Author Topic: Infants in an Emergency  (Read 4409 times)

Offline spartan

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Infants in an Emergency
« on: September 19, 2008, 12:49:07 PM »
Jack had mentioned wanting to do a show on handling children in an emergency.  Here are my first thoughts on some items to keep on hand as well as the main attitude I take with our baby when we lose power or get cut off from civilization. 

You should make sure you have spare/extra of following items on hand if you have an infant.

Formula:  Even if you or your spouse are breastfeeding your child, times of stress can reduce the milk supply or it may not be the best way to feed your child.  Having a few cans of powdered formula on hand is a quick and inexpensive way to insure your baby always has food.

Bottles and nipples:  As with above, it is good to have extras on hand.  Though I have spoon fed baby breast milk, it is a slow and laborious endeavor. If something happens that you need to feed your infant this is the easiest way to do it. 

Disposable Diapers and Wipes:  We use cloth diapers and baby wipes but keep a few packs of disposable diapers and wipes on hand.  If we lose power, water become a valuable resource that cannot spend washing them.  If we have to leave, they easy to pack in a go bag.

It also allows us to safely handle baby waste.  Plus baby is clean and comfortable, which keeps the family's stress levels down.  Trying to think clearly with an unhappy baby can be very hard.

As an added bonus, pouring a 1/4 cup of water into a disposable diaper and freezing it makes a great, inexpensive, and reusable ice pack.

Clean blankets:  These help keep baby warm, clean, and dry.  They don't take up much space to have 5-10 in a bag.

For the rest of the family, they can be used as bandages, head wraps, stuffed into a jacket as insulation, to grab a hot handle, many other ways.

Water:  I have always followed the rule of thumb that you should have 1 gallon of water per family member per day that you wish to store in case of emergency.  With an infant, I store 2 gallons per child per day.  This gives you some extra water to bathe them and try to maintain their routine.

Maintaining a routine is the single most important part of handling a child in an emergency.  If they are used to being up and fed at 7am, so everything you can to get them up and feed them at 7am.  Stay in their pajamas until 10 and then get put into their play clothes?  Keep up with it.  By maintaining a routine you keep order in their life in a time that is stressful enough for those who are dealing with it.  Keeping that order maintains a happier child. 

If your child has a particular book/toy/music/etc get an extra one and keep it with the rest of their emergency supplies.  For music, have a copy on CD and a portable CD player with a few sets of batteries and an external speaker so you can play it for them.  Don't trust an MP3 player or other electronics with built in batteries unless you have a way to recharge them.  Even then, I prefer ones that I can swap out.

That covers my initial thoughts on handling infants.  If you have any further questions please post them here and I will do what I can to answer them from my own experiences.

Offline BigDanInTX

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Re: Infants in an Emergency
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2008, 12:56:34 PM »
I feel the biggest problem will be in keeping them entertained.  I've gotten to where I force the television off and we play board games so I know what they like, etc. plus it's better interaction anyway and their brains aren't rotting w/ Sponge Bob.  ;-]

Games, books, toys and activities that they enjoy should be a priority.

Once my boys are old enough, I want to take them camping.  That way, if we ever have to bug out, I know how they'll be out in the wild.  Plus, they'll have already done it and know what it's like.  I may take my oldest by himself this next summer and see how it goes.  Start with a backyard campout.  =-]

6yo and 3yo here, btw.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 12:58:36 PM by BigDanInTX »

Offline susan1957

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Re: Infants in an Emergency
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2008, 12:30:30 PM »
Children respond to your emotions.  If you are upset and nervious they will be too. If you are calm and in control they will be too.
Play quiet games then remember they are balls of energy so let them run and play some. 
My memory of kids camping are they eat twice as much as normal so you may want prepare for that.

 

tash

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Re: Infants in an Emergency
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2008, 03:04:40 PM »
Thanks for posting this. I was one (of many?) that had sent Jack a question about infants. It's awesome you took the initiative and posted this topic. Thanks for the info. I have no clue, I even when the wifey and I do have kids, sooner than later :o, I still don't think I'll have a clue. lol.

@ spartan - in all seriousness, how does one deal with baby waste in cloth diapers? Totally lost on that one. I have a dog and I clean up after her in the backyard. Is it like that with the inside out walmart bag and then you pull it back on it self and tie it off? What if there aren't any walmart bags left? Sorry if I'm not making any sense. lol

-Tash

Offline susan1957

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Re: Infants in an Emergency
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2008, 04:03:56 PM »
Cloth diapers are cleaned by dunking back and forth in one bucket of water  to get as much poo off as possible, Putting into another bucket filled with borax to soak until you wash.  You'll get the hang of it.  Another idea is to use diaper liners.  (soft paper liners that you can just pull away from the diaper and toss.  Then soak the diaper in the second bucket.

There are some that say infants are naturally born potty trained.  They have books on it but it escapes me the titles right now.  I never found that any of mine were.


Offline Stein

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Re: Infants in an Emergency
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2008, 09:29:34 PM »
Infants make the situation much more complex.  Here is what I am in the process of stockpiling.

