Having a baby is one of the most wonderful and life-changing events that can happen to a person. For preppers, it also means that they will need to make significant changes and additions to their preps.
Preppers must make sure that their baby will remain fed, clothed, healthy, and loved, even in a worst-case scenario. How they will do this will be completely different than for other members of their family, even older children.
My wife and I recently adopted our first child, Jonathan, so this is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. Here are the things that preppers need to think about and plan for when they have a baby.
Prepping Before the Baby Is Born
Having a healthy and safe pregnancy is vital for a baby’s development. From a preparedness standpoint, the mother is the most important member of the household during this time. She must remain in good health and good spirits, so your preps need to be geared towards this.
Take Advantage of Medical Care
One of the most important preparedness moves that you can make is taking advantage of modern prenatal care. This can help detect and avoid potential issues later on. If you have to bug out or shelter in place sometime during the pregnancy, you want the mother and baby to be as healthy as possible going into it. This will make complications less likely.
Learn About the Delivery Process
More and more families are choosing to give birth at home. However, in an emergency, you may not have a choice. Because of this, your family should know what to do in the event mom goes into labor when medical help is unavailable or too far to reach in time. If possible, include someone with relevant medical experience in your preparedness plan.
- Plastic sheeting (to lay mom on)
- Gauze Pads
- Cord clamps
- Feminine pads
- Trash Bags
- Bulb syringe
- Pain medication
- Ice packs
- Newborn clothes and diapers
If you have to give birth at home without medical assistance, try to find it as soon as possible afterward. You will want to make sure that both mom and baby are both in good health.
Keep Mom Well-Fed During the Pregnancy
Normal amounts of food storage will be insufficient during pregnancy. Expecting mothers require more calories. After all, a second human being is growing inside of them. Because of this, be sure to increase your food storage accordingly with foods mom likes.
Baby Shower Tips for Preppers
Babies can get expensive very quickly. They will need food, clothing, diapers, specific medications, and a host of other items. Having one or more baby showers is an excellent way to get a jump start on your new addition’s daily needs, and, if you do it right, help you prepare them for an emergency as well.
Baby showers can be organized by:
- Family members
Many of your guests will just buy things that they think are cute or useful, and that’s fine. However, you can use your invitation and registries to request specific items. Many people will also ask you what you need, and that is a great opportunity.
Below are some items that preppers can ask for at baby showers to help them prepare for the baby’s arrival and be ready for an emergency should it arise.
Prepper Baby Shower Items
A gift card is the undisputed king of baby registries. You can use them to purchase the things that you had no idea that you needed and stock up on formula and diapers.
Babies poop and pee. A lot. Because of this, diapers should be at the top of your list for things to put on your baby shower list. Be sure to include different sizes on your registry. Little ones grow quickly, and you want to have a good selection of diapers ready for them.
You will need large amounts of baby wipes to go with your huge stash of diapers. Include regular baby wipes as well as Boogie Wipes. They are more gentle on babies’ faces than regular wipes.
Bottles and Nipples
Having a large supply of bottles and nipples will allow you to have enough for everyday use and keep some in bug out bags and vehicles. Be sure to put different sized nipples on the registry. Babies require different flow rates depending on their age your specific baby’s needs.
Burp Cloths and Bibs
Babies will get these dirty fast, especially when they begin eating solid foods.
Include medical supplies such as digital forehead thermometers, diaper cream, and other items on your registry. You will use all of these eventually.
You don’t need to overload a registry with clothes, because people will buy cute baby clothes regardless of what is on the registry. However, it is a good idea to include different sizes on the registry so they have clothing at each stage of growth.
A Note About Formula and Registries
Be very careful about putting formula on your registry. Many babies, mine included, have sensitive digestive systems, and you don’t know what your baby will be able to handle. Begin stocking up on formula after your baby arrives and you find out what they can handle.
I say that through experience. My wife and I put some cans of formula on our registries. By the time the baby shower rolled around, Jonathan could no longer use them. He is now on goat’s milk formula which is expensive. Awesome…
Prepper Tips for Feeding a Baby
Setting aside food storage for your new baby is absolutely essential. Babies are extremely limited on what they can eat, especially during the first several months of their lives. Having ample amounts of food, especially formula is the foundation of a baby’s prepper food plan.
