Letter Re: Preparedness Advice for the Parents of a Newborn Infant

Mr. & Mrs. Rawles,
I hope you and the family are doing well. I have been reading your blog for over a year now and it has been quite helpful. We are making our way slowly in our preps but now I have a new issue. My wife has blessed our home with a child. We had been trying for 12 years with no luck, I guess God decided it was time! My daughter is now two weeks old and with all the excitement I hadn’t put any thought into preps for a new born. Maybe the Memsahib could give me some direction. Thanks so much for what you do! Also I’m a 10 cent challenge subscriber and it’s time for me to renew. I’ll be getting that done soon! – Jason in Missouri

The Memsahib Replies: Congratulations! The most important thing is that your wife breast feeds your baby! I hope that she is doing so. The first week or so is the hardest. If she is having difficulties do let her know it will get better. The La Leche League is the best resource for help with breast feeding difficulties.

If you hope God will bless you with more babies, you ought to be prepared! You can order home birth childbirth kits from a number of vendors in the US, and in the UK.

Your biggest concern will be diapers. Depending on circumstances (availability of spring or well water and grid, generator, or photovoltaic power to run a washing machine) you will have to decide between cloth diapers or disposable diapers. When I nursed my newborns, I often changed diapers more than 10 times per day, to prevent diaper rash! (My family has fair, sensitive skin.) Untreated, diaper rash can lead to serious infections. Proper hygiene is crucial.) Choose you diapering method and then stock up, in quantity!

The very most useful items in my experience are:

For childbirth:

Sterilized cord clamp

Betadine solution

A bulb syringe

Bed liners (like those made for the disabled, available at medical supply houses)

For your newborn:

Plan on breast feeding, but as a back up consider stocking up on canned infant formula

Lanolin cream for your nursing wife

Petroleum jelly ad zinc ointment as diaper rash preventatives

Diapers and diaper covers,

Multiple”onesees”, sleepers, or saque gowns would be a real blessing. They can be found at yard sales for maybe 25 cents per outfit.or less if you don’t care about stains. As you have already discovered babies spit up a lot and diapers leak. In a post-TEOTWAWKI world, when washing and drying baby clothes won’t be so easy, then having multiple changes in every size would make daily life easier.

I also would never be without a front pack infant carrier.

I’d appreciate other SurvivalBlog readers chiming in (via e-mail) with childbirth and infant care suggestions, including recommend brand names of useful products.

I should also mention that I highly recommend the childbirth book “Heart and Hands“. And, although not from a Christian perspective (It has Hippie/Flower Child perspective!), the book “Spiritual Midwifery” presents childbirth as a natural process–not just as a medical condition.