A Gift Basket From Your Pharmacist

Gift Basket Pharmacist

Ok let’s face it, who doesn’t love shopping for an adorable baby outfit when you are invited to a baby shower? I certainly do! But as a pharmacist, I also like to put together gift baskets containing commonly needed items from a drug store. Below is a list of items I might choose for a basket. Whenever possible, I select items with a beloved childhood theme or character. I’ve categorized the items so you can create one large gift basket or make a smaller theme-specific (and less costly) basket. For some items, I’ve added a brief rationale for their inclusion.

Feel free to copy my idea! Make a gift basket for someone you care about or use it as a checklist for yourself before your baby arrives.

Illness or Injury

  • Digital Thermometer

All babies get a fever at some point. It will be important to accurately measure the baby’s temperature.

  • Nasal Aspirator and Saline Nose Drops

Children get an average of 6 to 10 colds per year. Infants younger than 6 months old breathe mainly through their nose. So, nose congestion in an infant makes it not only difficult to breathe but to feed and sleep too. Removing mucous from the nose before feeding and bedtime can help an infant breathe, eat, and sleep better. Saline nose drops help loosen mucous.

  • Acetaminophen Drops – to relieve pain or fever when recommended by the baby’s doctor
  • Adhesive Bandages – a variety of shapes/sizes
  • Small Flexible Cold Pack – for inevitable bumps and bruises

Medication Safety

  • Oral Syringe

Used to measure any liquid medicine that doesn’t already come with a measuring tool. If a measuring device is included with a medicine, use it only for that product. Caregivers should ask their pharmacist for help if they have any questions about how to correctly measure or give a medicine.

  • Medication Bottle Adapter Plug

This device is used in the neck of a medication bottle so you can insert an oral dosing syringe and withdraw a liquid medication. It is less messy and wasteful than pouring the medicine into a cup first. Using an adaptor does pose additional risks however. The adapter itself can be a choking hazard. Also, when in position, most adapters do not allow for a child-resistant cap to close the bottle. This makes it easier for a child to drink the contents if they get a hold of the bottle. As always, all medicines should be stored well out of reach of children!

  • Poison Control Center (PCC) Phone Number

In the United States, dialing 1-800-222-1222 will connect you to the nearest poison control center. Your local center may be able to give you magnets or stickers with the phone number. Alternatively, individuals can text “POISON” to 797979 to save the PCC contact information in their mobile phone.

  • Free Consult Coupons

I often include a pack of handmade coupons that entitle the bearer to call me with medicine-related questions. Substitute coupons with a task or skill you are willing to provide like babysitting.

Diaper Care Items

  • Petroleum Jelly or Zinc Oxide Ointment – either may be used as a barrier to protect skin and prevent diaper rash
  • Baby Wipes or a Pack of Washcloths

General Hygiene

  • Baby Nail Clipper
  • Baby Shampoo
  • Mild Soap

Feeding/Oral Care

  • Baby Bottles/Nipples/Bottle Brush
  • Pacifier
  • Sippy cups
  • Teething Ring
  • Fluoride Free Toothpaste/ Toothbrush

Items to AVOID

I DO NOT include the following items because I do not want to promote their use in young infants:
  • Cough and Cold Remedies

These products are not recommended in children less than 2 years old. Never give one without first speaking to your child’s doctor.

  • Powders

These products, especially ones that contain talc, can be harmful if inhaled by an infant.

  • Sunscreen

These products are not recommended in infants younger than 6 months old. It is best to keep young infants out of the sun.

  • Teething Gels

These products, especially ones with medicines that numb the gums, can be harmful.


Margaret Burke
Dr. Margaret Burke is a board-certified pediatric pharmacotherapy specialist and medical writer. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees at The State University of New York at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and completed a pediatric pharmacy residency and fellowship at The University of Illinois at Chicago. She has worked as a clinical pharmacist caring for neonates and children for more than 20 years. In her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking, and travel adventures with her husband.

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