Baby Medicine Cabinet

March 20, 2013

We have been very fortunate that Mazen has only had a couple of colds thus far, so the majority of our toiletry collection relates to general hygiene more than illness. Here are the products that make up our medicine cabinet and toiletry basket. Please share anything I’ve overlooked that you find useful – especially as babies grown into toddlers! {And as always, check with your pediatrician before giving your baby anything!}


Baby shampoo and body wash.

A gentle lotion. For baby massages or dry skin days.

A diaper rash cream.

Thermometer. We have two: a traditional one for the back end (that we thankfully haven’t had to use yet…) and a pacifier one that I’m so glad someone invented!

A nose sucker or bulb. We like the sucker – it seems gross, but it works sooo well!

Saline nose wipes + saline nose spray. Both are so helpful to loosen things up during a cold.

Lanolin or a natural nipple cream. I double purpose this as an “under the nose” ointment for raw noses or chap.

Teething tablets. We haven’t had to use these yet, but I have them on hand just in case. My mom friends swear by them.

A baby tooth care kit. Mazen’s teeth are hovering just under the gums – any day now we’re going to have to start adding teeth brushing to our bedtime routine.

Baby fever/pain medicine (pediatrician recommended)

A medicine spoon. Are these still in vogue? I remember using them all the time when I was young.

Vitamin D drops. Our pediatrician had us start this pretty early and I was unprepared and had to go buy some asap.

A hair brush. I don’t use this much now, but the more hair that comes in the more I’m sure I will!

Nail clippers and a nail file. I thought I could get away with using adult clippers but ended up getting the baby ones anyway. So glad I did – we need a microscope to see the little fingers! I also often will file the edges because when his nails grow back out they have sharp corners.

Sunscreen. [See this KERF post for some research I did last year] Can’t wait to spend some time in the baby pool!

This post is sponsored by Baby Orajel Naturals. Learn more about the #1 pharmacist recommended homeopathic brand for teething pain relief here.

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicole March 20, 2013 at 10:44 am

I may have mentioned this in a comment on another post, but make sure you’re using CD safe diaper rash cream! Don’t be stupid like me, LOL. We used Boudreaux’s with success during our first rash, but for Lucy’s second one at daycare, they globbed that stuff on and it’s left stains on our diapers. You also have to watch the ingredients to make sure your diapers don’t start repelling moisture. We’ve since switched to CJ’s Butter for at home and the GroVia Magic Stick for daycare.

We use CeraVe for a moisturizer because of eczema, and it’s finally given Lucy the “baby soft” skin she’s supposed to have. Her cheeks are usually the worst, but the CJ’s Butter (it’s multiuse) and Aquaphor work really well.


2 Debi March 20, 2013 at 11:33 am

Coconut oil has been my “go-to”. I use it for nipple cream, cradle cap, mild diaper irritations, face moisturizer, just about anything…and it smells sooooo good! : )
I also used Mommy Bliss drops for the first few months and they worked like a dream. I’m thinking about getting more now that he’s working on those teeth.


3 Areej March 20, 2013 at 11:56 am

-A baby friendly vapor rub to help baby breathe better with a cold.
-A humidifier for colds/coughs to help baby sleep
-Our pediatrician gave us fluoride drops to add to his water when his teeth started coming in.
-I use an oil based wash for bath time since my baby loved playing and never wanted to come out of the bath!


4 Jessica March 20, 2013 at 12:13 pm

You should actually be cleaning his gums not just waiting for teeth. 🙂


5 KERF March 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I heard that – with gauze right? #fail


6 Jessica March 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I just use either a soft washcloth or the little finger brushes you can buy at the store. The finger brushes feel nice on their teething gums too.


7 KERF March 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I think one came in my teeth kit. I’ll start now!


8 Anna March 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm

That was a gracious response, Kath. 🙂 I admit that I never cleaned my babies’ gums either. They have healthy teeth now as toddlers though.


9 ES March 20, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Is orajel safe for babies? I’ve heard negative things. I don’t know if the “natural” part makes a difference though.

What lotion do you use for Mazen? I need a new one.


