Preps with a newborn
I’m 8 1/2 months pregnant just as hurricane season starts. Skipping past the birth part (c’mon, Saharan dust, hold strong), what are good things to keep handy for disaster scenarios with a newborn? I’m thinking lots of formula + diapers, and then … 🤷🏻♀️
- MountainMama MountainMama - June 27, 2020
I’m mom of 5, including a 6 week old. I have put together a 72 hour bag for the newborn, and realized that diapers take up so much space!
I do cloth diapering primarily, and I highly recommend you pick up some washable cloth wipes (you can easily make some no-sew ones out of fleece, or use flannel squares or washcloths), and grab some one-size cloth diaper covers and what are called cloth diapering flats. Bonus is that cloth wipes work way better than disposable and you just wet with water as needed. Cloth diaper covers are way cooler nowadays than the plastic pants our parents used.
Try checking out the flip covers from BumGenius or Thirsties covers as an example. Nicki’s Diapers is one of my favorite online baby stores with low free shipping threshold and every supply you would need to get a basic cloth diapering kit.
In an emergency situation, it is very easy to handwash cloth diaper flats, some people use flour sack towels instead, they are similar. You can pin them on or do what is called a pad-fold. They dry easily, and cloth diaper “flats” can be recycled later into dish towels, cleaning towels, etc. or just used as burp cloths. Learning to diaper as simply as possible is a very good skill to have with little ones. I always keep a combo of cloth and disposable diapers available, for any situation. They also can be used as an emergency menstrual pad, towel, blanket, cleaning towel, whatever. They are cheap, work for all sizes of diapered baby/toddler and super useful.
Past diapering needs, definitely get a baby carrier. If you’re concerned about saving space, Boba makes one called the Air that folds up very small and can be used from 3 months to 45lbs. It doesnt have as much support as other carriers, but does the job. I have a lillebaby carrier in my emergency bag because it can be used from birth to 45lbs, so is a good combo for both my newborn and 2 year old. You never know when you need to be hands-free while holding your baby.
For true emergency preparedness, I would recommend breastfeeding. It’s great for comfort, keeping familiarity, and doesnt require any supplies. If you do nurse your baby, get some washable breast pads, they are far superior to disposable, so much comfier and more absorbent. I keep a few disposable breast pads around too, just in case but in a pinch, a cut in half menstrual pad would work well.
COVID_Actuary - June 25, 2020
baby wipes. Lots of baby wipes – our subscribe and save was out of stock one month – thankfully I’d bought extra in anticipation.
Obviously there’s a lot of general baby items (teethers, slings, clothes, etc), but as far as other consumables, I would say:
Children’s Tylenol (and syringes)
Simethicone Gas drops (YMMV on these – can be a lifesaver with a colic-y baby)
Saline Nose Drops
Dreft Baby Detergent
Baby Lotions and shampoos (sensitive-skin friendly ones)
Perhaps some baby food purees to start introducing solids.
I’ll edit if I think of any others that have been helpful!
hbic - June 26, 2020
Good call on the wipes. We’ve recently potty trained the toddler and I think we’ve got diaper amnesia 😫
John RameyStaff - June 26, 2020
Not specific to newborns, but something parents don’t always think of when prepping their kids: Put emergency info in whatever bag/stuff is most likely to be with your kid during an emergency. If something goes wrong and you’re separated, kids can’t speak for themselves at all or in a way that will be helpful to an adult that finds/helps them. Pictures of the parents, home address, medical conditions, etc.
And don’t forget about things that you might need as a new parent, too. Pump, meds, etc.
MountainMama - June 27, 2020
hbic - June 28, 2020
Cloth diapers scare me 😳 but you’ve inspired me to at least pull together an emergency kit.
Excellent call on the baby carrier! I really liked a ring sling with my first kid, not in small part because it can be stuffed easily into a bag. Gonna grab another one (the Moby version is durable and affordable) and add it to our go-bag. My husband prefers a structured carrier so I’m going to poke around Craigslist/OfferUp to see if I can find some a bit less bulky than the Lillebaby to try out.
chicksnhens - June 29, 2020
Mom of 3 here, with a current 6mo old. I second the cloth diaper suggestion. Early in the pandemic there was a run on diapers and baby wipes. Having back ups in case it happens again is important. I would also add:
Read to feed (RTF) nursettes and disposable nipples for formula. RTF formulas are best for prepping as they are already prepared (no mixing required, so no need for clean water), shelf stable at room temp (no need to refridgerate or warm up), sterile (safe for feeding very young babies, no boiling water required), and come in 2oz bottles that you can pop a disposable nipple right on to feed (no clean bottles required). And back up formula is very important for first time breastfeeders too, as it is actually pretty common for first timers to underfeed their babies in the first weeks of life due to delayed milk coming in, or slow milk regulation. Underfeeding a newborn is a medical emergency, so having even a single 6pack of RTF formula on hand can mean the difference between a healthy baby and landing in the ER with a very dehydrated one. Happened to me with my first. Some BF advocates will tell you to avoid keeping any formula in the house so it won’t “tempt you” to give it, but if you follow this advice and your baby DOES need more food, you will be screwed (like I was). Better to have this prep and not use it than need it and not have it.
