I’ve been re-vamping our Bug Out Bags for our family this month, rotating supplies, adding new things, and replacing clothing for the warmer months. I always try to do this around March or April before Tornado/Storm season hits full-force and then again in September or October before winter sets in. Eventually I would like to post about each of the bags and kits I have, but for now, I’ll start with the kit I made for Little Man. This one is smaller, and much less extensive than the adult kits we have for myself and my husband so its easier to put together (and therefore easier to write about *wink*)
Why a Separate Kit?
I know many people like to include infant/toddler supplies with their regular, adult kits, which is what we had done originally; however, the last time I went through things, I realized we just had too much stuff! Our bags were too heavy to feasibly be carried a long distance so I went through and eliminated unnecessary items (I’m still working on this). I noticed that we had duplicates of all of the baby items because we didn’t know if we’d be together or who Little Man would be with if we were separated. I decided to make him his own little backpack so that whoever has him can just grab it and go. It has a carabiner clip attached to the top so it can easily be clipped to the outside of one of our adult bags. Plus its really cute to watch him toddle around the house carrying his own bag 🙂
How Do You Carry Everything?
Our emergency plan has several different options: Sheltering in place, bugging out in the vehicle, then as an absolute LAST resort, going on foot. If we have to go on foot, we would try to take the wagon as far as we could, then carry everything if we can’t pull the wagon for whatever reason. Worst case scenario (and one of the more likely ones since I stay at home with little man most of the time) would be that Little Man and I are alone and have to leave when Dad is at work. If I have to go on foot, without the wagon, by myself, I would be carrying Little Man, my BOB, his BOB, and would also have the dog on a leash. For this reason, I’ve tried to pack everything as light as possible. (This pack weighs about 7 pounds.) It won’t be ideal, but its doable.
Here’s What I’ve Included in Little Man’s BOB
- Food/Snacks- These Fruit and Veggie Pouches are great because they contain only fruit, veggies, and water. (Sometimes a little bit of extra Vitamin C.) They’re nutritious and he LOVES them so I know he’ll eat it. He’s been very picky lately so this is a big deciding factor for me. Even though he doesn’t understand the difference between a normal day and an emergency situation, I have to make sure he gets enough to eat to stay healthy. I’ve included these for nutrition plus several little snacks that he usually eats. We also have plenty of food and extra snacks in our adult bags that we can share with him. He always wants what we have anyways 🙂
- Water, Juice, and Milk- I keep at least two bottles of water plus a little bottle of apple juice just to add flavor. He drinks mostly water at home, but sometimes I add just a splash of apple juice if he’s being picky. This will help make any filtered water we come across taste better to him. Of course, he can’t drink out of a regular water bottle yet, so I’ve included a sippy cup as well. We have more water and ways to filter/purify water in the adult kits. Little Man drinks regular cows milk on occasion, but he’s not a huge fan of it so I have not included any in his kit yet. If milk is a comfort item for your kids, you can try packing some instant dry milk to reconstitute.
- Formula- Little Man is 15 months old now so I took the formula out of his kit this time. He still nurses once per day at night, (even then he doesn’t nurse very long anymore and has started skipping days every now and then) its really only a comfort thing for him now. He gets all of his nutrition from regular people food 🙂 He is an exclusively breast fed baby and has never had formula, but we still kept it on hand in case he was separated from me. I used to have the little single mix pouches plus enough water to mix it all (and a bottle). If you ARE with your baby and are able to breastfeed, formula can still come in handy for any other babies or families with babies you come across along your Bug Out journey.
- Diapers and Wipes- I use about 6 diapers per 24 hours now so I’ve included 18 diapers. If I think we’ll be without other resources for longer than 3 days I could make these 18 diapers last quite a bit longer as a last resort. If your baby is younger and therefore requiring more diapers, you may need to pack more. We normally use cloth diapers, but I’m DEFINITELY not worrying about wet bags and laundry in a short term emergency situation. Long term, yes, they’ll be great, but in a 72 hour emergent time period, I think we’ll stick to ‘sposies 🙂 Note: Packing diapers too big will be better than diapers too small.