10 KERF March 20, 2013 at 12:35 pm

It’s designed for babies. I’m using a baby lotion from Arbonne that I got from my friend who is a consultant. Like it!


11 TTC Gen March 20, 2013 at 3:07 pm

I’m TTC, but my best friend said it’s safe but her doc told her to avoid using anything that numbs around feeding time. If you’re BFing, it could interfere with baby’s latch and for BFing, bottle feeding, and solids it could make it more difficult for baby to swallow because it could also numb their throat from swallowing their own saliva.


12 Alexa March 20, 2013 at 1:28 pm

I swear by California Baby Calendula Cream. For dry skin, baby acne, cradle cap, etc. it’s been amazing.


13 Linda March 20, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Does it make your babies hair all greasy when used for cradle cap or do you apply it a few hours before bath? I’m struggling with cradle cap now and haven’t found anything that works yet. Thanks!


14 Shephalli March 21, 2013 at 10:18 am

We have a 4.5 month old (almost 5 month next week) and he had the worst cradle cap. An hour before bath time I would gently massage a couple of drops of olive oil on his head. Then bathe and shampoo (we use mustela foaming shampoo) as usual. Did this 3 times a week and he was cradle cap free within two weeks. Now I just do this about once a week. Just make sure you don’t overdo the oil since that can cause them to break out.


15 aimee March 21, 2013 at 4:06 pm

If you’re breastfeeding rub some breastmilk into baby’s scalp. works great!


16 Coco March 20, 2013 at 3:37 pm

What brand of teething tablet do you have Kath?

I’m still waiting for the solid food post! 🙂 anytime soon?


17 KERF March 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm

We actually do have the Orajel Naturals – my mom brought them home from BlogHer for me


18 Melissa March 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm

We use this toothbrush:

We live in London, not sure if it’s available in the US. Also, my father-in-law, who is a dentist, recommended to use a washcloth on his tooth.

We were told here that using a regular oral thermometer under the armpit and that was as reliable as in the rear – and way more pleasant!

We also use natural nipple cream on Benny’s dry face 🙂


19 Grace March 21, 2013 at 8:38 am

We do have that toothbrush in the states, and although it wasn’t too effective as a toothbrush for our daughter (we prefer this one: the one you link to is GREAT for when they are teething molars – it’s the only thing that will reach back far enough to her back gums to give her some relief!

And I agree what the others have said: teething tablets don’t work, medicine spoons aren’t used any more (syringes are used instead), and you don’t want to give a baby anything that numbs its mouth (that’s what my pediatrician said). For teething related pain we just give a dose of baby Tylenol when the pain is really bad (ie. when it is seriously effecting her sleep).


20 ktr March 24, 2013 at 12:26 pm

That’s our favorite toothbrush thus far! We usually brush his teeth and then let him chew on it. He loves it (most days) and we figure he is cleaning his teeth if he uses it like a teething toy!


21 ktr March 24, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Ahh teething – my son loves to chew on a cold wet washcloth.
We use a small syringe instead of a medicine spoon. It makes measuring really easy and you don’t have to worry about spilling.
We also use a spray lotion instead of diaper cream. It is cloth diaper compatible, easy and fast to use, and I don’t have to hear about my husband getting anything lotion-like on his hands! The one we use is called CJs butter and (knock on wood) thus far we haven’t had any diaper rash and my son is 15 months old.


22 Ally March 20, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Rectal temps aren’t recommended anymore, just an FYI! Under the armpit with a normal thermometer is just fine. I haven’t seen a medicine spoon in awhile. Most of the children’s meds come with a needleless syringe or a medicine cup now. More accurate! Teething tablets are just sugar pills, entirely based on the placebo effect. Feel free to ignore me though, just some friendly advice from a nurse 🙂


23 Kristi March 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I thought the same re:rectal temp and bought the behind the ear digital thermometer. However, my ped is fresh out of med school (or residency? Not sure how to phrase this) and she recommended rectal temp. She said, and I’ve noticed, that if my baby is crying really hard his head gets hot so that could throw off the ear method.