Breastfeeding and Formula
Some families may think that because the mother is breastfeeding that there is no need for formula. While breastfeeding almost always a better option than formula, it may not be possible under some circumstances.
In our case, since we adopted, breastfeeding isn’t really an option. However, for other families, the mother’s ability to breastfeed may become compromised. This could be due to illness, injury, or simply because the mother isn’t around. Stress can also prevent a mother from producing milk, which would probably be an issue in an emergency situation.
Probably the worst thing that could happen would be the mother becoming separated from the rest of the family or passing away. The only thing worse than losing your spouse would be losing your child right after because they starved to death. Having a supply of powdered formula on hand will allow you to keep your baby fed, at least temporarily.
You should store enough formula for your baby to last at least as long or longer than the food preps for the rest of your family. If you are short on cash, the baby’s food preps should be your priority.
The reason for this is a baby’s food options are much more limited than the rest of us. I can shoot a squirrel in the back yard and eat it with a side of dandelion leaves. My wife and I could survive off of that, but it wouldn’t work for a baby.
Babies (and their bodies) can also be very picky about what types of formula they can handle. Because of this, you want to make sure that your baby can drink and hold down whatever you are storing. There was one formula that we gave to our baby that he promptly puked up. It was literally the entire bottle. If we had stored a bunch of that without testing it first we would have been in big trouble.
A water filter, such as the Big Berkey, is a valuable tool for providing safe water for everyday use as well as mixing formula. My wife and I use our Berkey for every bottle that we make for Jonathan. It helps us remove chemicals from our tap water and will be able to remove more dangerous contaminants during an emergency. You can find my full review of Berkey water filters by clicking here.
Storing Solid Foods for Babies
In addition to storing plenty of formula, you will also need to store solid foods for when the baby gets a little older. In general, this is when the baby is somewhere between 4 and 6 months old. According to the Mayo Clinic website, a baby is probably ready for solid foods when they:
- Can hold their head up steadily
- Are able to sit up with some support
- Starts mouthing toys or their hands
- The baby begins to show an interest in food by leaning towards it with their mouth open.
Most baby foods, as long as they stay sealed in their container, have a fairly long shelf life. However, be sure to store what the baby likes, not just what is on sale. If you have had a baby for long, you know that they will absolutely refuse to eat stuff they don’t like. Reasoning with a baby isn’t going to happen.
Growing a garden is an excellent way to make sure that your little one has the highest-quality ingredients going into their food. The only downside to this is that it can be difficult to store homemade pureed baby food for longer than 3 months, and this is when it is in a deep freeze.
Because of this, be sure to keep some store-bought jars on hand. You may prefer to use your home-grown baby food as your normal means of feeding them, but having a good supply of store-bought jars as a backup is still a good idea.
Prepper Tips for Keeping a Baby Clean
Babies go through diapers very quickly, so you will need to store a lot of them. Since you don’t know how old your baby will be when an emergency happens, be sure to have different sizes. You will be able to use them eventually anyway.
The biggest problems with storing large amounts of diapers are they aren’t cheap and they take up a bunch of space. You can partially solve the cost issue by putting them on your baby registry as mentioned above. As far as storage space goes, use areas such as under the crib or have a garage sale to clear out room in closets.
Although I wouldn’t want to use them everyday, cloth diapers and diaper pins do have a place in a prepper’s arsenal. Cloth diapers can be washed, which makes them reusable. This would be valuable if you run out of disposable diapers, which could happen during both short-term and long-term emergencies.
Keep at least 2 or 3 dozen cloth diapers in your storage. This will allow you to rotate them and prevent you from running out if some get lost or become unusable.
Also, be sure to get some diaper covers to go with your reusable cloth diapers. They will form a waterproof barrier between a soaked cloth diaper and stuff you don’t want to be contaminated by poop or pee. This can protect the baby’s clothing, you, their car seat, and numerous other things.
In addition to diapers, you will also need to keep a good supply of cleaning wipes on hand as well. This is one item that is almost impossible to overestimate how much you will use. When you buy them just go ahead and get bulk packs.
