INFANTS – FROM ZERO TO ONE YEAR OLD
Infants represent the most challenging kinds of children to prep with and for, and unfortunately every child must pass through this most difficult phase. Realize, however, that although infants are not ideal to have on hand during a disaster situation, many cultures, even primitive nomadic ones, have survived quite well with them. Here’s what we recommend:
Overwhelmingly and without hesitation, we recommend breast milk if at all possible. Besides the fact that countless studies show the benefits that breast milk has on the development of children, it is readily available and highly nutritious, and a lactating woman can maintain a supply of breast milk for several years if need one caveat: the nutritional needs of the mother must be accounted for, especially calorie wise. She must have extra calories in her diet as there is no free lunch; in order for her to produce milk she needs more food than she normally would.
This means a little extra planning, but not much. We don’t recommend planning by calories, rather we recommend planning by meals, and it’s safe to say that for planning and portion purposes, a lactating mother will eat on average as much as an active male adult. Plan accordingly.
If a situation arises where the mother is unable to produce breast milk, is unavailable, incapacitated, or even deceased, you will need to plan for that eventuality, and that means baby formula. Even if your spouse does breastfeed, for prepping purposes, you should still keep at least some formula on hand. Baby formula is expensive and must be prepared in a certain manner in order to give the child the proper nutrition. Keep in mind that watering it down too much will absolutely result in malnourishment, and at this stage in a child’s life, could have serious impacts.
While there are older folk style replacements for formula that are based on cow’s milk and other natural additives, we don’t think these ingredients are as easily found in a survival situation, while powdered baby formula, on the other hand, will keep for some time and most infants only require an 8-10 months supply of it from birth. If your spouse breastfeeds (and she should!) then plan on keeping a 30 day supply of formula on hand just in case. Note that this is a great barter item, even if you don’t use it.