So, you followed a hospital checklist to prepare for your childbirth and now you need a cheat sheet for a well-stocked baby first aid kit. This is absolutely necessary for basic grooming (hello, clipping nails!) as well as for illnesses or accidents.
But most conventional first aid kits don’t have everything you need. Read on to find out what natural treatments you need for your first aid kit and why.
Why You Need a Baby First Aid Kit
When your child has a tummy ache or takes a fall, if you’re like most moms, you lose a little bit of your cool. (This can be especially true if there is bleeding involved!) When your kid is crying and you feel panic set in, it’s great not to have to think about where to look for first aid supplies. Sometimes you’re not even sure what you need until you see it in your kit.
Why Regular First Aid Kits Don’t Cut It
You can start your baby on a natural lifestyle as soon as he/she comes out of the womb. Sometimes well meaning parents or doctors will prescribe harsh OTC or medicines to common newborn conditions that could be alleviated using natural alternatives. And don’t get us wrong: there are times when prescription or “conventional” medications are definitely useful—they can save lives!—but many common conditions and minor injuries can be treated with natural remedies that are gentler and still effective.
Take reflux in babies, for example. Some pediatricians are quick to “solve” baby’s reflux issues with Proton-Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), over-the-counter and prescription drugs, like Prevacid, that block the acid-producing enzyme in the stomach. But these medications have been proven to have very dangerous side effects time and time again. PPIs have been linked to increased risk of dementia, heart attack, kidney disease, and stomach cancer—and that’s in adults with stronger, more developed immune systems! One study suggests long-term PPI users are 25 percent more likely to die early. Yikes!
Even seemingly innocent products meant to help teething babies have come under fire in recent years. Though marketed as a teething product, the FDA announced that, because of the dangers of benzocaine (a local anesthetic), products like Orajel should never be used on teething children—especially those under the age of 2. Doctors say that in addition to difficulty swallowing, jitteriness, confusion, vision problems, vomiting, falling asleep too easily, shaking, and seizures, products containing local anesthetics can “lead to drug toxicity and affect the heart and nervous system.” That is NOT something you want in your baby first aid kit!
Unless you’re facing an emergency situation, natural remedies often help ease symptoms without exposing your child to synthetic and potentially harmful substances.
It would be great to buy a standard medicine kit and be done, but when you prefer natural products for your baby, it’s never that easy. If you’re committed to natural parenting, your baby health kit won’t have teething gel or acid blockers. In fact, if you look at the best-selling first aid kits, you’ll see that they are mostly for treating minor cuts, scrapes, burns and bug bites. In real life, you’ll be called upon to respond to a wider range of ailments. That’s why many moms opt for a DIY baby first aid kit.
Natural Products for a Baby First Aid Kit
Here’s a list of baby first aid kit supplies to consider:
Note: Always check with a healthcare provider before administering anything to your child.
- First Aid for Cuts. Any baby first aid kit must contain something for minor cuts and scrapes, as these are common mishaps. Wild Thera Cuts/Scrapes Balm is a natural and organic blend of oils enhanced with herbal extracts. Many moms count it as one of their first aid kit essentials.
- Aloe. Lots of households have an aloe vera plant for soothing burns and skin ailments, but Aubrey’s Aloe Vera is a bottled form that’s a bit easier to put in your baby medicine kit.
- Ginger. Tea made from the root of the ginger plant is widely used to soothe tummy troubles. For infants, ginger tea can be rubbed on the gums. Or, if mom is breastfeeding, she can drink a few cups a day to benefit baby.
- Activated charcoal. If baby swallows something he/she shouldn’t have, some toxins will bind to activated charcoal. But, this product should only be used after consulting a doctor. (In some cases, babies will need to go into the hospital to have their stomach pumped.) (Where to buy activated charcoal)
- Boiron Camilia for teething relief. The first line of treatment for teething pain should be something cold. A clean, wet washcloth that has been placed in the freezer is great for a teething baby to gnaw on. For babies who need more relief, Camilia can be a lifesaver (where to buy).
- Boiron Cocyntal for colic. This homeopathic treatment for colic is great if other methods, such as swaddling, rocking, and gentle tummy rubs, aren’t cutting it (where to buy).
- Natural Relaxers, like lavender and chamomile. Many herbs are naturally calming, but be sure that you are using them in a way that is safe. Essential oils should be diffused for only 10 minutes at a time at a very low dosage (1-2 drops per diffuser) for children younger than 2.
- Coconut Oil. Every baby emergency kit needs a treatment for diaper rash, and coconut oil is one of the best. Apply sparingly if you are using cloth diapers, as the oil can cause the diapers to lose absorbency. Coconut oil also makes a great nipple cream.
- Probiotics. Preparations containing Lactobacillus reuteri are the best probiotics for baby. They have been demonstrated to reduce episodes of diarrhea and may also ease colic and reduce respiratory infections.
- Gripe Water. This is a generic term for a mixture using containing sodium bicarbonate and herbs such as fennel and ginger. Gripe water is designed to relieve colic, gas, and upset tummies.
- Nat Phos 6X. This natural cell salt can help with acid reflux, spit up, and similar digestive ailments. This is a homeopathic remedy, so ask your doctor before use.
- Arnica Montana. For bruises, rough falls or during teething, you can have this homeopathic remedy on hand and use with doctor’s OK.
- Zarbee’s Soothing Chest Rub. This blend of lavender and eucalyptus in beeswax and shea butter is a naturally calming treatment for babies two months and older.
- Calendula cream. The calendula flower has natural anti-inflammatory properties, and this cream is an excellent for diaper rash, baby eczema, or other skin irritations (where to buy).
- For Allergic Reactions. You should have Children’s Benadryl in your emergency kit for serious allergic reactions. Dye-free Children’s Benadryl is the best choice, but it should not be used for children under 6 unless recommended by a doctor.
Tools for a Baby First Aid Kit
To be fully outfitted for kids first aid, you’ll need some standard tools. Make sure your baby first aid kit has the following:
A Note About Baby First Aid Kits
It may seem overwhelming to shop for all of these items, but having a well-stocked baby first aid kit is absolutely essential. If you’re looking to save a little time, buy a conventional first aid kit with bandages, clippers, and some of the other tools, then add the best natural treatments above to customize it. Remember: A little effort now will ensure you have everything you need just in case—and that’s well worth the time it takes to put your own first aid kit together.
How About You?
What’s in your baby first aid kit? What remedies do you always keep on hand?