___ Infant and children's acetaminophen (Tylenol)
___ Children's diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
___ Electrolyte replacement fluid (Pedialyte)
___ Antigas/colic remedies (Mylicon, Gripe water, Hyland's Colic Tabs)
___ Insect repellant
Medications: I recommend stocking up on essential medications. This will save you a trip in the middle of the night when your child is sick and needs them. I have included a dosing sheet (see page 266) for your convenience, but you should consult with your doctor before using any medication. Some of these medications have a shelf life of up to one year, but check their expiration date prior to using.
• Infant Tylenol Concentrated Drops (generic: acetaminophen) will be helpful if your child has a fever or is in pain. • Children's Benadryl (generic: diphenhydramine) is helpful for allergic reactions. • An electrolyte replacement fluid such as Pedialyte can be used to rehydrate after a vomiting or diarrheal illness. • Colic and gas remedies are not medically proven but are safe and may be helpful. Half of my patients say they are great, while the other half find them useless. Mylicon drops are like Gas-X for babies. Gripe water and Hyland's Colic Tabs are homeopathic mixtures that may be soothing to your child's stomach. Chamomile tea is also a good remedy to try. These remedies can be found at most supermarkets or drugstores and come with a dropper. You can give these to your child several times a day. Follow the package directions for dosing frequency.
Sunscreen lotion: This can be used before six months of age, but it is best to keep your infant out of direct sunlight for the first couple of months. If you do go out in the sun, use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 (most children's sunscreen lotions have at least SPF 50), and apply early and often.
Common Sense Bottom Line Stock your medicine chest with medications for common baby ailments so you'll have them available before you need them.
___ Digital thermometer (rectal and axillary/underarm)
___ Bulb syringe
___ Saline nasal spray
___ Gum/tooth cleansers
___ Hand sanitizer
Thermometers: Do not buy an expensive, fancy thermometer. (If you get one as a gift, return it for a nice credit at the store.) Ear and temporal artery thermometers are expensive but inaccurate. Invest in an inexpensive digital rectal thermometer. These thermometers are accurate and easy to use, and display results in eight to twenty seconds. The accuracy of the thermometer is very important. This is because the difference between 100.3 and 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit in a child under two months of age may be the difference between seeing your doctor in the office or going immediately to the hospital for a battery of unpleasant tests. With infants under two months old, always use a rectal thermometer, as they are the most accurate. Once your child is over two months of age, you can use an axillary (underarm) thermometer. Oral thermometers can be used when your child is five years old.