A baby’s butt isn’t the only thing that needs to be kept clean. Their face is ground zero for strings of snot and food that never made it into their mouth. Using a regular baby wipe can irritate the baby’s face and make them very fussy. Boogie wipes are a much better choice for this purpose.
In addition to disposable wipes, also be sure to stock up on non-disposable cloths as well. Since a baby’s skin is sensitive, these cloths should be very soft.
Diaper Disposal Bags
Being able to dispose of diapers properly will help your baby and the rest of your family stay healthy during an emergency. Keep a supply of diaper disposal bags on hand. They are small plastic bags that you can use to contain used diapers, keeping smells and bacteria at bay.
While many may prefer to just use their regular trash can to dispose of diapers, doing so may not be practical in some emergencies. If trash pickup stops running for an extended period of time, having an extra layer of protection between you and old diapers would be very beneficial.
I keep a roll of diaper disposal bags in our car. I had to use one recently at a birthday party when the venue didn’t have a changing table in the men’s restroom. I took Jonathan to the car, changed him, and tied up the old diaper in one of the bags. It was a much better option than simply tossing the diaper on the floorboard or dragging it back into the building.
Baby Soap and Shampoo
Keeping your baby clean will help them stay healthy. Be sure to keep baby soap and shampoo in your preps. This is an item that you will need to test before you store large quantities. Some babies have sensitivities that prevent them from using certain products.
Prepper Tips for Keeping a Baby Clothed
Babies go through clothes almost as fast as they do diapers and milk. They are constantly growing which means they may only get to wear certain outfits once or twice before they outgrow them. Because of this, you need to have multiples sizes and clothes for different seasons.
In general, you want to have enough clothes to last approximately the first two years of their life. Babies grow the fastest in the first few months of their lives and then slow down once they reach about a year old. Avoid overbuying preemie sizes as they will probably only use those for a few weeks if at all.
You also want your baby to be protected from various weather conditions. Be sure that you include shoes, socks, and jackets in your preps.
Prepper Tips for a Baby’s Sleeping
Babies spend a lot of their time sleeping. You want them to remain safe and comfortable while they are resting. This will help them stay happy, healthy, and make your life much easier. Fortunately, the items preppers need to help their baby sleep are items that you already need in the first place as new parents.
Even if you don’t want to have the baby in bed with you, co-sleepers are still very useful items to have. They don’t take up much space, so you can use them when you take trips to relatives’ houses or have to spend the night in a hotel. This makes them practical for everyday life.
However, being able to use co-sleepers for those purposes would be very useful if you had to bug out. It would give your baby a safe and comfortable place to sleep until you reach your final destination. Be sure to keep extra mattress covers in case of diaper leaks. You can simply wipe off the plastic-covered mattress and slip a new sheet on it. This will keep the baby’s sleeping conditions nice and clean.
Pack and Play with a Bassinet
A pack and play with bassinet is a great option for new parents whether they are preppers or not. They are portable, easy to store, and safe for children. The pack and play gives the baby a safe area to play while the bassinet gives them a good sleeping area.
We keep ours assembled next to our bed, and that is where our baby sleeps. However, in an emergency, it could easily fit in the back of either of our cars if we had to leave. Our son would be able to sleep in his regular bed once we reach a safe area.
Spare Blankets and Sheets
Keep spare sheets for any type of bed that you use as well as blankets. Have enough for regular use and some to keep set aside for emergency use in the home and kits.
Prepper Tips for Baby Medicine
Sooner or later, your baby will get sick. If you are a new parent, it can be really scary, even if it is just a minor case of the sniffles. With babies, it is best to do as much as you can to prevent them from getting sick and deal with it quickly when it happens.
Be sure to take your baby in for regular checkups. Choose a doctor who is willing to communicate with you via email or telephone. This is useful when something comes up where you aren’t sure if you should bring the baby in or not. A doctor that cares enough to return a call or email probably cares more for their patients than one who doesn’t.
However, having some basic items on hand will help you manage many illnesses your baby may face.
Here are some items that preppers (and every parent) should keep on hand.
