How to Build a Baby First Aid Kit
Between cold season and everyday boo-boos, there will be moments in the first year of parenthood that test your medical know-how. When baby’s injured or unwell, you may feel helpless—but a well-stocked first aid kit can help. It keeps essential supplies at hand, so you don’t have to scramble to find anything in an emergency situation. Use this guide to stock your medicine cabinet or baby first aid kit, and you’ll be prepared for all minor bumps, scrapes and illnesses. While at-home care is the first line of defense when baby’s sick, always discuss medications and treatments with your pediatrician before giving them to an infant.
“A thermometer and fever reducer are key,” says Alexis Phillips, DO, a pediatrician at Memorial Hermann Medical Group Pediatrics in Atascocita, Texas. Parents should always travel with these items, as you can’t predict when baby will spark a fever, continues Philips. Here, find a list of other first aid essentials to help you treat minor ailments and illnesses at home:
- Blunt scissors
- Baby thermometer
- Cotton balls (don’t use swabs to clean baby’s nose or ears)
- Baby brush or comb
- Medicine dropper
- Bulb syringe/nasal aspirator
- Saline nasal drops (AAP-approved in place of cough and cold medicine)
- Petroleum jelly and sterile gauze (for circumcision care)
- Baby nail clippers
- Baby gas drops (AAP-approved Simethicone) or gripe water
- Infant Acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol, safe after 12 weeks)
- Antibiotic cream (safe for ages 2 and up)
- Band aids
- Infant toothbrush
- Hand sanitizer (safe for ages 2 and up)
Planning to put together a DIY baby first aid kit? The good news is that you’ll probably find many of the essential items in your bathroom cabinet at home. But if you don’t, here are a few healthcare products with The Bump seal of approval.
A small pair of scissors is a baby first aid kit essential. Use them to cut gauze dressings to the right size, open packages and trim fingernails or hangnails. This pair of scissors comes with a file and magnifying glass, which will help you get a good look at those tiny nail beds.
A fever (any temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) is often the first sign of illness in young children, so it’s important to have a trustworthy thermometer at home. Although a rectal reading is recommended for infants under the age of one, a contactless model is the most hygienic choice for a first aid kit. FridaBaby’s Best of Baby award-winning infrared thermometer gives an accurate read in seconds to help you determine next steps.
Sterile cotton wool is a must for any baby first aid kit. From applying antiseptic to cleaning scrapes, these fluffy cotton balls are sure to come in clutch. Pick up a box at your local drugstore or stock up online.
While it’s not strictly necessary, a hairbrush or comb may come in handy in a baby first aid kit. Opt for a brush with soft bristles that’s gentle on sensitive scalps.
Administering medicine to baby isn’t always the easiest task—especially if they don’t like the taste. This syringe-style medicine dispenser bypasses baby’s taste-buds and helps you get the correct dose every time.
Baby can’t physically blow their nose, which means it’s your job to clear any stuffiness. Fortunately, the Braun nasal aspirator offers a safe and hygienic solution. The suction can be adjusted to suit baby’s comfort level, and the mucus chamber, nose tip and mouth piece are all top-rack dishwasher safe. Is it any wonder that this device won a Best of Baby award in 2022?
A few drops of saline solution can help loosen stubborn mucus in baby’s nose. Use it on its own or alongside a nasal aspirator to offer relief from a stuffy nose.
Vaseline (also known as petroleum jelly) has a variety of uses, add a dab to dry skin, or slather it on to prevent diaper rash.
Gauze is another item you’ll find at your local drugstore. Use it to clean minor scrapes, or to dress deeper cuts.
Baby’s nails can get pretty sharp, if you don’t trim them regularly, so to avoid scratches invest in a child-friendly clipper. This Best of Baby award-winning option by Safety 1st has an easy-to-grip handle, but the blade is perfectly sized for those tiny digits. Plus, a built-in LED light means you can trim those talons while baby sleeps for a stress-free experience.
Baby gas drops
If your little one gets fussy after mealtimes, it's a good idea to add gas drops to baby’s first aid kit. Mommy’s Bliss is a simethicone-based remedy that breaks up bubbles in baby’s tummy to provide gentle, effective relief from gas.
If baby has a mild fever, infants’ Tylenol is a safe and effective treatment. Keep a bottle in your medicine cabinet or first aid kit, but remember to consult your pediatrician if you have any questions about dosage.
Kids on the move are bound to get a few bumps and scrapes. Include an antibiotic cream in your family’s first aid kit, and dab it on deeper cuts to aid the healing process. Just remember that antibiotic cream is not recommended for children under the age of 2.
Oftentimes, a kiss and a bravery badge (aka a bandaid) is the best cure for a boo-boo. Welly bandages come in two kid-friendly sizes and a variety of fun prints. Plus, the reusable tin is sealed on all sides to prevent germs and dirt getting inside.
If baby gets a splinter, tweezers are the best way to remove it. This pair is lightweight and easy to grip—and it’s made of plastic so it won’t nip baby’s skin.
If baby puts something yucky in their mouth, it’s helpful to have a travel toothbrush in your first aid kit. This finger toothbrush by Dr. Brown’s comes in a compact carry case and has soft silicone bristles to clean baby’s gums and emerging teeth.
Hand sanitizer isn’t safe for kids under the age of 2, but it’s still a useful addition to baby’s first aid kit. Use it to disinfect your hands before and after tending to baby’s medical needs.
A pre-made first aid kit is a good option if you’re just after the true necessities. After all, you most likely already have bandaids, cotton and any necessary medication. Below, find two of the best baby first aid kits equipped with healthcare and grooming essentials.
Red Cross baby first aid kit
Created by the American Red Cross, this seven-piece healthcare kit has many of the medical essentials you need for the first year with baby. Inside the travel case, you’ll find a nasal aspirator, digital thermometer, medicine dropper and baby nail clipper, plus a health and wellness guide.
Safety 1st baby first aid kit
This 25-piece set is filled with healthcare products, like a bulb aspirator, thermometer, medicine dispenser and more, plus grooming essentials. It even includes a laminated card for emergency contact details. Keep it in the trunk of your car, or pack it in your luggage for vacations.
About the expert:
Alexis Phillips, DO, is a pediatrician at Memorial Hermann Medical Group Pediatrics in Atascocita, Texas. She earned her medical degree at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens.
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.
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