When the S Hits the Diaper - How to Prep with/for Young Children Okay guys, I thought I’d put together a semi-comprehensive guide on prepping for/with small children. I know some of you are parents out there (and a few are expecting). For those of you that are old hat with children, I’m sure all of this will be trivial. For new parents, I beg you to read and reread this. While this article’s plan is to arm you with knowledge in what you need for a bug out bag for children, it will also help you better stock your diaper bag and help you pack for long car trips. This info will not work for everyone. Not all children are created equal, and what I suggest may not work for you. Some kids will have special needs, others will be stoic and not need nearly this much. Your child may be older, or you may simply parent differently than I do. I implore each of you to review and add to this guide, but please do not turn this into a proper parenting technique/gripe thread. That said, I have created two separate parts to this article. A Glossary of Items and Needs Per Stage. The Glossary will gloss over terms used in the Needs section and will have usage amounts, expiration expectations and useful descriptions. I have tried hard not to give specific brands, but had to in a few cases. Finally, the Needs Per State will show an approximation of what each child will need per their age (newborn, infant, toddler and yourchild). Again, I thank all of your for reading this and for the many dads on this board who have contributed (knowingly and unknowingly). If there is further interest, I will write more concerning needs for pregnant women, post-pregnant women, first few days,etc. Glossary of Items: Breast Milk – For the first months of a baby’s development, breast milk will make up the bulk ofthe child’s nourishment (if this is not the case for you, please skip down to Formula below). This obviously means the mother’s diet incredibly important,but we will not focus on that in this article. Breast milk is full of benefits,and being able to produce a reliable quantity a day can be invaluable in a bugout or bug in situation. Without getting preachy, breast milk has lots of benefits. For starters it has a great shelf life, able to be stored for six hours (at 79*F)for up to ten hours unrefrigerated. If refrigerated (39*-32*F) it will stay fresh for eight days. If you have the ability to freeze breast milk you can store it for three to six months (some sources claim up to a year). Due to breast milk’s bactericidal properties it can be stored in just about anything, through glass is considered best with clear plastic containers a close second. Benefits include being able to boost the baby and mother’s immune systems, increase metabolism in mother, helps fight off certain infections (breast milk under two days old can kill e.coli on surfaces) and provides beneficial germs to help regulate baby’s digestion. Formula – Forolder children or families who do not breast feed, formula provides the bulk of a child’s diet. Unfortunately, dry formula does not last long – an unopened can of dry formula has a shelf life of roughly one month from date of purchase. Once opened and mixed with water the formula must be used within one hour or refrigerated. If refrigerated (39*-32*F) the opened formula can be stored for only eight hours. Storage solutions are the same as for breast milk. While not the immune fortifying food source that breast milk is, formula does have some benefits. First, it is loaded with healthy fat, vitamins and minerals that may not be found in breast milk. Secondly it digests much slower, perfect for when other food sources are not available or when breast milk production slows. It also contains prebiotics which help feed the beneficial bacteria in the baby’s gut. That said, formula can cause diarrheal issues with some babies. Premade, wet formula solutions do exist. They are packaged in glass jars and adhere to the same rules as above. Swaddling Blankets– This is as important to a newborn and infant as clothes. Since young babies are known to thrash around in their sleep and/or scratch themselves, this helps to keep them secure. It also help calm fussy babies by giving them a warm, cozy environment – great for helping a baby to go to sleep. Milk – As your child develops breast milk/formula will eventually be weaned off and replaced by normal milk. My suggestion is to use whole milk with a DHA additive. In a pinch milk can be used on younger children, but remember their bodies are not prepared for the high fat content of whole milk. Juice – Juice is a great option as a hydration source for older children. One serving of apple juice has 100 calories, 100% DV vitamin C and 14g carbohydrates. To extend the supply you have, fill a bottle