Any parent knows that taking care of a baby under normal circumstances is not an easy task, but imaging how much more difficult it could be during a disaster when normal supplies and resources aren’t readily available. Knowing what things to do and how to prepare for your infant will make your life a whole lot easier when things get tough. And it may even be the difference between life and death.
Read the tips below to help you prep with an infant in mind!
Nursing and Water
Breastfeeding infants is an ideal way to get them the nutrients and water that they need to survive for the first year of their lives, but it is not always an option for some mothers. If your baby is not breastfeeding, you’ll need to bring enough water to mix into formula. Beware of giving your child too much water or using it as a “substitute” for formula, because too much water can do severe damage to your baby’s health. If formula is unavailable, the best substitute is evaporated milk (not regular milk, which can make babies sick).
Prepping for infants that are already eating solid foods as opposed to just breastfeeding or drinking formula is a lot easier. Water isn’t as much of a danger, and a greater variety of food can be used to keep them fed. Foods such as peanut butter, trail mix, dry cereal, and dried fruit provide young children with the protein, healthy fats, and energy that they need; plus, those foods store well. Try to limit salty foods to save as much water as possible. It’s also a good idea to throw a few jars of baby food into your bug-out bag as well.
The clothing you bring for your children should be sturdy enough to last a few days without washing. Style isn’t a high priority during an emergency situation, so don’t feel like you need to bring tons of outfit choices for your baby.
Since disposable diapers take up so much space, cloth diapers are really the only option when prepping. A good rule of thumb is to take three cloth diapers per child, along with a water-resistant covering. You can cut up old t-shirts or other clothes for wipes. Just wash and reuse.
Mothers and soon-to-be mothers need to prepare for the possibility of emergency childbirth and delivery. There are many guides and sources online that can help women know what to do if an emergency delivery were to occur. We recommend that you look over, buy, or print out some of these guides to keep on-hand just in case it happens to you or someone around you.
Another thing to consider is how to keep your children entertained during a crisis. Although children are easily amused, you still might need a couple durable toys, paper and crayons, or a small game. These things along with your reassurance will help children deal with the confusing and stressful nature of disaster.
One last tip is to bring medicine/first aid items in order to keep your baby happy and healthy. These items could include but are not limited to:
- Teething gel
- Earache drops
- Baby chest rub
- A humidifier for at home use
- A nasal aspirator
- Saline drops
- A thermometer
- Anti-fungal cream (for diaper rash)
- Baby-safe bug repellent
- Baby safe sunblock
- Liquid baby vitamins
- Baby medicine dropper
- Gas relief drops
Check out our blog for other resources on prepping for disasters.