Bugging out With Children 0-5 Years of Age
Taking into account you will be carrying considerably more than just your bug out bag and essentials you need, you’ll need to carefully plan out what you are taking, what the child needs, and how it is all going to be packed, and carried efficiently. This disruption in your life isn’t going to be taken well by any child of this age group, so you’ll need to consider they may be more needy and vocal. You’ll be pushed to your limits with the crisis and with the child, so make sure you understand this while preparing. Understanding that children require stability, so when life becomes a bit chaotic, they tend to act out. They will require some extra reassurance as you make the transition into crisis mode.
The possibility that noise will be an issue is a concern for most parents of this age group. Reducing outside noises won’t be a possibility, since you have no control over it, but soothing the child is something within your control. There are many possibilities, depending on the age of your child that you can do to sooth a child when there are a lot of noises going on around you. In a newborn, swaddling them will give them the comfort they require. However, with a toddler, it may be distraction is best. Making sure their favorite toy or game is on hand is going to be helpful. Since a toddler’s attention span is very short, you’ll need to have more than one diversion ready for them. Babies do well in electric swings or in those “bouncers.” Granted, it will take some extra work to come up with the items it will require to keep your child busy, and you’ll need to change it out as your child ages.
As your child ages, you’ll need to revamp your bug out bag to accommodate the changes in their activity level and age. Swaddling is great for a newborn, but not so much for a 3-year-old. Once they get to the age that you need to distract them, then allow them to pick out some items to distract them with. The key is to also add in some things they aren’t expecting that you can pull out later. Surprises are great at this age, and once they get bored with what they brought, you can pull out what you brought, and it will be like Christmas. For a child old enough to draw, some color pencils and paper is the perfect distraction.
The Bug Out Bag for Families: Infants and Toddlers (Age 0-5)
- Combo pack: If you can find one, picking a pack that you can carry your gear in, as well as your child will make your moving around more efficient. Considering what you can support the weight of, you’ll need to make sure the weight of the pack, along with the child and what they need does not exceed what you are able to lift and carry.
Diaper Bag: Everything you would need in a diaper bag will be required in your go bag. Plenty of diapers, both the disposable and cloth will be needed. Since there are so many uses for cloth diapers, having a few on hand would certainly come in handy. You can wash and dry them for multiple uses and store them away easy for later use. Other items you may need:
- Pacifier – Most babies use them as a security, so having one on hand is essential, especially if they are already attached to one. Now is not the time to begin to take it away from them or keep it away. Wait until the crisis over.
- Formula – Make sure you take plenty of food for your child. The stress will do one of two things, it will either make them hungrier or less hungry. Since you don’t know which your child will react, taking more is better than not having enough.
- Medical Kit – Make sure you have things you know would work on a child the age you are taking. Infant drops end at age 2, so make sure you have the proper medication according to your child’s age. Also make sure you have items on hand like a nasal aspirator and nail clippers.
- Snacks – Take plenty of snacks for your baby, toddler and above. Make sure they are age appropriate and contain a variety.
- Age Appropriate Items – Bottles, toys, extra batteries, and some type of sterilizing agent, to name a few.
- Syringe/Eyedropper: Make sure you take something to be able to administer medicine. Since they are small, easy to store, and have a few uses, you won’t regret taking one with you. Typically, they come in Tylenol packages, so you could carry it with the medication you may be administering.
Packing a bag for a child 0-5 doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. Stick to the essentials, with only a few extras like extra toys and snacks. Some snacks, like toys, should be kept aside for later, so when they get bored with what they are having, you can pull out the ones that they hadn’t seen.
In conclusion, take into account you’ll need to change up your bag as your child ages, things like medicine, snacks, and toys will have to be swapped out as your child gets older.