up with half water and half juice. Water – H2O. Not too much to say here other than heat and exertion can dehydrate a baby easier than it can you. If baby is having a diarrhea issue, push fluids often to keep the child hydrated. Snacks – Children are like cattle – they need to graze. Bring plenty of snacks for your age appropriate children. Older children can eat cereal (mine love Chex as asnack), but younger children can have teething biscuits, dissolving snack and other safe alternatives. Oragel – Teething babies are monsters. Crying, angry monsters. This period could last weeks or months.If you want to any peace during this time carry a tube or Oragel. Oragel is NOT approved by the FDA for use on teething children, but I haven’t found any source of problems. You can use this wonder ointment up to four times a day. Baby Food – Older children will need (and mostly request) some form of solid food. The most common form is commercial baby food. Home made options do exist and follow the general rules outlined here. Foods containing meats, fish, poultry or eggs must be refrigerated after opening or discarded. These foods can be kept for up to 24 hours and safetly fed again. Foods that are mainly fruits and vegetable based can be opened and left unrefrigerated up to two days, but must be resealed. Before storing food, check to see if jar recommends refrigeration or disposal. Unopened canned baby food can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to one year (check expiry date). Bibs – Babies, until around six months, will occasionally spit up some food. This is due to the short length of their throat to their stomach, coupled with the fact that they may not know they are full. After six months, bibs are useful during feeding baby food since that stuff gets everywhere. After 36 months, bibs are only useful for eating ribs or lobster. If this is your case, I am bugging out with you! Diapers – This is probably the stinkiest subject we are going to discuss. Babies poop and pee. A lot. If you aren’t prepared, well… the **** really will hit the fan. I wont go into benefits of cloth vs disposable diapers, but I suggest everyone carry at least two cloth diapers and come clothes pins/safety pins. If you never use them, then they can serve as towels. Usage chart by age: Newborns – 10-14 per day, 30-42 per three day period, 70-98 per week!!! Infants – 8-10 per day, 14-30 per three day period, 56-70 per week!!! Toddlers – 5-10 per day, 15-30 per three day period, 35-70 per week!!! What does this teach us? Plan accordingly and have a backup plan when the **** hits the diaper! Wet Wipes – Everyone should have a healthy amount of wet wipes in their BOB kit, but if you have children you will need more. Babies are sticky, stinky, slop monsters and need to be cleaned constantly or they will resemble dirty, crusty homeless people in less than an hour. Good for wiping butts, cleaning hands and mouth after eating or playing. Use some on your kids too. Alcohol Pads – This is a basic part of everyone’s first aid kit, but it is also very important to newborns. During this time the umbilical cord is still in a state of decay. Some doctors recommend doing nothing to the nub and letting it fall off. Our doctors recommend keeping it clean and wiping it off after every diaper change. Also great for cleaning scrapes and wounds. Antibiotic Cream – If your male child is circumcised, you will need to keep an antibiotic cream on the…stub, until it heals. This is usually only for a few days to a week. Just remember to keep everything clean and hygienic down there and you’re boy will be fine. Clothes – This is really a “duh” item, but it’s important to mention. Keep spare clothes everywhere – your car, your wife’s car, your in-laws homes, in your BOB, in your diaper bag – everywhere. Babies are best off in onesies, but having pairs of pants and cold weather clothes are important, including socks. Make sure to have the right size, and not cast offs from when your child was younger. Pacifiers – Yet again, another controversial subject. We use them and I highly suggest them. It helps calm young babies, and can be the difference between a screaming, unhappy baby and a quiet, unhappy baby. Carry multiples because they will get lost or dirty. Snot Sucker – Remember how I said babies were monsters? Technically they are Snot Monsters. If (more like when) your babies get sick or just have a snotty nose, this can be instrumental in helping your child feel a little better. Plus snotty noses really annoy moms. Vitamins – Yet again, feel free to do this or not. Our doctor has recommended a daily multivitamin fortified with iron. They come in tiny little bottles with an eye dropper and are reported to really help during teething and growth spurts. Ifyour