One of the best ways to determine if your child or someone else is sick is to take their temperature. For this, I recommend an electronic thermometer that takes temperatures by simply touching someone’s forehead.
This is much easier than trying to keep a thermometer shoved in a baby’s mouth, armpit, or rectum long enough to get a temperature. It is also more sanitary. Be sure to store batteries to go with it.
Note: Keeping a non-digital, traditional, thermometer on hand is a good idea in case the digital one breaks or you run out of batteries.
Diaper Rash Cream
Babies will develop diaper rash at some point. However, if you catch it early, it may not be too difficult to deal with. Store plenty of diaper rash cream, such as Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. Have some larger containers for home use as well as smaller containers to keep in diaper bags and cars.
Vaseline is another product that you can use to keep your baby’s skin healthy. It can be used in the diaper area as well as arms and legs to help keep them moisturized. Vaseline is incredibly versatile and has many uses during a survival situation. You can read more about Vaseline’s survival uses by clicking here.
Corn starch serves as an excellent alternative to baby powder. There has been a lot of controversy in the past several years surrounding talc-based baby powder. Some claim that it is carcinogenic. I have no idea if this is true or not, but whatever you use, don’t use too much. Both can be harmful if you or the baby inhales too much.
Tubby Todd All Over Ointment
My baby has struggled with sensitive skin since he was only a few months old. My wife and I tried several things to help him with this, but we were largely unsuccessful until a friend introduced us to Tubby Todd All Over Ointment.
As its name suggests, it can be used all over a baby’s body. We have used it to clear up acne on Jonathan’s face, arms, and legs. It does a good job clearing his skin up and helping him stay comfortable.
Babies have a tendency to get gassy and get cranky because of it. Gripe water will help them feel better and help you have a better night’s sleep.
Infant Cold Medicine
Keep a healthy supply of infant cold medicine in your preps. Babies cannot handle most of the over the counter medications that adults use, so you will need to purchase ones designed for them. Be sure to check age limitations and dosage before giving this to your baby.
Sunscreen and Bug Repellent
You also need to keep your baby safe from outside conditions such as the sun and bugs. When selecting these types of products, be sure to get varieties that are suitable for young children.
Also, make sure that your child is old enough to handle them safely. For very young babies, use a car seat cover to protect them from the sun and make them a little difficult for bugs to get to.
Prepper Tips for Baby Transportation
You will be traveling with your baby pretty much every day. This will be on foot and in vehicles and you want it to be as easy and safe as possible. The items below can be used every day and will be invaluable during an emergency.
There are times when carrying a baby on your body is the best way to do so. Baby carriers hold your child and allow you to use both hands for other things. Have baby carriers for both mom and dad. Many baby products (carriers and bags) are usually designed for use by women. Having a carrier for mom and one designed for dad will make everyone’s life easier.
Get a car seat that is safe for your baby’s weight range. If they are newborns, it may be a good idea to go ahead and buy a second car seat for when they get older. I prefer car seats that use a click-in base. Once you install the base, it is very easy to secure the car seat and remove it. If you have to get out of your vehicle quickly, this could be a very useful feature.
Also, be sure to invest in a good car seat cover. It can protect your baby from the sun and bad weather. It can also help them nap more peacefully.
Try to get a stroller that can handle different types of terrain. You will be able to use these in buildings, on sidewalks, and outdoors. The best ones are those that will allow you to simply click your car seat into them.
Prepper Tips for Keeping Babies Occupied
Babies grow quickly both physically and mentally. This means that you need to keep them stimulated so their little brains develop properly. It can also prevent them from becoming unholy terrors because they are bored. Have a supply of toys and books that they can use from birth through the first few years of their lives.
Good toys to keep on hand include:
- Teething toys
- Stuffed animals (avoid letting them sleep with them because of SIDS)
- Sound and music-making toys
- Books (reading to your children is always a good idea)
Everyday Carry (EDC) for Babies
Babies, just like adults, need a well-thought-out EDC. A good everyday carry for babies will make sure their daily needs are met, whether you are out shopping or get stuck somewhere longer than you expected. A well-stocked diaper bag should be able to accomplish this.
