Skip to main content

NewFolks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The must-have items every baby first-aid kit needs

It’s a parent’s job to be prepared. Scrapes, scratches, and bruises will happen, and you will want to be ready to wipe tears, bandage boo-boos, and kiss those cutie-pie kiddos off as they toddle back to the playground. This is also why you need to have a first-aid kit handy. Better yet, have one that stays in your car, one that goes in your diaper bag, and a larger, more robust option at home. Want to know everything you’ll need in a basic kit tailored for babies? Read on to peruse our checklist of must-haves and read through our top tips.

teddybear and first aid kit
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The basics of building a first-aid kit

There are some basics you’ll definitely need — plus a few extras you will want in any baby first-aid kits that you keep handy. If you have multiple kids of different ages, you’ll need a bigger bag or case with even more options. For now, let’s break down the essential items for babies and toddlers:

  • Band-Aids: You’ll want to stock up on a variety of bandages of different shapes and sizes to accommodate all sorts of cuts. If you have a toddler, consider getting options that feature their favorite characters. Somehow, Mickey Mouse can help make an ouchie hurt a bit less.
  • Alcohol wipes: In a pinch, you can use alcohol wipes as an antiseptic. Do note that if you have access to a sink, you are better off washing a small cut with running water and a bit of soap. (Still, an alcohol wipe can also take away the nagging itch of a newly acquired mosquito bite!)
  • Antibiotic ointment/cream: Note that some options may not be appropriate for newborns and infants; you’ll want to read the packaging carefully to double-check dosage — or speak with your pediatrician.
  • Petroleum jelly-type product (i.e., Vaseline, Aquaphor, etc.): If your wee one is too young for antibiotic ointment, a little Aquaphor will do the trick on cuts and scrapes; it’s also great on dry, itchy patches of skin.
  • Baby thermometer: When Baby feels hot to the touch, there’s no time to waste. This is why a baby thermometer has a rightful place in your first-aid kit. While rectal thermometers give the most accurate readings for newborns, you could also consider an in-ear or forehead-scanning option as an on-the-go alternative.
  • Infant Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and/or infant Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin): It’s smart to have a pain reliever at the ready in case your little one spikes a fever or is actively teething. To this end, you’ll also want to keep a medicine dropper packed.
  • Simethicone drops/Mylicon: If your itty-bitty tends to get tummy troubles or is frequently fussy after feedings, consider keeping gas drops or gripe water packed; these two options can help resolve discomfort-causing bubbles to help your baby feel content again.
  • Nasal aspirator: You never know when you’re going to have to suction a boogie or unclog some infant congestion; being prepared with a nasal aspirator can ensure that your sniffly sweetheart gets relief fast.
  • Nail clippers/emery boards: Newborns’ nails grow incredibly fast — and can be shockingly sharp. Keep nail clippers and/or emery boards packed in your kit in case you need to trim or file a jagged little pinky.
  • Emergency-contacts card: While you probably have your pediatrician’s number programmed in your phone, it’s advisable to keep a card stashed away with emergency-contact phone numbers.

After a few initial uses, you’ll learn to customize your first-aid kit for your family’s specific needs. You might find you need extra items for your delicate newborn — or you may realize that a toddler has a tendency to stumble, trip, or fall more often; thus, you’ll want extra Band-Aids and other injury items. The point is, your first-aid kit should evolve and grow with your family.

Should you buy a ready-made kit or build your own?

You might be tempted to buy a ready-made first-aid kit online or at the store. These are certainly nifty, but they won’t include everything you need or want (i.e., they typically don’t come with medicine). You can, of course, get one and use it as an initial building block — then purchase some à la carte extras.

Be aware that, generally, these prepacked options are more expensive. Moreover, you might not be able to shove all your additional purchases into a small, compact kit. To this end, it’s probably easier and more budget-friendly to build your own. However, a small ready-to-go kit like the American Red Cross Deluxe Health and Grooming Kit is a good backup option.

Baby health-care kits come in handy for all sorts of purposes. Whether your little newbie suddenly falls ill or your toddler stumbles off the slide, you can take action quickly when you have everything you need within arm’s reach. Pack your first-aid kit with thought and care, and you can feel confident that you are more than adequately prepared. Boo-boos are a fact of childhood; fortunately, a Band-Aid and a kiss from Mom or Dad will help.

Editors' Recommendations

Lauren Barth
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Lauren Barth is a freelance writer and digital editor with over a decade of experience creating lifestyle, parenting, travel…
5 reasons why a rocking chair for the nursery is an important must-have for both parents and babies
Do you need a rocking chair for nursing? Yes!
Mom sitting in a rocking chair holding a smiling baby

The rocking chair is a piece of American history. From the front porches across the nation to living rooms to nurseries, the rocker is an iconic piece of furniture that never goes out of style. So, if you're on the fence about a rocking chair for nursery, it's actually a no-brainer. Adding a rocking chair to your nursery has functional and aesthetic benefits. Functionally, a rocking chair can help you put your baby to sleep, and it offers you a comfortable space to nap alongside. Aesthetically, it adds to the room's decor.

Besides diapers, a changing table, a crib, and baby clothes, a rocking chair for the nursery is a must-have on any baby shower wish list. If you're considering a stationary armchair, rather than a rocking chair, take a look at these top reasons why a rocking chair is the cornerstone for your nursery.

Read more
The best party games for your sports-loving kids
These best party games score big with sports lovers
Kids running with each other at a party.

Got a sport-loving kid with a birthday coming up? Hosting a sports themed birthday party for your kiddo is a super easy way to score a touchdown. Whether you've got a kickball fanatic or a budding soccer star on your hands, choosing the birthday party theme for your sports fan is a lot easier than scoring in a shootout. There are tons of sports party games that are a slam dunk.  You don't have to stick to one sport either when choosing the activities for your little one's big day. From soccer-themed games to kickball games to an Olympic theme, there are a ton of options for all your guests whether you are hosting indoors or out. Now, let's hear the starting lineup for the best party games.
Sports party kickoff
Before we get to the best sports party games to knock it out of the park to celebrate your child's special day, let's not forget about the warmup. It's a big part of any sport as all athletes know. So, a fun way to get all the kids excited about a sports-themed birthday party is to kick it off with a warmup.

Have an adult dress up as the coach and lead the kids in some useful and silly stretches. Play upbeat music to pump them up. The theme from Rocky is a timeless choice. Then, have the coach give the partygoers tips for the games ahead before concluding with an introduction with a cheer for the birthday guy or gal.

Read more
No pool toys? No problem! 7 safe, fun games to play in the pool for 8-year-olds
Running low on pool toys? Try these games to play in the pool that only requires the kids
Kids playing games in a pool.

Splish! Splash! Do the kids enjoy the swimming pool in the summer? Will they play in an indoor pool all fall and winter long? Whether you're hosting a pool full of friends of your 8-year-old, a birthday party, or a quiet afternoon of family fun in the pool, having a diverse menu of swimming games for kids is a must. Don't worry if you don't have a stock of pool noodles, beach balls, and floaties on hand in the shed. There are plenty of cool games to play in the pool instead of relying on toys. Many classic swimming games have been doing laps around backyard pools for ages.

Keep these fun swimming games in the repertoire. They're safe, easy to play, and are all games 8-year-olds — as well as kids of all ages — will enjoy when hanging in the pool. Even adults will have a splash playing games they used to when they were kiddos. Another perk to all of these splashin' swimming games? They all let kids work on their swimming strokes while having a blast. Grab your goggles and see what game you want to show your kids how to play.

Read more