1.  60 - 90 days formula (jr can only drink one type of formula due to an allergy) good news is that the shelf life is a couple of years
2.  60 - 90 days diapers and wipes
3.  Quite a bit of dish soap for washing bottles
4.  Mucho extra water for formula, bathing and washing bottles
5.  OTC medications - Tylenol, ibuprofin, thermometer, ??

The above seems pretty straight forward until you start adding it up.  The special formula costs more than what an adult eats for the month - thank goodness for eBay.  Space is also a concern as many of the items are bulky and it is hard to predict diaper sizes three months in advance.  Backup plan is to use Costco to exchange stockpile for the right size if we miss.

Offline 19kilo

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Re: Infants in an Emergency
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2008, 01:10:32 AM »
Not too terribly concerned about keeping stocks of formula for the kid.  (we're trying for one more)  My wife nursed the other two kids until they were ready for milk.  We actually had tons of  breast milk for the babies.  Because she produces as much milk as she pumped.

We use reusable diapers already.

Baby preps for me would include canned veggies that could be mashed into baby food

Electrolytes for dehydration.

Infant ibuprofen.

thomasx7

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Re: Infants in an Emergency
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2008, 12:22:46 AM »
I have 5 children, ages 6 mos to 7 years, so this is something that I have thought about a little. My oldest two have already been on 2 backpacking trips into the wilderness with me. My son (7) has his own rucksack, so he can carry some of his own gear. My daughter (6) can carry light stuff like her sleeping bag in a normal backpack. All of them have been camping since infancy, so they are used to roughing it. The younger ones would be the more difficult. We would probably pack disposable diapers for the baby, with a few cloth diapers for backup if our supply gets used up. Diaper liners are a must with those.
 One thing to consider is that it is VERY difficult to get a child to switch from breastfeeding to bottle feeding. The sucking a baby uses to nurse is different from what is used for bottles, plus the taste is foreign to them. Trying to get a hungry, upset baby to figure out a new way to feed would probably add to an already stressed situation.  Not that it couldn't be done, just that I wouldn't devote space for formula. I know that all women are different. Consider though, Haitian boat refugees have survived for days on a woman's breastmilk. So I guess some women do just fine keeping the supply up.
There is no way we could carry enough water, so I plan on incorporating my backpacking water filter. We have a lot of water in the area from rivers and lakes.
One product that I definitely would pack is a baby sling. For those unfamiliar, it is basically a hammock that keeps baby snugged up against your chest/abdomen. This allows you to carry a baby and have your hands free. I am pretty sure that you could wear a backpack, plus the sling.

Offline susan1957

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Re: Infants in an Emergency
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2008, 05:22:59 PM »
Pack some powdered formula because sometimes the stress of emergencies will cause the milk to decrease in production and sometimes will dry up totally.  The purpose of this is to be prepared...mother's get sick and sometimes is  best for her not to breast feed.  Mothers will need extra calories to produce more milk as well so you may want to plan on that as well.  Be prepared even if you don't feel you'll need to be.

Offline 19kilo

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Re: Infants in an Emergency
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2008, 10:23:55 PM »
Pack some powdered formula because sometimes the stress of emergencies will cause the milk to decrease in production and sometimes will dry up totally.  The purpose of this is to be prepared...mother's get sick and sometimes is  best for her not to breast feed.  Mothers will need extra calories to produce more milk as well so you may want to plan on that as well.  Be prepared even if you don't feel you'll need to be.


+1  Your right about the stress thing.  It will also cause you to miss ovulation to. 

We are always trying to get free samples of the stuff, just in case.

Offline exoduster18

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Re: Infants in an Emergency
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2008, 10:16:12 AM »
I have two kids. One is 18 months and the other is two months. They both have their own diaper bag that is packed with the supplies that they would need for three days at bare minimum....I never let the bags go depleted below those levels.

I use the above for trips just to a family member or friends house.

I have another bag that will be used in conjunction with what I have in BOB/BOG (Bug Out Gear). It's full of extra clothes, diapers, formula, snacks for the little ones....toys and some stuff that we can do together (like a drawing pad and crayons). I keep about 60 days worth of supplies in there.

This is a good thread, Let's keep it going as this isn't something that I have seen people give much thought to....My little ones are always taken care of!!

Lucretius

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Re: Infants in an Emergency
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2008, 11:56:23 AM »
Learn how to carry an infant on your front with a big piece of cloth "african style". Great for bugging out.

Offline Jwatt

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Re: Infants in an Emergency
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2008, 11:50:13 AM »
I have a 2 and a half year old and an 11 month old.  When we go on day trips we cannot carry our children and our gear.  I would definitely suggest some sort of small compact stroller to put tired sleepy kids in.  Chico makes good super light weight strollers that you sling around your back.  It is small enough to permanently store in the trunk of a car.
I am thinking about a major earthquake in California where we might not have shelter or electricity for a period of time - be sure to have some laundry detergent because kids inevitably soil their clothing!