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Babies don’t need much in terms of medical supplies – in fact, very small babies should always be referred to your GP if you have any medical issues – but these six items are worth investing in ASAP.
We cannot stress it enough – a good thermometer is worth its weight in gold. Thermometers are available for anything from a few euro up to €40, €50 or more, and while budget is an obvious concern, we can promise you that investing in a decent model and make will really pay off in peace of mind for all the family. If you can, go for a infrared forehead or ear thermometer, which are quick, safe and easy to use.
A word of warning here: if a very new baby is running a temperature, you should always seek medical help. However, once your baby moves past a few months old, a temperature can be treated with some over-the-counter pain relief, such as a paracetamol or ibuprofen syrup. It’s well worth having a small bottle in the house just in case you need it; remember to always follow the instructions and administer age-appropriate doses.
Syringe or medicine dropper
Another essential that you might not have thought of! Hopefully you won’t be in a position where you have to administer medicine to a small baby, but if you are (and we include older babies in here too), a specially made medicine syringe or dropper is essential to make sure a wiggling baby takes the right dose. A standard syringe from the pharmacy will do, or some manufacturers of infant pain relief offer versions containing a branded dosing syringe – save these for using with all medicine.
A soft rubber aspirator is a rather old-fashioned device for helping to clear a baby’s nasal passages. It can also be used to clear milk from the nose of a very small baby who can choke when learning how to feed. It’s easy to use, but some babies hate it. Have a wide shallow bowl on standby so you can add steam into your baby’s room instead, and for babies above three months, add a little Snufflebabe into the water.
Nappy rash cream
All babies get nappy rash at some point – fact. So having a cream to treat and hopefully prevent it from getting worse is pretty essential in every house with a baby. A good treatment barrier cream like Sudocrem is ideal, or even try the brand’s new Care & Protect cream, which helps to prevent nappy rash from occurring in the first place.
Stop laughing in the back there – a pair of baby nail clippers is actually a great buy, and we’re talking from birth here! Babies’ nails grow ridiculously quickly, and you’ll find yourself reaching for these surprisingly soon after birth. If your baby objects to her nails being cut (this is more likely as she gets older), try cutting them when she is asleep.