child is not on formula, this is also very important. Two major brands are Tri-Vi-Sol (100% of A, D and C) or Poly-Vi-Sol (normal multivitamin). One squirt a day is all you need. Infant Acetaminophen– I can’t implore you enough to carry one or two bottles of this. When your child is sick or teething, he will most likely have a light fever. If he is over 100.4F, then you should administer this per instructions. Babies typically run hotter than us, so wait till 100.4F. Follow package instructions. Even though it says infant, it’s good for children up to 36 months. Many brands and flavors. Baby-safe bug repellant – Like most things, babies cannot use adult strength items, and that goes doubly for bug repellant. Off makes a special, baby-safe wipe that comes in pouches. Does wonders with keeping mosquitoes away – and works on adults too! Sun screen – Depending on how fare your child is, this could be important. Forehead and arms should have extra attention. Reapply often if you are stuck outside for longer than afew hours. Watch for reactions and wash away if they appear. Baby Bjorn – If you are going to carry a child for a long distance, this is the rig you need(Though I always referred to it as the tactical baby sling). This allows you to carry a child, strapped to your chest. Baby can either face in (for sleeping) or out, and is completely adjustable for baby and parent. Foldable flaps and locks allow you to carry anything from newborn to a 25lb baby. Sorry, they haven’t released a MOLLE version yet… Toys – This is essential for all ages of children, even newborns. Play for children is like work for adults – it helps to teach them new things and can get their mind off their situations. A good suggestion is to carry toys and books around that your child hasn’t seen yet – the newness can really be a great distraction. Also, if you can, get copies of their favorite toy and keep that in there. Chances are you didn’t have time to pack their favorite blanket, toy, bear, etc – but if you have a matching spare, it’s like magic! Crayons/Chalk – Yet again, a great distraction for young children but also has a dual use of beingable to mark your way. Involve the kids in the marking. It’s very all very Hansel and Gretel. Books – This goes along with toys and other distractive devices. Pack a few new books and coloring books, preferably books from a $1 store or bargain bin. If your child is old enough to read or at least listen, this will help calm nerves and restore a sense of family balance. Distraction Device– I am calling this one our separately. If you’re children are older and toys just wont cut it, try out a tablet or DVD player loaded with their favorite shows. Vizios and Kindle Fires can be had for as low as $150 refurbed. Keep asolar charger in your BOB and keep this little item entertaining for days. Pack ear plugs if your child is old enough for them. Makes long, cramped car rides under control. Blanket/s – Young children don’t need full on sleeping bags yet, and with things like SIDS you want to avoid co-sleeping if you can (not always an option in bug out situations). Blankets can be balled up to make an impromptu, ground level crib or used to cover up older children. If it looks/feels like their baby blanket, you score double points with you kid. Clippers – Remember how I said babies were Snot Monsters? Actually they are of the genus Clawed Snot Monster. I swear, children’s finger nails grow faster than any known substance. Anyone that has had their face clawed up by a thrashing, grabbing baby knows how important these are. Also keeps the child from tearing their skin up too much. Shoes and Socks – Very,very important for children able to walk. If you can let a child carry itself rather than you have to carry it, then this will wear you out much less. Keep at least one pair of shoes and SEVERAL sets of socks. Make sure the shoes are the correct size and fit. For socks, always buy one size larger than you need. Underwear – As diapers are needed for younger children, spare underwear is needed for older children. Carry two or three pair. Wash old ones when you have time. Having a clean pair of underwear, even for a child, fill feel great in a make of what you can situation. Sleeping Bag – Yay, your child is old enough to sleep by itself without suddenly expiring! Enjoy it. Celebrate with a GI Joe or Barbie sleeping bag. Maybe if you are luck your kid will let you play with it. Rags, Towels and Old Underwear – This has a variety of uses, from cleaning up spit up and dirty faces to wiping butts. If you run out of diapers you can easily make a new, cloth diaper out of these items. Wash or toss them out if you have those luxuries. Seriously, there are a million uses for these three things…I’m not typing all of them.