Critical Items for the New Parents’ Medicine Cabinet

I think one of the most daunting things about becoming a new parent was the stuff I didn’t know. I didn’t know how to change a diaper or give a newborn CPR. And I didn’t know what I didn’t know, which was the most daunting things of all.

Taking a class on diapers and CPR was easy- those are just offered by the hospital I gave birth in. Unfortunately they didn’t offer a class called “things you should know” (though they should- maybe I can start one).

Anyway, one of the things I didn’t know and was asking my friends about was what I absolutely needed to have on hand. Many of the items are those that you will see below, but this also includes items from my own experience.

1. Infants’ Tylenol

Infants’ Tylenol is the most critical of items that I have on this list, and a must-have for the house. The thing is- when your baby gets a fever (and odds are pretty good that it will in the first year), you will want to sooth that suffering quickly. You will always want to call the the pediatrician the first few times to discuss what to do, but the pediatrician will most likely tell you to give a dose of Infants’ Tylenol, which is a liquid cough-syrup-like formula given through an oral syringe. The pediatrician will give you the right dose for the baby’s weight (it’s not printed on the box for a reason). It works quickly, the child will enjoy it (we don’t like the taste, but the baby hasn’t yet had sugar so this is new and fun!). And you don’t want to be driving to the store to pick some up.

2. Non-Sterile Napkins

We learned this trick from the hospital, where, instead of using wipes, they used these napkins and wet them with warm water right before use. The benefit is that they are soft on the baby’s bottom, and don’t contain any chemicals. Plus, they don’t dry out like diaper wipes can. I keep a small stack in my purse for wiping noses, food, or an emergency diaper change.

3. A Good Thermometer

At the hospital, sometimes they give you a cheap thermometer to take home. I tried to use that one, but it took a long time to get a reading. So now I keep two types of thermometers in my medicine cabinet. I can generally tell when Lucas has a fever just from holding him, but I use the digital forehead thermometer to confirm my suspicions. I do a rectal reading with a thermometer if the pediatrician asks when I call her, or I need an accurate read. Because I use this only for Lucas’ rectal readings, I don’t want to accidentally get it mixed up with another thermometer in the house so I got one in a fun children’s design.

4. Curad

To do a rectal reading with a thermometer, or if Lucas has a mild skin irritation, I keep petroleum jelly on hand. This comes in a tube, so I don’t have to sorry about dipping bacteria fingers into a tub and growing whatever cold Lucas has when I need this stuff.

5. Diaper Cream

Diaper cream is pretty critical. No matter how diligent you are with wiping, cleaning, and washing, the bum is bound to get irritated. This one from Honest Company is the best that I’ve tried.


Bonus Item: APNO

One of my friends suggested that before leaving the hospital, I ask for a prescription for APNO (which stands for All Purpose Nipple Ointment). This is prescribed for when you are breastfeeding and there is an infection on the nipples. Not to get too gross on this blog, but because there is saliva and your nipples are not used to cracking and suction, they may start to hurt. I have had many friends who used this and it helped them heal. I luckily didn’t need it, but this is definitely something to know about in case you have trouble.

And there you have it! My top 5 items to definitely stock, and one item to keep in mind. Are there other items you consider “must-have” items? Let me know in the comments!






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