- Pacifier- I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but I really hate this darn thing. I’ve been trying to get rid of it for MONTHS (before he even figured out that he wanted/needed it), but Daddy can’t resist giving it to him, and now he asks for it! Ugh. In an emergency, he may be stressed or uncomfortable in new surroundings, not to mention, we might need him to be quiet for any number of reasons. Hence: paci. At least we can try to make him be quiet 😉
- Small toy(s)– Little Man loves to be outside so if we’re bugging out on foot, I’m pretty sure we can find plenty of things to entertain him, but I’ve included a small toy car just in case. What little boy doesn’t enjoy a toy car? For a little bit older kid, you may consider a deck of cards or other card games like Phase10 or Uno. If your child has a favorite toy or security item that they just HAVE to have, you may want to invest in a duplicate to keep with the bag or at least make a note to grab it on your way out the door. Thankfully, Little Man isn’t attached to any specific item yet.
- Hygiene Items- I’ve included little samples of diaper rash cream, baby wash, baby lotion, sunscreen stick (a definite necessity for my little fair skinned boy), Boogie Wipes (not a necessity, but I had a sample so I just stuck it in there), a wash cloth, and a small bottle of Children’s Motrin & syringe.
- Change of clothes and shoes– I have at least one set of play clothes, one set of pajamas, and two pair of socks in his kit. For the adult kits I only stock one set of extra clothes, but he gets dirty easier and his clothes are small enough that I can pack an extra set. I stock Little Man’s kits in clothes/shoes that are one size larger than the clothes he is wearing right now. For instance he’s wearing 12 month clothes right now so I have 18 month sized clothes in his BOB. This helps for several reasons: 1. A size too big is much better than a size too small. I can rig up ways to make them smaller if needed, but too small clothes are just going to be too tight and uncomfortable. 2. If I forget to update my bags and he has gone up a size, I don’t have to worry because they’ll still fit! and my personal favorite, 3. I don’t have to waste a whole outfit that may never be worn because its stuck in a bag. Whenever he goes up a size, I’ll just switch out the 18 month clothes for 24 month sizes, and put the 18 month ones in his drawer to start wearing! If I had used 12 month sizes then we’d have an entire set (or two) of clothes that never got used. His clothes are too cute not to wear several times 🙂 Also, we keep an extra set of shoes for each family in my Car Emergency Kit (which is our Bug Out Option #1) so we’ll just grab those shoes on the way out the door if we need them.
- Blanket- Even if its 105º outside, a blanket can come in handy for several things: extra bedding/padding at night, a pillow, something to play with, etc.
- Baby Carrier- (Not pictured because we keep it in the car) Little Man recently learned how to walk, but we’ll be carrying him if we have to bug out. We have an Ergo baby carrier that we LOVE. It is soft enough and includes an infant insert to carry itty bitty infants, but structured and supportive enough to hold all 23lbs of Little Man without hurting my back. I have a friend who regularly carries her 3 year old in one! No matter how old your baby/toddler is, you’ll need some kind of baby carrier to save your arms. Just make sure you practice using it (and let baby get used to it) before you really need it.
- Wagon- We have a Radio Flyer All-Terrain Wagon that we use DAILY at our house. Little Man got it for Christmas and it has been one of the best toys! We take him for a ride when we go on walks in the evenings, and he loves to push it all over the house. As mentioned above, if we have to go on foot, we’ll try taking the wagon first because I REALLY don’t want to have to carry everything.
These are mostly for older kids, but I thought I would include them nonetheless:
- Laminated ID card- Jot down some basic information about your kiddo on a card, including emergency phone numbers, just in case you get separated for some reason. Include a recent family photo or school photo (or both) as well. This would be more suited for a kid who is old enough to walk on his/her own and carry their own little backpack.
- Child Leash of sorts- While I don’t advocate for keeping your child on a leash at all times, in an emergency situation I would certainly use something to keep them near me. Even a dog leash clipped to their backpack or belt loop would give me a little peace of mind.
- Light- Kids love having their own flashlights so if they’re old enough to think they’re cool you can include a small flashlight, headlamp, or even glow sticks for them to carry on their own.
- Dishes and Utensils- Little Man knows how to squeeze the puree out of his fruit/veggie pouches, and everything else is finger food so I did not include any baby spoons, bowls, or plates in his kit. Consider what type of foods you’re including to decide if you need utensils or not.
Place diapers, food, clothes, and hygiene items in ziplock bags to keep them dry! I still need to put the blanket in a bag.
Keep frequently used items easily accessible
Utilize every little pocket 🙂
What Do You Think?
Do you have a kit for your baby? What have you included? What have I missed?
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