The greatest fear of a first-time parent is the inevitable moment of experiencing your baby's first cold. It is normal to feel panic stricken, so do not be afraid to make a call to your pediatrician's office on a weekend or in the middle of the night if your child is severely ill, and you desperately need answers.
But before you decide to give your baby medication, be sure to consult a professional. Newborns and younger infants are not recommended to consume many varieties of medication.
It is vital to understand that both the age and the overall health of your baby are major factors in your doctor’s decision to give OTC medications to your child.
Here are medications that we feel are useful for a new mom to have stored in the medicine cabinet. They will prepare you to be equipped and ready to battle the various illnesses your baby will inevitably face.
10 Boogie Mist Sterile Saline Spray
This is a great product as this gentle mist uses saline (no medication) to clear congested nasal and sinus pathways in your baby.
It is also hypoallergenic and helps to get rid of dirt, dust, pollens and other allergens that aggravate your baby’s sinus cavities.
It can be used as often as needed for both colds and allergies, helping children who are older and even adults! It is extremely easy to use, just shake the can well, insert the spray applicator into the nostril and hold it down. It may help to use an aspirator as a suction to clear out additional mucus.
This product can be used for all ages, including newborns, infants, and kids. Adults even find this product useful and helpful. It can be used as often as needed to alleviate discomforting symptoms. It comes in two flavors, natural scent and grape, both smelling very fresh. This company is also known to sell wipes as well, gently wiping away sticky boogers without drying out or irritating skin.
9 Infant’s Tylenol
Since acetaminophen (the main ingredient in Tylenol) is such a widely used and available product, you may think it is perfectly safe for your baby. However, this can be a little misleading as though the labeling does indicate that this product is for infants, you MUST be sure to consult a pharmacist/pediatrician for the correct dosage for children younger than 2 years. It must be administered carefully as younger children are susceptible to overdose and other life threatening side-effects.
Acetaminophen is used to alleviate fever and pain, which can be symptoms of teething (happening anywhere between 3-12 months, but peaking at 6 months), ear infections, vaccinations, or common cold/flu virus infections.
If you and your baby are utterly miserable, it is understandable how a parent has a natural instinct to relieve the pain and suffering their child is experiencing. Fever can be dangerous, but so can the erroneous use of medication, and the benefits MUST outweigh the risks. This is why it is imperative to consult a health professional to use their discretion and make this important decision.
However, your pediatrician will also tell you that fever is not always your enemy, as it helps the body fight off infections.
So, when do you make a call to the doctor regarding fever?
- If your baby is younger than 2 months
- If the fever is higher than 102* for any age
8 Little Remedies Gas Relief Drops
There is hope if you have a gassy baby with an upset tummy. Since newborns are consistently eating every 2 to 3 hours, they are prone to lots of gas as their digestive tracts are constantly working. Symptoms of gas include crying, clenching of fists and legs toward the abdomen, a hard abdomen, and abnormal stools.
Babies constantly swallow air when they eat and when they cry, resulting in lots of excess gas. If burping your baby hasn’t worked and you are at your wits end, your doctor may recommend OTC gas drops. The active ingredient is simethicone, which works by making the gas bubbles in your baby’s tummy larger and easier to be burped away.
It is very rare to have an allergic reaction to simethicone, and there are no reported side effects in association with this medication. Call your pediatrician or seek medical attention if you suspect an allergic reaction such as a swollen tongue/mouth, rash, dizziness or abnormal breathing.
7 Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water
This can be used as an alternative to simethicone to relieve gas and discomfort in babies. Skeptics argue that the natural organic ingredients of fennel and ginger help reduce all symptoms of colic while simethicone only works to alleviate gas.
- #1 Best selling Gripe water on Amazon.com
- Helps with crying, hiccups, gas, teething, bloating, and colic within minutes
- Can be used for all ages, including adults
There is a very small chance of an allergic reaction to this product but consult your pediatrician first before you decide to administer this to your baby.
6 Desitin Diaper Rash Cream
Yes, like gas, babies are also prone to diaper rash, especially when they are sick with constant bowel movements. Be sure to change soiled diapers immediately, especially after any bowel movement. It is also important to wipe girl babies from front to back immediately to prevent infection.
The main ingredient is zinc oxide, which keeps your baby’s skin dry. It acts as an anti-inflammatory that protects and heals affected areas. First, clean the area by using wipes or washing your baby’s bottom, allow it to dry, and then add the white paste as needed. Your baby should feel instant relief after first-time use as it is hypoallergenic and dermatologist recommended.
This can be used liberally, as much as needed, at any age. Use it with any sign of redness or irritation, and especially at night, where diapers are more likely to be wet for an extended amount of time.
5 Hyland’s Teething Tablets
Did you think too soon, presuming that your baby was beginning to sleep through the night? Yes, teething begins around 6 months of age, but can start anywhere beginning from 3 to 12 months. Expect every tooth to be in by 3 years, so yes, that’s a long duration of teething.
Babies can be very irritable 3-5 days before a tooth pokes in, opening and breaking through the skin on their gums. Expect a lot of drooling, a fever, wakefulness at night, and the putting of objects in their mouths to gnaw on. Try giving them frozen teething rings, or teething tablets.
