First Aid Kit Essentials

One thing about parenthood is practically guaranteed. If your new baby gets sick, it will be in the middle of the night...in a snowstorm. Be prepared with these must-have items.

Your first aid kit checklist

A new baby in the house means it's time to check your medicine cabinet. Chances are, you'll have everything but the one item you need on a cold and rainy night when your baby is crying inconsolably. So plan ahead, with this first aid kit checklist and make sure these items are close at hand.

Equipment

  • Thermometer-the high-tech digitals are wonderful, but be sure to have an old-fashioned rectal one too, as a backup.
  • Tweezers (for splinter removal)
  • Nasal aspirator
  • Medicine dropper
  • Baby nail scissors or clippers
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Self-adhesive bandages
  • Gauze pads and bandage tape

Medicines and Preparations

  • Infant acetaminophen and infant ibuprofen drops-generally you'll need ibuprofen for high fevers, acetaminophen for low fevers and other aches, such as teething or post-vaccine discomfort. (Remember to check expiration dates periodically.)
  • Rubbing alcohol for cleaning thermometers and tweezers
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Antibiotic cream for cuts and scrapes
  • Hydrocortisone cream for insect bites or skin rashes
  • Activated charcoal and syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting in case of poisoning (always check with your doctor or local poison control center before administering either one)
  • Topical teething gel
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Saline nose drops
  • Oral rehydrating solution for diarrhea
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