Some observations, tidbits and my latest trips to the store : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Hello everyone. Since I have two babies ( 20 mos old and 9 mos old), I thought I would post this since I think its important.

I have been trying to stock baby formula, and I buy mine at Wal-mart. I buy their brand, in the large size for $12.88. The past month, I have been to wal-mart 3-4 times. I have only noticed this in the past 4 weeks, and not before. 3 weeks ago, we went and they had none of their brand on the shelf. So, I came back the next week, and there was none again. I asked a lady who worked there, and she showed me 12 cans on the end of one isle, right by where the employees go in and out. I bought two that time and asked her when they were getting more. She said it was ' an on order item' and shrugged. I told her I had been coming for 2 weeks and they had been nearly out every time. She just kept shrugging and saying it should be coming in. I went back last week, and of the 12 on the end shelf ( 10 I guess since we bought 2 before) there was 5 left. None on the regular isle. Also, nearly every other major brand of powder was sold out. NO Isomil, only 2-3 Enfamil, and a few other brands. There was some concentrate, but for me thats much more expensive and harder to store. I have never ever seen it this depleted on a regular basis. We bought one more can off that end shelf. We should have bought more. If anyone has kids, this might be a good time to see how your stores are stocked. maybe Wal-mart is just that busy. They also had NO wipes. One Huggies pack, NO Pampers, and 4 double packs of walmart brand. We bought 3 packs. Only the time before had they been low on wipes, but not almost completely sold out. This shocked me and another mother in the isle. She got the last Huggies. Diapers were depeleted, but I guess that might be normal. I did some last minute shopping ( which I never usually do and WILL not do again.. ugh!) yesterday at our local Shop rite, and there was not one gallon of water on the shelf. Not any 2 1/2 gallons, none at all. I was really surprised, because they have been low for awhile, but not completely sold out. Not ONE bottle. ( I live in NJ, by the way)

As far as other tidbits of info, I dont have anything really reliable except my dad, who was working ( in construction) down by San diego last week, and said the borders were just loaded with people, lots of patrols. Thats not major news, but it did confirm that they are beefing up that border inparticular. About 6 weeks ago, ( I live in an apt, and yes, I am worried about losing power) we had 3 major power outs in one week. they all lasted at least 3-5 hours and when I tried to call the power company, I couldnt get through at all either time. We were not having storms then either.. or even high wind which knocks us out when it happens. I have a hard time believing someone hit a power pole 3 times in one week, and there was no weather to speak of. I really didnt think about it until a neighbor came and asked us if we lost power 3 times this week, and what was going on.. anyway?? ( I really wanted to say, maybe they are testing..? but lost my nerve)

On a weirder note, and I know.. you'll all flame, my hubby bought me a new camera in June. I took it back because the date kept changing by itself. I was ticked about that, and thats why I paid very close attention to the new camera we exchanged it for. We took pictures on Oct 30, and on about 4 pictures, the date came out as Oct 31. On my NEW camera. Some were oct 30, some were Oct 31. So I checked out my other pictures and took another look at my camera. I reset the date after Oct incident, and low and behold I took pictures in Nov and again, the date was wrong again. I havent checked it again, and should since its christmas, but I cant figure out what is wrong. Two seperate cameras with the same problem? Maybe. maybe I need to change the battery that takes care of the LCD diplay? ( or whatever its called) I also received an email in Nov, which was one day off. I knew it wasnt that day, and went to look at my calendar, and sure enough, it was wrong. The very strange thing about that was, it changed itself back. The next day I sent an email, and the date was right. I am not computer literate and know only how to change the date the simple way. I really didnt pay much attention to it, except get annoyed. I havent touched the date/time thing on this puter since the spring forward time change this yr.

I know this is probably rambling on, but I have researched this subject alot over the past 16 mos, and I am distrubed by what I read. The GAO reports and the Senate 100 day report were eyeopeners. Maybe someone can explain the date thing on my computer and my camera, and if so.. thats great. I am still stuck in that " I'm preparing but still in semi-denial" mode. I do know that alot of you post excellent articles here, and I wish I could do the same, but I dont know how to get the articles here. Cut and paste doesnt work when I try it. Well.. anyway.. I wish all of you well, and Merry Christmas, please dont flame too hard, I'm sensative. Worry about my infants has consumed me, and I wonder how hard it will be to keep them warm if we lose power even for 2-3 days. If anyone has any suggestions, please send, this is my real email. We have no fireplace, no alternate source of heat, and I worry about these college kids who live here starting indoor fires to keep warm and burning the whole complex down.


-- Danielle (, December 25, 1999


Is breast feeding an option?

-- gary elliott (, December 25, 1999.


A baby won't switch back, especially at 9 months. