(SurvivalDaily.com) – Being forced to bug out (evacuate) in a disaster scenario can be hard on you and your family, but if there’s an infant in the group, the process becomes much more complicated. Everything you do and everywhere you go will require more planning.
The Hard Truth
Unfortunately, infants are the most innocent victims of natural disasters and man-made catastrophes. Babies are entirely dependent upon their parents for every aspect of their lives and this makes them vulnerable in day-to-day life – more so in an emergency.
Not only will the child require extra attention and supplies, but it can also make you a target for two-legged predators. Defending yourself while holding a little one will be far more difficult, as you have to protect them in addition to yourself.
Also, babies tend to cry – a lot. A screaming tot will give away your position, but it will also grind on your nerves in a situation where you may not have many of them left.
How to Prepare
Luckily, if you have a baby, you should have the beginnings of a bug out bag (BOB) already – your diaper bag. By adding a few items and a bit of weatherproofing, your standard diaper bag can be transitioned into a BOB with relative ease.
Make sure your diaper bag is up to snuff before you begin retrofitting. Many of these are made with flimsy materials; if it is going to fall apart after two days on the road, it isn’t going to do you any good. It’s worth investing in a high-quality, waterproof bag if you intend to use it for a baby BOB.
Once you’ve selected the appropriate pack, you’ll need to weatherproof the contents. Ziploc bags are a good option here, as they can be used to organize the contents and keep them dry.
Diapers – Being able to change soiled diapers is going to be important, and having spares on hand will keep the baby dry. You can use either reusable cloth or disposable diapers, but we recommend a mix of both for a BOB. When you’re on the go, being able to quickly change the little one without having to stop and clean the cloth will be an asset. Eventually, you’ll be thankful for the cloth diapers, though, as the disposable kind will run out quickly and cloth diapers can be used for more than just a baby’s bottom.
You’ll also need changing wipes, which come in both disposable and cloth varieties.
Clothing – Babies are more sensitive to the environment than us, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. Warm clothing for winter and light clothing for the summer. A blanket is essential here as well, both to keep the child warm and to provide shade from the sun. They’re also a great comforter. How many children do you know who have a favorite “Blanky?”
Keep in mind that little ones can pollute their clothing in short order – food, drool, and (as any parent will tell you) exploding diapers can force a change of clothes. Keep spare changes in mind as you pack. Fortunately, baby clothes are small, so you can pack a lot of them — more if you vacuum seal them.
Another point to consider is that infants grow quickly, so you need to think about this when packing a BOB for them. Clothing should be a size too big, to allow some room for growth. If you’re under financial strain, which is a common issue when raising children, thrift stores are a good way to gather clothes for this.
Sustenance – This will depend on if the child is breastfed or on formula, but in either case, you’re going to need water… and lots of it! Any survivalist will tell you how important this liquid is, but for bugging out with a kiddo it becomes even more vital.
If the tot is breastfed and Mommy is around, she‘ll need water to stay hydrated. Without it, her milk will dry up and the baby will starve. If the infant is on formula, then you’ll need water to mix it – and enough formula to last for quite a while. Either way, keep formula in the bag. If something happens to the mother, you still need to feed the baby.
Dysentery, which leads to diarrhea, is fatal to infants and they are rather susceptible to the condition. Having water on hand, as well as the ability to purify any water you find, is crucial. Its importance cannot be overstated.
Pacifiers and Toys
As stated previously, babies can destroy any attempts you make at stealth if they decide to open up the bellows at the wrong time. Providing the child with their pacifier can help stifle the waterworks, and their favorite toy can keep them distracted.
Pacifiers are easily lost, though, which makes pacifier clips a good idea. If you don’t have one, just tie a cord to the handle and attach it to your gear. Ultimately, keeping the child warm and fed will go a long way to keeping him or her happy and quiet.
Bugging out with a baby is a different animal than what you’d normally plan for. Not only do you have to consider the child’s welfare, but your own as well. Carrying the infant, its BOB and your own gear will be likely to wear you out quickly. Run a few practice bug-outs to see if it is too much to handle, then adjust your packs accordingly.
Have you or someone you know been forced to handle an emergency situation with a little one in tow? Reply to your email and share your story, we would love to hear from you!
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