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How to Choose Baby Equipment

How to Assemble a Baby First Aid Kit

Your initial supply list will look something like the one below. We've also listed other items parents frequently assume they need, along with brief instructions for proper use of these items.
  • Syrup of Ipecac (replace every three years): Syrup of Ipecac is essential in the event your child swallows a potentially poisonous substance. Do not, however, use it without the advice of a Poison Control Center or your doctor.

  • Children's acetaminophen in liquid form: Children's acetaminophen comes in both a dropper and syrup form. The dosages are not the same for both. Read the label carefully. Never give aspirin to a baby with a suspected viral infection. It has been implicated as a possible cause of Reye syndrome. Ibuprofen may also be used to reduce fever; consult your baby's doctor for the correct dose.

  • Rubbing alcohol (for cord care)

  • Petroleum jelly

  • Baby lotion and baby oil (optional)

  • Ointment for diaper rash: After thoroughly cleaning the diaper area, apply the ointment as directed on the package or by your pediatrician to protect irritated areas against urine. Application without cleansing merely seals irritants against your baby's skin.

  • Cotton balls: Never use cotton swabs to clean your baby's nose or ears. Swabs may introduce infection and puncture eardrums.

    You should never use cotton swabs to clean your baby's nose or ears, use cotton balls instead.

    You should never use cotton swabs to clean your
     baby's nose or ears, use cotton balls instead.

  • Diaper pail (and disinfectant if you use cloth diapers)

  • Plastic garbage bags to line diaper pail (if you use disposable diapers)

  • Diaper liners: These are helpful in early weeks if you launder diapers at home.

  • Nasal aspirator

  • Rectal thermometer

  • Baby wipes, toilet paper, towelettes, or tissues for the changing table. Some baby wipes can be flushed, but check the package first. A clean washcloth and lukewarm water are best for baby's bottom; a little mild soap may be used as necessary. When traveling, baby wipes may be more convenient, but they are more likely to irritate a baby's skin, especially if the baby has sensitive skin.

  • Baby scissors with rounded points

  • Bar or liquid soap: Liquid soaps are easy to use with one hand. Use all soaps sparingly to preserve the baby's own skin oils; a mild, nondrying soap is best.

  • Baby washcloths (about six)

  • Bath towels (two or three)

  • Baby shampoo

  • Brush and comb

  • A baby bath tub or bath seat

  • Vaporizer, cool-mist type (optional)
A word or two about bathing. It's important to keep newborns warm and secure during bathing; sponge baths given under a blanket or a towel are best for the first month. Babies do not need a bath every day. Overbathing removes essential oils and dries out baby's delicate skin.

You don't really need to go out and buy a special tub for your baby. You can use the kitchen sink. However, specially designed baby bathtubs have slanted support areas for the baby that are covered with nonslip foam pads; these may be more comfortable. Their disadvantage is that they're difficult to move once they're filled, but if you can place the tub on the counter next to the sink, it won't be a problem.

When buying a baby bathtub, look for one with smooth, rounded edges. Don't buy one with all-sponge cushioning, since the sponge part can be torn off and eaten. Make sure the support area has a nonslip surface, and ensure the tub is sturdy and holds its shape when full. It is a plus to find a tub that has recessed water channels on the sides so you can bathe the baby without immersing him.

In our final section, we will review feeding implements and aids for your child.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.