Let's say we want to put together a little first-aid kit for home and travel for our newborn. What items would you suggest to be in there?


Hopefully you'll never need to use such a thing, but it is a good idea. I would think all the regular things in terms of bandages and stuff would be a good plan, plus something to reduce pain and fever (e.g. Tylenol in the US or Paracetamol in Germany) AND when the baby begins eating solid foods, Benadryl (liquid) in case of a serious allergic reaction. A trickle poured down the throat before it swells up and restricts breathing can make the difference between healthy easy recovery or not. It can be awhile waiting for paramedics to arrive. The liquid Benadryl was recommended to a group of teachers taking first-aid/CPR training updates I was a part of when I trained for preschool. The suggestion did not get brought up again in later years. This was because laws changed about the ability of teachers to administer such an emergency stop-gap without an explicit OK from the parents, but I'd bet it would still apply in your situation.

Specific to the baby, I would include formula - 3 days worth, (even if he is exclusively breast-feeding, this will do in a pinch if mom and refrigerated milk are both unavailable for some reason), extra diapers and wipes.

Here is a list of resources from the Red Cross on emergency preparedness for families AND their list of minimum supplies one should have available in case of an emergency. This is probably over-kill for what you would carry with you in the diaper bag, but the list includes a link to "anatomy" of a first aid kit for a family of four which I will also include here that should also prove helpful.

You might also double check with your pediatrician once you have YOUR list pared down to see that your pediatrician doesn't think anything important got forgotten during your next check-up.

  • 1
    FYI: In Germany Benadryl (trade name for Diphenhydramine) is no longer used as an antihistamine.
    – mthomas
    Nov 19 '12 at 21:47
  • In addition to a first-aid kit, you should also get first-aid training. There's no point in carrying things around if you don't know how to use them.
    – Mark
    Feb 18 '15 at 5:54

First of all; if your child is on any medications or has any medical devices that may require care - I.V., ventilator etc... - make sure you bring the proper equipment to handle administering the medications or caring for the devices.

In a roomy but easy to carry bag you should have the following - plus any of the above necessary.

Some form of updated first-aid manual. This could be in the form of a book, flip chart, flash cards or app on your phone or tablet - try to have a hard copy though!

Sterile bandages - assorted sizes, 4"x 4" gauze, self-adhesive...

Non-sterile bandages - roller gauze, tape, avoid elasticized roller bandages.

Digital thermometer.

Disposable gloves - avoid latex in case your child is allergic to them (also if you aren't the person to use the kit and the person using it is). You essentially have two other options, you may use vinyl or nitrile (from an emergency services stand point - mine - the latter is the best because they have a nice tight fit to your hand and are somewhat puncture resistant.

Very mild soap to clean minor wounds with.

A list of emergency contact numbers - include at least one family member; in an emergency situation things can be hectic to the point that simple things like grandma's phone number may slip your mind.

A flashlight and extra batteries.

At least one blanket (you can never have too many!).

Gentle eyewash.

Basic medications. An antihistamine, a pain reliever (no aspirin!) such as ibuprofen, and a nasal decongestant.

Some form of electrolyte for re-hydration.

Have an emergency plan for situations such as fire, tornado etc... And practice it monthly, every six months - whatever will keep the plan fresh in your mind.

Check the supplies in your kit every six months (actually, every month would be great!); check the batteries in your flashlight - as well as the spares -, check for expiration dates on both any meds you have in the kit as well as bandages and any tubing you may have.

To summarize:

Basic contents: any prescribed meds your child is on; basic over-the-counter meds; bandages of varying sizes; emergency contact numbers; flashlight and batteries; a first-aid manual. Also, always stay up to date with a first-aid/CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) certification. Make and practice an emergency plan. Check your supplies at least every six months. For further information and a complete list of recommended contents; please see First aid and medical supplies for babies and young children. It was written by a Registered Nurse who specializes in pediatrics.

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