24 KERF March 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

My ped said they recommend it too, although I have heard that it is no longer recommended too


25 Celeste March 22, 2013 at 1:04 pm

My ped definitely asks for a rectal temp when we’ve called in concerned about fevers. Although they use some space age ear or forehead thermometer, they said that most drugstore thermometers just don’t cut it in ears or armpits.


26 Bruna March 21, 2013 at 8:13 am

I love how I read the entire post without having a baby or planning to have one for not at least 5 more years lol very informative post though


27 Leanne March 21, 2013 at 8:33 am

Hyland’s teething tablets are amazing. Delaney is working on tooth #3 and I was hesitant to use them at first but they really do dissolve instantly and help soothe her.

Also, all moms need a cool mist humidifier! When Delaney had her little cold, it definitely helped during the night.


28 Angelica March 21, 2013 at 9:19 am

I’m not sure if adult/child sunscreen is safe for babies. We use the California Baby SPF stick. Also have to ditto avoiding using anything that numbs the mouth. Hopefully you’ll get lucky and Mazen will be an easy teether! Have some cold teethers ready and maybe some natural wooden ones. There are tons on etsy. Double ditto on the coconut oil being great for everything! We also like CJ’s BUTTer for cloth and Burt’s Bees for disposable. I recommend some flushable diaper liners now that M is on solids. Which diaper creams do you like? Oh, we quit using the vitamin D drops. If Mazen is getting enough sun exposure (sans SPF), then he should be fine. You’re outside a lot and don’t live in Alaska, so that’s less money you could spend, in my (non-professional) opinion.


29 Mia March 21, 2013 at 9:27 am

I’m amazed that a pediatrician would recommend paracetamol for babies. It would be understandable if he was REALLY ill on the verge of being apathetic thus not eating/drinking anything. Or in pain.
I don’t even understand why you would want to lower the fever given that it is the fever that kills viruses and bacteria. We do not recommend paracetamol in Denmark.

You should brush your baby’s gums with a soft toothbrush.

What are the recommendations for d-vitamin in the states? Here, it’s 5 drops from 2 weeks until 2 years.


30 Lulu March 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Indeed there is a growing body of research that discourages treating a fever at all and some MDs in the US suggest not treating fevers. The idea is to let the fever do its thing since it’s part of the baby’s attempt to fight the virus/bacteria.
We personally don’t treat fevers and actually avoided all baby pain meds until our little guy was about 3 years old.
But really, in the US, it’s the norm for MDs to recommend reducing the fever – I’m not sure why.


31 kate March 28, 2013 at 11:59 pm

because children don’t feel good when they have a fever. do you like sweating and having the chills? a child feels the same way


32 Jessica March 22, 2013 at 5:54 pm

depends on the state you live in re: vit d. I live where there is no sun so our babies get higher doses then say sunny california!


33 aimee March 21, 2013 at 4:09 pm

What are teething tablets? never heard of them..


34 Amber March 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm

My pediatrician said do NOT use orajel. It is a numbing agent and numbs their gag reflexes. They could choke.


35 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles March 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm

What nose sucker do you have?!?! I need some mama advice for sure- especially if you like yours!…….. I am sooooo frustrated tying to help my little man breathe. (he has been sooooo sick lately, poor baby!) I am willing to try anything to help him!


36 KERF March 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm

The NoseFrida – a must have!


37 Abby March 21, 2013 at 8:59 pm

The nose frida is amazing! The best invention ever!


38 Danielle March 21, 2013 at 9:25 pm

We use coconut oil for cradle cap and dry skin a lot. I also found that a little breast milk in a dropper up the nose when she has a cold clears it up so fast. One day its green and the next day is clear (sorry for the description). I was skeptical at first but it really does work. We use saline too but she hates it.


39 jen March 22, 2013 at 10:40 am

We ended up with way more stuff in our baby medicine cabinet than I expected. I intended to avoid using anything at all, but our little girl was so sensitive to pain and teethed so dang hard that she was utterly miserable and unable to sleep until we started giving some baby Tylenol or Advil (Target is the only one around us who makes dye-free versions that don’t taste like paint thinner). We also used the Hyland’s teething pellets at certain points in her (seemingly endless) teething with some success. And we did use Orajel with some success on some occasions.

