12 Must-haves for a Baby Medicine Cabinet

Whether it is a rash, common cold, or fever, being prepared and stocking up on baby medicines can help you deal with the baby ailment in time. In this Buzzle article, we list the baby medicine cabinet essentials that can save you a late-night dash to the drugstore.
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Must-haves for a baby medicine cabinet
Quick Tip
It is a good idea to clean out your medicine cabinet at least once a year. This will help you dispose outdated and old products.
Keep the baby safe and be prepared. This is the motto that every parent should follow. After all, babies and toddlers are bound to suffer from the occasional bouts of cold with a runny nose or a bad case of diaper rash. Even when you think that you have survived the cold and flu season, one fine day, you come home to find a feverish kid with a bad hacking cough.

Keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet ensures that you do not have to run out to the drugstore in the middle of the night. Moreover, this arsenal of products allows you to quickly deal with common baby ailments, such as rashes and fevers, with ease. In this Buzzle article, we provide a list of things to keep in a baby medicine cabinet that are sure to provide relief during colds and make bumps and bruises feel better.

Digital Thermometer
If you are concerned that your child is running a fever, then you would definitely want to check their body temperature with a thermometer. Gone are the days when you had to use the riskier glass-and-mercury thermometer. Today's digital thermometers are less intrusive and provide the most accurate results. They use electronic heat sensors to record body temperature and can be used in the mouth, armpit, and rectum. Some people use digital ear thermometers that measure the temperature inside the ear canal using infrared rays. Although they seem easier to use, they are not very accurate as a smaller ear canal or presence of earwax can interfere with the accuracy of an ear thermometer.

Pain and Fever Relief Medication
Fever and pain are common in babies, especially ones who are teething. Use infant-formula acetaminophen and ibuprofen (for children aged six months and above) to reduce pain and fever. Ensure that the medication are infant-strength for babies under 35 pounds. For example: You need to buy infant acetaminophen containing 160 milligrams of acetaminophen per 5 milliliters as opposed to more concentrated formulas containing 80 milligrams in 0.8 or 1 milliliter. Even a small overdose can have some serious repercussions, so buy the correct concentration, and consult your doctor for appropriate dosage instructions.

Anti-itch Cream
Insect bites, eczema, and allergies can cause itchy rashes in babies. The persistent itching can leave your child restless and miserable all day. Oral antihistamine, such as Benadryl (Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride), and topical steroids, such as 1% hydrocortizone cream, can help control the itching. The AVEENO 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-itch Cream with ACTIVE NATURALS Triple Oat Complex provides relief from itching caused by eczema rashes or skin inflammation. Calamine lotion also provides relief from itching caused by certain rashes and insect bites.

Gas Drops
Excessive gas in babies can lead to discomfort and a lot of sleepless nights for you. To calm a fussy baby and provide relief from the painful symptoms of excess gas caused by swallowing excess air while bottle feeding or eating certain foods, you can try gas drops. Orally administered, Simethicone gas drops helps break up gas bubbles in the gut, and provides safe, gentle relief from gas discomfort in minutes. MYLICON Infant Gas Drops and Little Remedies For Tummys Gas Relief Drops are two popular OTC gas relief drops available in the market.

Humidifier
Since over-the-counter medication for cough and cold are considered unsafe for babies under the age of four years, you can use a humidifier or a cold-mist vaporizer to relieve symptoms of cold. The humidifier adds moisture to the air and relieves congestion from common cold, flu, and sinus infections. Although both warm mist as well as cold mist humidifiers are available in the market, it is best to use the cold mist variant that humidifies your home, and prevents risk of burns or injuries.

Diaper Rash Cream
No matter how careful you are or how many times you change diapers, most babies are bound to get diaper rashes once in a while. Thankfully, there are products that soothe a baby's sore skin or form a protective barrier. Diaper rash creams or ointments contain zinc oxide or petrolatum to provide an effective barrier. Some have ingredients such as cocoa butter and castor seed oil that soothe and heal the diaper rash. Some excellent diaper rash creams include DESITIN Rapid Relief Zinc Oxide Diaper Rash Cream and Boudreaux's Butt Paste.

Oral Rehydration Salts
When a baby has diarrhea or is vomiting continuously, dehydration can pose a problem. Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) are used to prevent the dehydration. Commercially-available oral rehydration salts have to be mixed with water to make this solution. This solution is then fed in small amounts at regular intervals to prevent dehydration.

Nasal Aspirator and Saline Spray
Is your child having trouble breathing due to the cold? Unlike adults, babies cannot clear their nasal passages that are blocked due to the excess mucus produced during cold. The mucus buildup can make it difficult for the baby to breathe, and can even cause gagging. To prevent this, you need to use a nasal aspirator. The device creates suction to clear the nasal passages and makes it easier for the child to breathe. Additionally, a saline spray works to loosen up the mucus, making it easier to dislodge the mucus. Some excellent nasal aspirators in the market are NoseFrida the Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator and Graco NasalClear Battery Operated Nasal Aspirator.

Antibiotic Ointment
Small scrapes, burns, and cuts should be cleaned and then treated with an antibiotic ointment. This prevents the wound getting infected. A dab of triple-antibiotic ointment, such as NEOSPORIN, can also speed the healing of the wound.

Medicine Syringe
Medicine syringes and dispensers provide an accurate measurement for liquid medication. Our household utensils cannot provide standard measurements. This is why you need calibrated medication syringes and calibrated droppers to ensure that you provide the proper dosage to your child.

Bandages and Sterilized Cotton Balls
For bleeding and small open wounds, you need to keep adhesive bandages and gauze pads in various sizes. A standard fare in any well-stocked baby medicine cabinet, these bandages protect the cuts from dirt, bacteria, and friction. Some of them have antiseptic properties that hasten the healing process. Along with bandages, you will also need sterilized cotton balls to clean the wound.

Alcohol Wipes
Keep a box of alcohol wipes to clean and disinfect thermometers and the skin around the wounds. These are much safer than rubbing alcohol, which can be accidentally swallowed by a child.

Other Items You May Need

Tweezers, to remove splinters or stingers
Scissors and safety pins
Small flashlight for checking the baby's nose and ears
Baby-safe insect repellent
A pair of baby nail clippers
Cold packs
Cotton swabs to clean the ears

Also keep a list of emergency contact numbers, such as the closest hospital, family doctor, poison control, etc., in the medicine cabinet. Keep the medicine cabinet out of the child's reach.
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Published: February 28, 2014
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