Oh, baby—you did it! You’re expecting! Congratulations! You have countless exciting moments to look forward to: First steps. First words! And, of course, first therapist, because they’re going to need to come to terms with the fact that they probably have thirty years to enjoy this world before it all melts or burns.

Feeling too overwhelmed to build that registry? We don’t blame you. We’ve put together a list of essentials for every new parent in this era of impending doom.

Baby-Wearing Gear

Baby wearing is very in right now. You don’t even have to be into attachment parenting to see the advantages of holding your baby close while keeping two hands free. You can do the dishes, vacuum, or paddle a lifeboat out of your flooded neighborhood. We recommend investing in a version with waist support; they are much easier on your back, which is important if you’re in a drought-doomed region and find yourself walking cross-country in search of potable water. We recommend one with lots of pockets.

Reusable Diapers

We know, the idea of washing poop out of fabric every day isn’t very cute. But when the grid fails due to a lack of sustainable infrastructure, a trip to the supermarket for Pampers makes you vulnerable to desperate mobs. That’s when you’ll be grateful for those disgusting linen squares paired with perky plastic casings featuring cute forest animals.

First Aid Kit

There are fantastic options when it comes to First Aid Kits. Most stores offer precious starter kits with pastel patterns containing a thermometer, band-aids, and nasal aspirator. You could also upgrade to the more deluxe grooming kit with tiny nail clippers, comb, and brush. But when you’re facing the chaos that follows hurricanes, flash floods, or wildfires, we suggest whatever can hold the maximum amount of gauze and antiseptic. Go big.

Manual Breast Pump

We’re a no-judgment publication and know that “fed is best.” But let’s be honest, formula is going to be harder and harder to come by as modern civilization erodes. Nursing for as long as possible isn’t just great for bonding, it’s a smart survival tactic. Alas, life is unpredictable, so having a manual pump on hand makes sure that you’re able to maintain your supply whether you’re kept late at work, caught in traffic, or fighting your way back to your family because you were miles away when the alarms went off and now roads are blocked and on foot is the best way to get anywhere but you never realized how long it took to walk this distance and cell signals are jammed so you can’t even use Google Maps and you’re hoping you remember the route well enough because if you don’t use it you lose it, but at least you didn’t lose your manual pump and mastitis is one less thing you have to worry about.


As a new parent, it can be confusing trying to weigh the value of pacifiers. But when you’re eking out a living in the wilderness, or holed up for weeks in a bunker, at some point you will need a few minutes of guaranteed quiet. And with your mind constantly racing over how you’re going to deal with rising temperatures, mega-storms, mudslides, drought, water shortages, rationing, riots, class warfare, and the potential loss of generations of knowledge if the grid ultimately fails… well, we won’t judge you if you need a minute in a corner, rocking and weeping silently, finding comfort in the soothing BPA-free hospital-grade silicone of a pacifier all for yourself.

This is a magical, exciting time, so make sure to enjoy every sweet moment. By investing in just a few well-thought-out basics, you will have a good foundation for surviving your baby’s first year. Assuming any of us do.

Need more ideas for your registry? You may also consider swaddling, pocketknives, baby shampoo, water purification tablets, fabric books, freeze-dried food, burp cloths, hiking backpacks, pack-n-plays, and a nuclear fallout shelter DIY kit.