Here is what I recommend keeping in a baby’s everyday carry kit:
Have enough food in your baby’s EDC diaper bag to last them one day. Breastmilk will need to be kept cool, so an insulated bag with an icepack would be useful for longer periods of time. Any formula should not be mixed until needed. Other foods should be kept in unopened jars or pouches until needed.
Burp Rags and Bibs
Help avoid clothes changes caused by messy eating by keeping some burp rags and bibs in your diaper bag.
Keep a well-stocked blowout kit in your diaper bag. It should have several diapers, baby wipes, and a place to lay the baby down. Also include some diaper disposal bags in case you can’t throw a diaper away immediately.
Keep hand sanitizer in the diaper bag so you can clean your hands before you hold or feed the baby and after you change their diaper.
Sometimes babies just want to chew on something. Teething toys and pacifiers can keep them happy when you can’t hold them.
Change of Clothes
Babies are messy eaters and also know how to blow up a diaper. Keep a full change of clothes in your diaper bag. It should be the correct size for your baby and be appropriate for current weather conditions.
Keep your baby warm and happy with a blanket.
Have basic medications ready if you need them. Some medications, such as infant pain relievers are good to keep in the bag at all times, as long as the child is old enough for them. If your baby has other conditions, such as sensitive skin, keep medications for that in the bag as well.
Bug Out Bag for Baby
While a diaper bag should serve as your baby’s EDC, it is a good idea to keep a separate bug out bag ready for longer-term emergencies. It should be set up to last just as long as an adult’s bug out bag, which is usually around 3 days. Many of the items in the baby’s bug out bag are the same ones that are in its diaper bag. However, you need more of them.
Here is what I recommend keeping in a baby’s bug out bag:
3 Day’s Worth of Formula
Since a bug out bag is meant to be ready at all times, storing breast milk in it isn’t practical. Store at least 3 day’s worth of formula in it to ensure that your baby will have food for at least that long. You can always keep extra breastmilk storage bottles and other equipment in there as well.
Also be sure to include bottles, nipples, and purified water to mix the formula with. It would also be a good idea to keep a quality water filter in your baby’s bug out bag. Sawyer makes multipacks so you can buy enough filters for everyone in your family.
Burp Rags and Bibs
Also, keep enough burp rags and bibs in the bag to last a few days. Reusing dirty ones isn’t sanitary.
A Full Package of Diapers
Most diaper kits are not large enough to hold more than about 5 diapers. A bug out bag will need many more diapers than this, so keep a full package inside of it.
Package of Baby Wipes (Diaper and Face)
Keep 1 or 2 packages of baby wipes in the bug out bag as well. You can use them to clean up the baby and other surfaces.
Keep a full package of Boogie Wipes in there too. This will allow you to keep their face nice and clean.
Diaper Disposal Bags
Dirty diapers can’t just sit out in the open. Keep some disposal bags ready so you can keep them contained until you can throw them away.
Small Trash Bags
Although diaper disposal bags do a good job holding diapers, you may need something a little larger to hold clothes and other items if your baby has a truly epic blowout. Use small trash bags to hold soiled items.
Keep a fairly large bottle of hand sanitizer in your baby’s bug out bag to protect them while you are holding them and feeding them.
Having a small amount of baby-safe clothes detergent in the bug out bag will allow you to clean clothes, bibs, and other items if you reach a hotel or other safe area.
Have enough clothing in the bag to last at least 5 days. This will give you some margin of error in case the baby has a blowout or a particularly messy meal. Be sure to rotate the clothes based on the climate and the rate at which your baby is growing. Remove clothes that they have outgrown and replace them with their current size or larger. Include shoes, socks, and jackets as well.
Keep a few baby blankets in their bug out bag as well. Have some that are lightweight as well as ones that are heavier to ensure you have what you need to suit the conditions that you face.
Have the same medical supplies that you would normally keep in a diaper bag, but keep them stored unopened in the bug out bag. You may also want to keep a spare thermometer in there along with some soap and healing ointment, such as Aquaphor.
Keep some toys stored in your baby’s bug out bag to keep them occupied. Include teething toys and stuffed animals.