Even if you’ve taken every precaution to create a safe environment for your baby, some accidents and illnesses are unavoidable with a little one – so it’s important to keep a stock of basic medical supplies to hand.
These key items should help you respond to common injuries and ailments. But do remember, if there’s any sign of a more serious problem or you’re not sure of the cause, it’s always best to contact a medical professional for advice.
Add any medication or equipment which is essential to your own child’s needs. And make sure you know how to use each item, so you’re not reading instructions in an emergency situation. Download and print our baby first aid checklist:
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You can attend a baby first aid course specifically designed for new parents and carers to learn how to recognise and react in emergency situations. Of course, these are skills you hope you’ll never have to use, but being armed with the relevant knowledge can help to give you peace of mind.
First aid classes offer practical, hands-on training in a group setting, led by a trained professional. Most courses offer the use of a baby manikin doll to practise manoeuvres on, which can be really helpful before your baby is born.
Among other things, you can expect to learn what to do if your baby:
There is often plenty of time for questions, so if you have any specific worries or concerns, it’s worth noting them down to ask on the day.
You can attend a baby first aid class at any point, on your own or with a partner and either before or after your baby is born.
In most cases you can bring your small baby with you but check with the course provider first.
Even if you’ve already done a regular first aid course in the past, it can be worth attending one when you’re having a baby. There are some cases where newborn first aid is quite different from the adult version, for example when performing CPR or helping a choking infant.
The price of the first aid course depends on both the organisation, where you live and whether you're going on your own or with someone else (such as your birth partner).
British Red Cross training tends to be a little more expensive than others; you can expect to pay between £45 and £60.
The NCT Baby First Aid course (run in partnership with British Red Cross) costs from as little as £20 and due to the pandemic it's being currently run online.
The St John’s Ambulance Essential First Aid course costs £30 for three hours anywhere in the UK.
During the pandemic, many courses are being held remotely. Check with the training provider for details on how this works.
If money is preventing you from attending a session, there are free online videos and advice you can use to learn some of the basics:
Learning basic first aid can help you to recognise and respond to minor emergencies. However, it’s just as important to know when further medical attention is needed and where to go to get the necessary help.
In any situation where there is a medical emergency, call 999.