When you have a baby, you become used to carrying extra supplies everywhere you go. Even for a simple afternoon outing or a trip to the supermarket, you may need diapers, wipes, toys, and an extra set of clothes. Therefore, it makes sense to plan ahead for your baby in the event of an emergency.
You may have an emergency bug out bag for the adults in your household, but your baby’s needs are different. A baby bug out bag should contain supplies to keep your baby happy and healthy for a minimum of 72 hours.
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The first item to consider is the bag itself. You may already have a couple of diaper bags on hand, but this emergency bag needs to be durable, waterproof, and easy to carry. It’s also a good idea for it to be strong enough that you can attach other items to it with clips.
One bag to consider is the Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon-II Backpack. Lightweight, weather-proof and strong, this backpack has ultra-strong zippers and many attachment points.
Now, let’s consider what items to pack in your baby bug-out bag. Here are ten important preps for infants.
Place a card with your baby’s name, birthdate, your name and contact information, and any medical information in an easy-to-find location within the bag. This card will help identify baby—who cannot speak for herself yet—in the unlikely event the two of you get separated in a disaster. You also might want to include a photo of parents with the baby to help with identification.
Another option is to order disposable identification bracelets or Velcro ID bracelets to place on baby’s wrist at the time of an emergency.
Babies need to stay warm, so consider soft cotton layers to keep baby comfortable. Once again, pack a size – or two – larger than baby wears now. Keep it simple with cotton t-shirts, sweatpants, socks, soft hats, light hoodies, and jackets.
Since you are packing clothing your baby hopefully will never wear, don’t worry about fashion. These layers can be inexpensive thrift store purchases. Reevaluate sizing every few months.
3. Diapering Needs
Even if you usually use cloth diapers, it is a good idea to pack disposable diapers for an emergency. Your water supply may be limited, and you will not want to waste it cleaning soiled diapers. Pack the next diaper size up from what your baby is wearing now. Check for proper sizing every month or so since babies grow quickly.
Also, include three or more baby washcloths, a foldable changing pad, and a resealable pouch of wet wipes.
Even if you exclusively breastfeed, it is a good idea to pack some water, a supply of baby formula, and a baby bottle or two in your emergency bag. Remember, you hope not to need these items, but if you do, you will be glad to know you have extra fluids for your baby. The formula may be needed if mother and baby become separated for a time or if mother or baby become dehydrated during this stressful time.
Powdered formula is the most economical and storage-friendly option. Ready-to-drink varieties do not need to be mixed with water, but they are costlier and have a shorter shelf-life.
Don’t worry about the added weight and bother of solid baby food. If your baby is ready for solid foods, he or she can eat a softened or pureed version of the foods you are eating.
Pack a few soft cotton baby blankets that can double as changing pads and sunshade and can help keep baby cozy.
Keep in mind that babies lose body heat quickly. If disaster strikes in extremely cold weather, a thermal blanket designed especially for baby is another idea for your baby bugout bag. This emergency foil baby blanket, which folds into a convenient 5 x 6-inch packet, will help conserve baby’s body heat.
Be sure to pack a few teething toys and soft toys for baby to hold. A duplicate of a favorite toy might be a life-saver. If your child uses a pacifier, include one in your bag, along with a cord to keep it handy. Also, tuck in a copy of a favorite board book to help keep your little one entertained.
Baby’s tastes and interests change rapidly so, as with many of the items in your emergency backpack, rotate out and refresh toys with new ones every month or so as your little one grows.
7. Hygiene Items
Place a few of baby’s important personal items, such as nail clippers and a baby thermometer, in a plastic pouch or Ziploc bag in your emergency bag. Other items to consider are baby sunblock, teething gel, baby “tear-free” shampoo or soap, baby pain reliever, a nasal aspirator, saline drops, and an infant medicine dropper.
8. Zippered Bags
Pack a few Ziploc bags in different sizes. You can place soiled clothes and diapers in these without worry that they will ruin the other items. Plastic grocery bags are also handy to have in an emergency.
In an emergency, you may have to do a lot of walking, and you may not have access to or the ability to use a stroller. Carrying your baby is not only practical, but it may be essential. Carrying your little one also will lessen stress for both of you. Some carriers, such as the KinderPack, can accommodate infants on up to toddlers.
10. Last-Minute List
There may be some items that you cannot pack ahead of time. Write a list of these last-minute things and attach it to your baby bug-out bag to help you remember them in a crisis. These items may include a beloved toy, prescription medications or perishable food items.
When an emergency strikes, getting your little one to safety is the most important thing. You don’t want to waste precious minutes running around collecting needed items. Having a baby bugout pack packed and ready to go will offer you valuable peace of mind. While you are at it, pack one for each member of your family and store them in a safe place.