So. I hate to break it to you, but it turns out there's a hell of a lot more to parenthood than onesies and strollers and debates over whether the right crib mobile can increase your child's chances at getting into Harvard. And while you might think you can add a first-aid kit and some Infant's Tylenol on your registry and call it a day, the fact is that your child, one day, is going to get sick. Disgustingly, relentlessly sick.
We've gotten caught woefully unprepared plenty of times -- it happens. We've reached for the Motrin only to discover it expired in 2007. We've cursed at empty post-Tylenol-recall shelves at the drugstore because NOW WHAT. We've stood around Googling rashes and cough sounds in the middle of the night. We've paced the hallways and stared helplessly at the ceiling while our baby wailed because there was just nothing we could do except wait until whatever was wrong with him was over.
You probably will do all that too. And everything will still turn out just fine.
But in case you'd like to feel somewhat kind-of prepared, or at least would like to bookmark a handy list for frantic Amazon shopping later, here. I made you another list. It's a lot less fun than the last one. Keeping it real blows, man, I know.
FOR COLDS/FLU/GENERAL ICKINESS:
BabyComfyNose Nasal Aspirator (way more effective than the hospital freebies)
Boogie Wipes (Unscented) (despite usually being a big skeptic/mocker of the 5,029 different kinds of specialty pre-moistened wipes out there, these saline wipes are UH-MAY-ZING for crusty and over-wiped noses.)
Chestal Honey Cough Syrup, Boiron Homeopathic (Ezra will take straight tablespoons of honey for his coughs, but Noah refuses. He'll accept this stuff no problem, though. Whatever, child.)
Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer (nothing fancy, just a basic thermometer we've had for years and years and used many, many hundreds of times)
FOR EAR INFECTIONS:
Xylitol gum (if your kids are old enough to chew it; Xylichew makes a natural gum without anything artificial.)
We have never bought an ear scope and probably never will. Chances are you will know when your baby and/or child has an ear infection just fine without one. If they wake up shrieking and clawing at their ears or head (particularly if they're just getting over a cold), it's an ear infection. Tylenol, drops, warm washcloth. They'll probably be just fine in the morning -- our pede doesn't even want you to bother coming in for an ear check until the second night of screaming (which has only happened to us once, because it was a double-secret-probation infection).
FOR HEAD LICE:
RID (I know, I know. Crazy controversial. Full of terrible chemicals. Doesn't work for a lot of people. It works for us. I use it at the first sight of trouble, then switch to natural products after one initial nuclear blast.)
Nit Free Terminator Lice Comb (Don't even waste your time with anything else. This comb is the bomb.)
Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Shampoo & Conditioner
LiceLogic Household Lice Protection Spray (use on mattresses, furniture, car seats, anything that can't be washed or heated in the dryer)
FOR THE HORKOVIRUS OF DOOM:
Top-of-the-line mattress and pillow protectors (we like Protect-A-Bed)
Emergency Sleeping Bags (a MUST for bunk beds, but also handy for anyone who doesn't feel like changing sheets for the third time in a single night)
Layer of old towels in between mattress protector and sleeping bag for localized-area clean-up
NO WICKER BASKET-TYPE TRASH CANS IN KIDS' ROOMS OH MY GOD
Pedialyte, if liquids aren't staying down for an extended stretch of time; you can also whip up a homebrew batch in a pinch, too.
Probiotics (we buy whatever powder has children's dosing instructions on it)
Miralax (for if/when things swing in the other direction, especially after your children have eaten three bunches of bananas in a single weekend)
Bummis Reusable Fleece Liners (the flushable liners catch solids; these fleece ones will protect your diapers and minimize the mess when it's not actually solid enough anymore ewwww I know sorry)
bumGenius Diaper Sprayer (never honestly felt compelled to buy one of these before, but LO I COMPLETELY SEE THE POINT OF THEM NOW, HOLY LITERAL SHIT)
GrowVia Magic Stick Diaper Ointment (if you're changing diapers and treating diaper rash a dozen times a day, it's super nice keep your hands goop-free in the process)
Earth Mama Angel Baby Angel Baby Bottom Balm (HOWEVER, if you're dealing with a really vicious, painful-looking rash, this is the nicest, richest, soothing-est cloth-diaper-safe ointment I've used)
Zinc, probiotics, handwashing up to the elbow
LUSH bath bombs, melts and/or massage bars, who cares, just get in the tub and lock the damn door.
Big House Red wine, in a handy-dandy three-liter "home wine bar," which is fancy-speak for a BIG ASS BOX OF WINE, because SERIOUSLY.