I don’t recommend getting a prepacked “baby grooming kit.” Even the best grooming kit comes full of stuff you’re not ever going to use, and what is there is inferior to what you can get if you buy separately.
When I had my first child, I was gifted what I was told was the “best baby grooming kit” there is. Frankly, most of it was junk, and I ended up getting stuff after that was actually good.
The reason these kits are no good is because they’re made to be cheap. If you get a kit that has 12 different things in it and costs $15, you can imagine how cheaply-made the individual items are. Do you really want to use grooming items on your baby that are worth pennies?
The best thing to do is to buy stuff that’s actually good and you’re actually going to use.
Here’s what I recommend for the ideal baby grooming kit, and nothing else.
1. Baby Hair Brush & Comb
Not all babies have a lot of hair. But some come out with what amounts to almost a full head of hair, and combine that with how much time they spend sleeping, and it’s a recipe for a serious case of bed head!
Most baby hairbrushes are adequate. You might even be given one by your hospital or get a cheap one in a kit, and it will likely work fine. But if you’re shopping for good stuff, why not get something that’s good?
I personally love the First Years brush and comb set (click here to see it on Amazon). It’s branded with the Red Cross logo, but I don’t think it’s a big deal.
There’s not a ton to say about them: the comb has round, flexible bristles, making it safe and comfortable to use even on the youngest of infants, and the brush is no-tangle. With a little water and some brushing, it works well to untangle most tangles.
Obviously, this isn’t exactly a cute set, but does that really matter? What matters most, in my opinion, is the functionality, and they do work great.
2. Baby Nail Clippers
The prospect of trimming your baby’s nails can be scary. Those fingers are teeny tiny and their nails are even smaller. If you’re like me, you might be paralyzed with fear of hurting them with the big ol’ clippers you have around the house.
While a lot of people recommend baby nail clippers, the best solution I’ve found is baby nail scissors.
They’re far safer and also easier to use. Clippers seem like they’re fine at first, but it’s so easy to accidentally cut your baby’s sensitive finger skin with them. A sudden movement and things can go downhill quickly, and you’ll end up drawing blood.
My favorite baby nail scissors are made by Piyo Piyo (click here to see them on Amazon). They’re curved, which makes them easy to use, and the blades are rounded making it almost impossible to accidentally cut the skin.
If you’re thinking that scissors are more intimidating than clippers, don’t be. They’re actually MUCH safer than clippers. What makes them way safer is that because they’re scissors, you can see what you’re cutting. This isn’t possible with clippers, so it’s much, much safer.
These clippers come with a cute little storage case that keeps them from getting rusty, but you should always clean then after use anyway to make sure no rust happens.
Even the best baby nail clippers don’t compare to these scissors. Well worth it!
3. Nasal Aspirator
These little things are crucial.
When your baby has a cold and is all stuffed up, it’s impossible for them to blow their nose and get the boogies cleared out. This is where a nasal aspirator comes into play!
There are good nasal aspirators and bad ones. You should get one that works by you sucking on the other end; the bulb ones just don’t work well, and they end up full of bacteria.
My personal favorite is Nosefrida; you can read our full review of it here.
Basically, it works by inserting it into the child’s nose, and then you suck on the other end. Don’t worry, you’re not going to get snot in your mouth or anything. It uses filters to make sure this won’t happen.
What’s best about these types of aspirators is that the suction power is controlled completely by you, and you can angle them to work better than bulb ones.
You might get one of these from the hospital, but if it’s a bulb one, it sucks. Don’t use it.
Most of the thermometers that come in kits are no good. Do you really want to use a thermometer that might not be accurate?
Ideally, a rectal thermometer is best for taking the temperature of infants. Rectal thermometers are by far the most accurate, although they’re obviously a little unpleasant to use.
The alternative is a temporal artery thermometer, which is a lot more expensive and not quite as accurate, but not at all invasive.
We have a full guide on baby thermometers that you can read here.
Wrapping It All Up
In my opinion, most of the stuff you get in a baby care kit is useless. All you really need is these 4 things and nothing else.
Do you agree or disagree? Is there something else you think I should have included? Let me know in the comments below!