Prepping with Kids and Infants
It isn’t uncommon for the prepping community to get caught up in bugging out and very basic survival needs. Bug out bags, quick shelters and fire-starting methods are all important aspects to prepping, but what about the kids? A large majority of preppers are parents. Parents have a natural instinct to want to protect their children, which is one of the main reasons people start prepping in the first place. However, once you get going on your prepping journey, you may discover it is all very adult-focused. Children and infants are not regularly factored into a prepping plan. Your family survival system must include the kids.
There are a number of elements of your prepping that need to be tweaked to accommodate for the needs of the youngest members of your family.
Infants will obviously be on a milk diet. If the mother isn’t breastfeeding, you will need to make sure there is a supply of formula on hand. Even if the mother is breastfeeding, the stress of the situation could interrupt the milk supply and you would want to have formula on hand just in case. A supply of baby food or foods like instant mashed potatoes, applesauce and other soft foods is important. Consider adding a hand blender to your preps. This way, you can blend up a portion of the family meal to a consistency that is suitable for babies and toddlers.
Toddlers will be able to eat what the rest of the family is eating, but you will need to make sure you have a nice supply of powdered milk on hand. Young children will appreciate the milk and the nutrition they gain from it will ensure they remain healthy and strong. If you can afford to add snacks to your preps, do it. A box of crackers is inexpensive, but will go a long way to soothing an upset youngster. Think about your little one’s favorite snacks right now and make sure to include them in your family survival system. This can go a long way to making a child feel as if everything is okay, which will ultimately make your day much easier.
Babies and toddlers will likely balk at drinking straight water, but you still need to keep the recommended gallon of water for each family member. Mixing bottles requires water and you absolutely must keep the bottles clean and sanitary. Toddlers that touch everything, clean or dirty, will need extra water to keep their hands clean. You can conserve water by keeping a supply of wet wipes on hand simply for that purpose along with hand sanitizer.
Diapers—how will you handle the diaper situation? A disaster may last much longer than the length of time in which it takes your child to grow out of one size of diaper and into the next. Disposable diapers are handy, but if your child grows out of the size you stocked or you run out, you are going to be left scrambling. Consider having cloth diapers in your family survival system. Yes, they will add more cleaning responsibility to your daily work load, but you will have a steady supply of diapers. Don’t forget to stock up on things like baby powder and rash cream. A diaper rash can quickly become a serious health issue if left unchecked. Baby wipes are fairly easy to stockpile and are your best bet for cleanup. Plus, after the child has grown out of the diapers, the wipes will still come in handy for the rest of the family.
Have a supply of clothing in various sizes tucked away for your growing child. Shoes are something you will want to consider. They don’t have to be fancy. Add a pair in each size that you pick up from the thrift store and put them with your supplies. Toys are not absolutely necessary, but having a small box of toys put away with your disaster supplies will help keep a child calm and entertained while things get a little sideways. If your child has a favorite toy or a security blanket, make a plan to grab it before you bug out or head into your shelter.
Children are an important part of any family. It just makes sense to spend some time thinking about their needs and factoring those into your family survival system. Keeping the kids calm and content allows the rest of the family to focus on what needs to be done to survive. Sit down and think about your youngsters and what they will need to keep them happy, safe and healthy.