Hylands teething tablets can be used to alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of teething and is the #1 Best seller for infant oral pain relievers on Amazon.com. The 4 main natural ingredients contain
- Diluted belladonna: To relieve gum Inflammation
- Chamomilla: To relieve agitation
- Calcarea Phosphorica: A natural supplement that supports teething
- Coffee Cruda: Alleviates wakefulness caused by teething
4 Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment
This is a great OTC healing ointment that can be used for a variety of ailments. Eczema, baby acne, diaper rash, minor cuts and burns, cracked hands and feet, chapped noses and cheeks, and aggravated skin caused by runny noses are all part of the long list that Aquaphor is used for.
Aquaphor active ingredient is petrolatum, and it is used to alleviate and soothe damaged skin, caused by the conditions listed above. It is a clear, sticky, greasy substance that locks moisture into your skin as cold or very dry weather naturally takes moisture out.
Babies who become mobile are susceptible to cut, scrapes, and other injuries as they move about, reaching milestones such as crawling, cruising, and walking. All areas of their skin cannot be protected, and this can be considered a first aid ointment that not only protects, but also heals damaged skin.
3 Fragrance Free, Dye Free, And Hypoallergenic Products
Since newborns and younger babies have very delicate skin, always buy paraben & phthalate-free products as these chemicals are dangerous to babies. Hypoallergenic products are a plus as they can avoid allergies.
Ensure that your detergents, baby wash, lotions, and even diaper creams are fragrance and dye free until you explicitly know that your child does not suffer from overly sensitive skin. Here is a list of useful products that deter skin irritation and skin-related-problems.
- Dreft Baby Detergent
- Tide Free and Gentle
- Seventh Generation Liquid Laundry
- Puracy 100% Natural Baby Wash and Shampoo
- Eucerin Baby Wash and Shampoo
- Cetaphil Baby Wash
- Burt’s Bee’s Baby Bee’s Fragrance Free Shampoo and Wash
- The Honest Company Shampoo and Baby Wash
- Aveeno Baby Creamy Wash
- Cetaphil Baby Daily Lotion
- California Baby Lotion
- Eucerin Baby Body Lotion
- Little Twig All Natural Baby Lotion
- Desitin Diaper Rash Cream
- Triple Paste Medicated Ointment
- The Honest Company Healing Balm
- Nature’s Baby Organics Diaper Ointment
2 Lotions For Baby Eczema
Up to 10-15% of babies will develop eczema, a condition where the skin is excessively dry and itchy, showing up in red blotchy patches on the body. This can be attributed to heredity, food allergies, weather conditions as extremely cold, hot, and dry weather can dry your baby’s skin.
Products that contain oatmeal are known to effectively treat eczema. Give your baby luke-warm baths and lotions that are fragrance free and that contain oatmeal. Use hypoallergenic detergents and always wash new clothes before use. Comfortable clothing can be found at Carters or Gymboree stores as these companies have had a lot of experience selling children’s clothing. For your information, Carters was founded in 1865, and Gymboree was founded in 1976.
Here are some products that are known to effectively treat eczema. If your baby is suffering from a severe case, seek help from a dermatologist as antibiotics or prescription ointments may be needed to help your child.
Lotions, Moisturizers, and Creams
- Eucerin Baby Eczema Flare-Up treatment Relief
- Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief cream
- Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream
Body Wash Treatments
- Aveeno Eczema Soothing Bath Treatment
- Aveeno Baby Eczema Cleansing Therapy Moisturizing Wash
- Cetaphil Eczema Calming Body Wash & Skin Cleanser
- BabyGanics Moisturizing Therapy Wash
1 More Tools
These tools are useful to have once your baby becomes sick, so consider purchasing them. As a result, you won’t find yourself running to an open 24-hour pharmacy at night once your child becomes ill.
- Innovo Forehead and Ear thermometer
- Braun Forehead thermometer
- Exergen Temporal Artery thermometer
- Graco 1 Ear Thermometer
After delivery, most hospitals provide you with aspirators for free. If you find them to be not useful, here are some that you can purchase although some are quite expensive.
- Boogie Bulb Removable Aspirator
- Nose Frida the Snotsucker
- Baby Electric Nasal Aspirator
- Graco NasalClear Aspirator
Boogers can be really challenging to get out if they are gooey and sticky. Use Q-tips (any brand will do) to gently clear out mucus clogging your baby’s nostrils. Tweezers are also useful in picking boogers out since your baby’s nostrils are very small and can be tricky in getting out.
It will seem like a long journey for you and your baby as both of you will have to cope and survive numerous illnesses, going right into high school and adulthood. You will find yourself to recognize and learn about the different types of diseases, viruses, and bacterial infections, so in the long run, expect to be more educated. The good news is that common colds and illnesses do not last forever, and it will make you a better parent to appreciate the health that you and your child have.
The upside is that illnesses provide bonding time for you and your baby. Your baby will become attached and will learn how to love and appreciate you as you care for them when they are ill. And in conclusion, that is worth living for and one of the best moments of life.