and injury bases covered. But babies have quite different health needs than older children, as well as much smaller body parts that sometimes need their own special bits and pieces.

Of course, every tot comes with their own particular health needs, whether it’s a constant stream of snot or gums that just won’t give them a break. You’ll need to tailor your baby’s first aid kit accordingly. But these products are a pretty good place to start.

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Thermometers come in all shapes and sizes — by far the best for your infant’s first year is a rectal and axillary (underarm) type. This gives you the most accurate temperature, pediatrician Danelle Fisher tells SheKnows. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to spend a fortune on the priciest model — you can get what you need for around $10 or less.    

Baby Digital Thermometer, $11.95 at Amazon. 

Saline spray

Nasal saline drops are great for clearing congested little noses, pediatrician Cathi Badik tells SheKnows. The Little Remedies Saline Spray and Drops has a really child-(and parent-)friendly design; it can be held downward as a saline dropper or upright as a saline spray. 

Little Remedies Saline Spray and Drops, $4.19 at Amazon. 

Nasal aspirator

Speaking of noses, sometimes those blockages need a little extra help to disperse. “Babies breathe through their noses for the first six months of life, so any congestion or blockage in their little nose makes them very unhappy,” explains Dr. Badik. A nasal aspirator can help get some of the snot out; it could be the best few bucks you spend on your tot. 

Briggs Baby Nasal Aspirator, $2.75 at Amazon. 

Diaper barrier cream

A great diaper barrier cream doesn’t just work wonders for your baby’s bottom; it can be used to treat rashes and inflamed skin on other parts of their body, as well as minor insect bites and stings. You’ll probably experiment with a few before you find the one that works its magic for you; Wink Kids Bum Balm, which is has no artificial fragrances, parabens, petroleum or BHA, should be on your list.  

Wink Naturals Baby Bum Balm, $16.49 at Amazon. 

Nail files

If you panic at the thought of trimming your baby’s teeny-tiny fingernails, you’re not alone. They can be surprisingly sharp, so they do need regular attention. But ditch the nail scissors. “Often a baby’s little nails are really hard to trim, so I think a nail file can be a little easier,” said Dr. Badik. 

Baby Nail File, 3 Pack, $4.99 at Amazon. 

Nail care set

That said, while you might not use everything straight away, a nail care set with scissors, nail clippers and tweezers can be a useful addition to your first aid kit. “Tweezers can be useful for removing any splinters,” pediatrician Gina Posner tells SheKnows.

Baby Nail Kit by ARRNEW, $10.99 at Amazon. 

Gauze pads

Dr. Posner also recommends adding gauze pads to your first aid kit to stop bleeding from cuts or scrapes and keep injured areas of skin clean. Add simple adhesive bandages and cleaning wipes and you’re sorted, even if you don’t have soap and water on hand. 

Band-Aid Brand Cushion Care Sterile Gauze Pads, $5.70 at Amazon. 

Pain reliever

If your baby has a fever (a temperature of 100.3 degrees in infants age three months and younger; 101 degrees in infants age three to six months), your doc might recommend children’s acetaminophen. (Tots over six months can get Ibuprofen.) “You should only give this medication under doctor’s orders during the first few months of life, but it is very helpful to have on hand,” said Dr. Badik. “You will also need to get the appropriate dose for your baby from your doctor, so make sure to ask when you see your pediatrician to be prepared ahead of time.”

Wellness Basics Children’s Pain & Fever Relief Acetaminophen Dye-Free Liquid, $4.38 at Amazon. 

Prepackaged first aid kit

If you want to make postpartum life a little easier (who doesn’t?) go for a prepackaged first-aid kit, which will contain many of the essential items. It won’t have everything your family needs, though, so use it as a starting point and add the extra items you require. 

American Red Cross Deluxe Health and Grooming Kit, $17.23 at Amazon. 

Emergency names and numbers

The most important thing you have in your first aid kit may be a list of emergency names and numbers. If you — or a sitter — need urgent help or medical attention, the last thing you want to be doing is searching the entire house for the right information. Include details for your family doctor or pediatrician, the local hospital, police and fire departments and the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ national emergency hotline: (800) 222-1222. Then laminate it and pop it at the bottom of your first aid kit — with strict instructions that it stays there forever. 

Scotch Glossy Document or Photo Laminating Pouch, $5.47 at Amazon. 

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