Whether your baby is healthy or sick, the medicine cabinet has likely become one of your go-to parenting resources. Here’s what you'll want to have at home to help keep your baby safe and well.
Most of the time, you’ll just be treating minor bumps and scrapes, so stock up on baby safety essentials, like antibiotic ointment, tweezers, and gauze. Calamine lotion is also a good idea for certain rashes and insect bites. And while you’re at it, store an ice pack and self-adhesive bandages in a variety of shapes and sizes (and princess or superhero designs!).
In case of fever, keep infant preparations of acetaminophen and ibuprofen on hand, though it’s best to contact your pediatrician before administering them to your baby. Also stock some electrolyte solution, which you might need if your baby becomes dehydrated due to diarrhea or vomiting. Children’s cough syrup used to be a medicine cabinet staple, but lately experts have stopped recommending it for young kids. (Research shows that it doesn’t really help, and it poses a small risk of serious side effects.) Be sure to keep an eye on all expiration dates and restock as needed.
If your healthy baby or toddler takes vitamins, you may want to store them in your medicine cabinet as well (making sure that the vitamin bottle or package is childproof), along with a thermometer for taking his temperature.
Be sure to post phone numbers for emergency help and poison control centers on the inside of the cabinet door, as well as near all phones and programmed into phones. You might want to put your baby’s current weight (update it regularly) with these numbers so you or a babysitter have it in case it’s requested during a call.
Medications need to be kept in a cool, dark, and dry place -- which means that the bathroom is probably not the best place for your medicine cabinet. Wherever you choose to store medications and other supplies, make sure the location or container is out your child's reach.