We also did a lot of research before selecting a super all-natural baby sunscreen (for when she was around 1 year, our Ped said no sunscreen or sun exposure before 6 months), and unfortunately it’s really miserable to use – so thick and greasy that it’s really hard to get distributed on her wriggly little body. Oh well!

And we finally bought a little warn mist vaporizer for me when I got pregnant the second time and have subsequently used it for her. But I notice a lot of folks seem to like the cool mist instead. Why is cool mist preferable?


40 Katie B. March 23, 2013 at 4:30 am

Hey Kath, what are your thoughts on probiotics for babies? Helpful or not necessary?


41 KERF March 23, 2013 at 9:52 am

I’m not familiar with any research on them, but I don’t think they are necessary. I think they can be good though, especially if your baby has been sick.


42 Tara March 30, 2013 at 8:37 am

Katie, I did some light research on them and found that they can sometimes be beneficial if your baby has colic, but I ended up using them temporarily when my baby had to go on an antibiotic. Lots of moms (my own included) complain about how their babies had the worst, bright red diaper rash while on antibiotics, but we didn’t have one bit of it. I used them for the 10 days he was on it and for 2 weeks after. Thrush is awful and I’ll do anything to avoid it.


43 lauri March 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I LOVE coconut oil (Trader joe’s brand is what we’ve been using). I use it w/ every diaper change as our ‘diaper rash cream’ and under her little nose for dryness. I have a temporal thermometer, not sure how accurate it is as I do get different readings. I wouldn’t mind a pacifier one, but we will probably break that addiction soon (Maybe it would still be useful though to check temps??). I don’t brush B’s teeth, maybe I am a bad momma….

I also don’t give her Vit D drops anymore. I did a little research on Vit D and breast milk, and while there is not a lot in there, the little bit that is in there is VERY bioavailable, much more than the drops. I do take a Vit D supplement though and increased it from 2000IU to 4000IU based on this article from Kelly mom–>

I also don’t give any iron supplementation (At least not yet). It stinks and It has to taste bad. Plus it stains. Her iron levels were great at her last appointment. If they drop, I will add iron. But for now, I figure she is getting all she needs from mommy milk and her food. 🙂


44 Tara March 30, 2013 at 8:46 am

I’m the same way Lauri! I also found some great research on keeping mom’s levels sufficient enough during nursing with 4000-6000 IU, so that’s what I’ve been doing as well. It makes more sense to me for mom to get enough vit D so that both mom and baby do, rather than the other way around.


45 pale empath March 24, 2013 at 10:34 am

FYI, Ibuprofen/NSAIDs are not recommended before 6 months of age due to possible decreased blood flow to the kidneys. Tylenol is ok because it has a different mechanism of action for analgesia.
Also, never use vapor rub directly below the nose (i.e. the philtrum):


46 Jenn March 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Im glad you like the nosefrida. I think tylenol is good to have on hand, but certainly not a must. Levi always seemed to spike high uncomfortable fevers at night. A cool mist humidifier…I run the one in Levi’s room all winter.


47 Lisa @bitesforbabies March 26, 2013 at 8:40 am

I have a huge stash of Vitamin D and coconut oil in my home. We were lucky enough, actually my son was, to not get sick until he was a year old..and that was only a little cold for 2 days! For that reason I’ve never really had to stock the medicine cabinet…until a few weeks ago when we were ALL sick with the flu (for about a week and a half!). I can assure you it’s now well-stocked!!!!


48 katherine March 26, 2013 at 4:35 pm

LOVE hylands teething tablets. my 6 mo old calms almost instantly…’s kinda crazy how quickly they work


49 Lauren March 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm

We were told recently by our dentist not to “brush” the baby’s teeth prior to them cutting through. At that point he said we should use a q-tip.

I think it’s fascinating that everyone gets different advice on what to do!


50 robin March 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Teething tablets, what are those? Thermometer pacifier, amazing! Man times do change whats out there, I have to pass this info on to my daughter who is due in July.


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