Amid all the planning for the basic needs of everyone in the group, people might forget that babies require more than the basics. There are several things to consider when making a preparedness plan when infants are part of the group. Traveling with infants is much more stressful and difficult because their life depends on you and babies are unpredictable and helpless in all areas. Babies need routines and get cranky when their lives are disrupted too much. Add to the cranky baby to the more stressed caregivers, and the baby becomes crankier. Here are some ideas which could help alleviate stress for you and baby.
- Consider your plan carefully. Once you have developed an evacuation plan, practice it regularly so that you are not stressed when the time comes to implement it. Evacuation can be stressful. If you are stressed, so is baby.
- Be certain that all items you need for babies is available through all parts of the plan. If you run out of supplies for baby, both you and baby will be stressed.
- Be sure to keep a papoose in your emergency kits. Carrying a baby in this manner relieves baby stress by being close to you. It also keeps the baby out of trouble and your hands free. Be sure to use the papoose from the beginning or they may not want to when you need them to ride quietly.
- The papoose is a double duty item. Because using a papoose can calm your crying baby, it can also calm you. When your baby is stressed and you want relief, put the baby in the papoose and just go about your business without the crying of the baby.
- Remain calm. Your calm, and the calm of the people around you will help the baby be calm. Think about that person you know who is always calm and you feel calm or at peace when with them. That is who you need to be for your baby, not just in emergencies, but all the time. If you are worried and stressed, the baby will sense that something is wrong. They will be worried too, and their response to stress is to cry.
- As the baby ages, change your plan and supplies accordingly. Add to your supply items like gels to relieve teething pain and other age appropriate medicines.
If you need to choose a baby carrier pack, do so wisely. It needs to be light weight and sturdy. Remember, if you are carrying a baby, you likely won’t be able to carry a backpack too. Unless of course you carry the baby on front and the back pack on your back. This makes it faster, easier and safer to tend the baby. Baby carriers have come a long way in 27 years. The new models have padded wide straps and comfort fabric.
I often put the backpack on first and then the baby carrier on front. There was a time when I had a toddler on my back and an infant on my front. I still had my hands free, babies were not able to get in trouble, and I got things done.
With these thoughts in mind, take another look at your plan. If you are not pregnant, but might be during a life changing event, go ahead and pick up some items to have on hand for the future. Planning ahead is the only way to be sure the baby in your family will not suffer great stress and neither will you.