Setting Up a Medicine Cabinet for Baby

When your baby gets a cold or stomachache, you can't turn to your own medicine chest to treat it. Adult medicines are very dangerous for babies. Stock a separate supply of infant-friendly medicines and other necessities in the nursery bathroom. Your supplies should include:

  • Rectal thermometer: If your newborn feels warm, you'll need to take their temperature, and the best way to do it in babies under 3 months is with a rectal thermometer.
  • Bulb syringe: Babies can't blow their own noses, so you'll need to do it for them. Always keep a bulb syringe on hand to suction out excess mucus.
  • Infant nasal drops: Saline drops are another safe way to clear your baby's stuffy nose.
  • Diaper rash cream (zinc oxide cream).
  • Baby oil for very dry, patchy areas on skin and scalp if they develop.
  • Gas-relief drops: When newborns cry uncontrollably and nothing seems to soothe them, sometimes the problem is gas. A few drops of gas reliever can relieve tummy troubles.
  • Wound cream: In case your baby gets a scratch or cut, have some wound ointment on hand. A first aid cream or bacitracin antibiotic is best for newborns. For infants under 6 months, check with your pediatrician before using first aid creams. Certain first aid creams contain an ingredient that causes a reaction in some babies.
  • Fever reducer such as infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Talk to your pediatrician to see what they suggest to keep in the medicine cabinet.
  • Many of the items in the children's section of the pharmacy are meant for infants more than 6 months old, so ask the pharmacist when in doubt.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH on February 18, 2019



American Academy of Family Physicians: "Fever in Infants and Children."

Jones, Katina Z. The Everything Get Ready for Baby Book, Everything Books, 2007.

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