In our final piece dedicated to the female prepper’s out there, we’ll be discussing ways to prepare for a baby or an infant. It is possible for women to be pregnant or have a newborn when things get dire, and being prepared is essential for both the mother and the child.
In our previous article on Women’s Preparedness (see the complete list of articles in this series below), we discussed ways to prepare for pregnancy and potential childbirth during a long-term emergency situation. Once a baby is born, additional care will need to be taken, and additional preps will need to be made so your baby will be well-provided for. Infants need a lot of care, but the first tip is easy: let nature work.
By that, I mean, breastfeed the baby. This is obvious. Every mother should be able to feed their child even though there may be obstacles. Infant formulas and specialty waters to mix with the formulas would be a good preparedness item to stock up on in the event of a short or longer-term emergency because they will be one of the first items to disappear off the store shelves, and unless you’ve got a lactating animal close by, you won’t be able to feed your child. Besides, breastmilk is free, and it’s good for both the mother and the baby. Animal milk won’t be the same and your child’s health could suffer. There are TONS of resources out there to help women understand how and why they should breastfeed. It’s a personal decision, but one you won’t have when things go wrong unless you’ve stockpiled formula. If you have questions, consult a lactation professional. Use the internet’s resources now, and buy books to have on hand as reference material if you need to. We also suggested this for pregnant women; having the books available will give you some kind of reference if a doctor can’t be found.
It is perfectly fine to keep some formula around just in case something bad happens and your milk supply is affected: which is known to occur during times of stress. If it gives you an added peace of mind, stock up, but pay attention to expiration dates! Your baby’s health is not something to take lightly! Stock up on a few bottles to and perhaps purchase a manual breast pump. You just never know what could happen and the extra milk may come in handy should the stress really hit you hard.
Obviously, you could stock up on disposable diapers in all kinds of sizes as this will be another item that will quickly disappear off store shelves. But this takes up a lot of space that you could be using for your food or water storage. We suggest something reusable, such as cloth diapers. Consider getting a more mild type of soap, such as soap nuts to clean the diapers as babies have more sensitive skin than us adults. Cloth diapers are not fun! But they will save you money (disposable diapers are incredibly expensive) they will save the planet, and they can be used as many times as needed until your baby is old enough to learn to not poo in their pants! There are benefits, but convenience is not one of those. However, an apocalypse isn’t exactly convenient either, so we work with what we’ve got!
You’ll also need diaper covers to prevent leakage. This may be a bit pricier, but consider investing in 4-5 one size diaper covers. You only need a handful of these because they dry very quickly and can be used several times a day before needing to be washed. bumGenius has really good one-size covers which fit from newborn through potty training years. Don’t forget reusable cloth wipes! Added bonus: these will come in handy for yourself as well! Toilet paper will eventually run out, but having these wipes will mean you and baby will have squeaky clean bottoms during a catastrophe, and that’s pretty important.
Keep blankets handy for newborns and as the baby ages, you can try to barter for clothing, or have a few items in several sizes stored for an emergency. You could also get creative and cut up some of your clothes to make something for the baby. Keep in mind, that if you live in a cooler climate, you will need to have good socks and shoes. You should also have some baby hats laying around and a warm coat in a few sizes as the child ages. The other good thing is that having these on hand will give you something to barter with. If you end up never needing a size 2T winter coat, but have one, there just might be someone who could use it and who might be willing to trade for it.
A baby carrier is a must! Even when my kids were babies, I used it all the time! It gives you a chance to have the baby close to your body to keep it warm, and it’s a great way to be hands-free which is invaluable at the grocery store! Just imagine how handy it could be when the SHTF! It doesn’t matter what baby carrier you choose really, as long as you have some comfortable method of carrying baby hands-free. I had a Baby Bjorn front carrier. A backpack carrier would be really nice to have for hiking or camping or bugging out. Just keep in mind that using a stroller may not always be a possibility. Those are great at Disneyland, but not so great to wander the woods with.
BABY BUG OUT BAG
If you have your own bug out bag, keep baby items with yours. As your child grows, switch things out that the baby may no longer need. For example, you won’t need bottles for an 8-year-old, so continue to update the bug out bag with items your kid could use at their current age as the time goes by. Eventually, you may be preparing a separate bug out bag just for your child, which is kind of fun. Don’t overload your child, just take age and size into consideration and have some fun doing it!
Again, this is by no means the extent of what one who has a diaper-aged baby should consider when preparing. These are suggestions and ideas to get moms and future moms in the preparedness mindset. These ideas also offer solutions to the disposal conveniences we’ve come to enjoy, but won’t be around during an emergency.
Please continue to share any ideas in the comments below for other women! The comment section on these articles has been both helpful, supportive, and informative. Thanks for helping all of our female preppers out there and know you are not alone!
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