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Newborn Medicine Essentials

You can just say “no” to those baby first aid and grooming kits, which contain, like, 50 items. You’ll never use all that crap. I promise.

Build your own kit with just these six essential items:

1. Baby Nail Clippers

Did I mention the razor sharp baby claws already? Yes, I think so. For whatever reason, baby fingernails grow fast and are incredibly thin and jagged. Please arm yourself with some baby nail clippers and be not afraid to use them.

Honestly? I find the cheapest/simplest clippers work the best. Safety 1st is good. The built-in lights and skin guard that others have just get in my way.

Get two and put one in your travel kit.

Yes, someone always chimes in about now and says, “ya know, you can just bite them off with our teeth?” Go right ahead, if that’s your jam. I suggest everyone else clip your baby’s nails like a normal person.

The key is to distract baby with something (TV? sure) and trim her nails in good light. Eventually, your nail-clipping jitters will fade away.

2. Baby Acetaminophen

Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow (and not before 2 months of age), but soon enough you will need some acetaminophen for teething pain or post-vaccination pain or for reducing a fever.

This stuff works wonderfully. Be extra sure to follow the dosing instructions on the package (make SURE you are using INFANT, not CHILDREN’S, though I’ve been told recently that they are the exact same thing – but always check the package!). Tylenol, tried and true for years, works just fine.

Remember, you can also use baby Motrin, but not until 6 months of age; this stuff works wonders for teething pain.

Note from Dr. Pope (my friend and amazing pediatrician):

“Remember: NOTHING before 2 months (call the doctor!), acetaminophen after 2 months (but call the doctor if fever is persistent and/or over 101 F), and from 6 months on you can use acetaminophen (every 4 hours) OR ibuprofen (every 6 hours)…but still call the doctor for a fever over 101 F.”

Dr. Pope

Got it?

3. Anti-Gas Medicine

You may find that about 90% of your baby’s woes are related to gas pain. Babies’ immature digestive systems are prone to gas problems. If you’ve ever had bad gas pain, you understand the discomfort it causes. Welcome to “colic.”

Look for the active ingredient “simethicone,” which is the same active ingredient in Gas-X, etc. Simethicone weakens the surface tension of gas bubbles, thereby allowing them to break up (i.e., burping or farting). I recommend Little Remedies for Tummys.

4. Snot Remover

Lesson #1 of motherhood: make sure your baby can breathe. You will probably be sent home from the hospital with an old-fashioned bulb syringe (a bulb aspirator) and strict instructions about how to suck mucus out of your baby’s nose. This is critical because newborns ONLY breathe through their nose and if it’s blocked…it’s bad news.

I recommend taking it a step further and getting NoseFrida the Snotsucker. Yes, that’s really the name. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it looks. And NO, the snot does NOT go into your mouth (yuck).

Just, you know… sucking some snot.

5. A Thermometer

There is something I need to clear up right away… you know those great little digital ear thermometers? Well, guess what, those do NOT work on babies for… a long, long time. The reason is because their ears are too small to get an accurate reading (unless you are a trained professional and know how to do it right every time).

The gold standard in pediatric temperature-taking is [sorry to say] the simple rectal thermometer. It’s the most accurate, tried and true way of taking a baby’s temperature. I don’t like it either, people, but it works!

6. Skin Care

There are a handful of ailments that nearly every infant experiences in his/her first year of life: cradle cap, diaper rash, dry skin – oh, and let’s not forget about diaper thrush from H-E-double toothpicks. And don’t even get me started on the eczema.

A simple skincare staple to have in your drawer is Coconut Baby (100% organic), which can be used for so many ailments: cradle cap, eczema, psoriasis, and diaper rash to name a few (note: will melt if too hot!). I have stolen this from my kids so I can use it myself, mwaaaaaa. Sorry kids!

Five weeks and counting. Woot Woot!!

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