As far as breastfeeding goes, a manual breastpump is a cheap, great backup. Sometimes babies can’t nurse well for a given feed (or ever) or aren’t hungry when you need to relieve the pressure, leading to loss of supply or engorgement (which can lead to clogs and mastitis). Other times power outages can throw off your ability to use your electric pump. Another cheap tool is a Haaka silicone “pump” which can relieve pressure or catch the letdown on the opposite side as you nurse.
chicksnhens - June 29, 2020
Also, unlikely to happen if this is your first baby, but precipitous labors and emergency deliveries at home or in the car do happen. I had my 3rd in the car trying to get to the hospital. My husband had to pull over and help me deliver. Looking back, I wished I had changed into a dress or birthing gown before leaving (would have been far easier than trying to pull my pants off as we flew down the road) and more towels on hand in the car. We made do with what we had and everything turned out okay, but we could have been way more prepared.
chicksnhens - June 29, 2020
Also, unlikely to happen if this is your first baby, but precipitous labors and emergency deliveries at home or in the car do happen. I had my most recent little one in the car trying to get to the hospital. My husband had to pull over and help me deliver. Looking back, I wished I had changed into a dress or birthing gown before leaving (would have been far easier than trying to pull my pants off as we flew down the road) and more towels on hand in the car. We made do with what we had and everything turned out okay, but we could have been way more prepared.
Chris B - July 7, 2020
If you live in hurricane territory, make sure you get powdered baby formula since it’s not dependent on refrigeration. It’s a pain to make, especially when your baby is hungry, but I’d have a few containers of powder, as a back up. Other items I’d prioritize:
- baby powder and rash cream. They poop so often in the early days that it’s hard to avoid a bad/painful rash. Powder and a rash cream will expedite the healing of the skin down there.
- infant & children’s tylenol, Advil, Motrin
- rectal thermometer
- wipes (water wipes are great during a bad rash, but no need to buy in bulk)
Grey Lady - August 2, 2020
The formula companies are usually trying to send you sample cans of powdered formula, so you can take those and make them your prep, if you aren’t otherwise using formula. Baby powder you’re supposed to avoid anyway these days, but YES to rash cream. I could never bring myself to use a rectal thermometer; if you’re the same, you might look for a good contactless one if you don’t already have one.
North Coast - August 2, 2020
Extra water!!! Even beyond the standard per person/per day recommendation, as much as you can reasonably find space for. If baby’s on formula, you’ll need a reliable source for mixing (if you’re using powdered) and extra bottle washing, plus all the cleaning/diapering/laundry. When my kids were babies, I considered breastfeeding its own form of prep (very portable! nothing extra to wash! very nutritious!) but keeping up milk supply means drinking more water than normal, too.
I’d also make sure you’ve got at least one pack (or set, if cloth) of diapers that can accommodate the at least the next size up from where your baby is. They literally grow overnight, and you don’t want to be caught without. Same with clothes–I’d keep at least some basic PJs on hand in the next couple sizes up for a similar reason.
And OTC infant meds in case of fever.
+1 on the baby carrier.
Truthfully, this is all advice I’d give (only if asked 🙂 ) to any new or expecting parent, because it makes life much easier to have these things on hand, and that newborn phase can sometimes feel like disaster management even when everything else is totally normal!
MountainMama - August 2, 2020
Interesting thing about infant/children medication, they have been changed to be the same dosage. Infant medicine used to be more powerful, now you just spend more money for a smaller quantity labeled infant. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/05/27/726327937/tylenol-for-infants-and-children-is-the-same-why-does-1-cost-3-times-more
North Coast - August 2, 2020
Gosh, I have old information! Yeah, I last had an infant juuuust before this started to change, when you could still find both kinds and there were apparently lots of problems with inadvertent overdosing. Good that this was addressed! Of course, in my experience, the less concentrated doses for toddlers+ is a LOT of volume for an infant’s stomach, and mine never tolerated it well the couple times we needed to do it. Better than accidentally ODing your baby for sure, though.
I’m going to edit my post so there’s not confusing, outdated info in the thread.
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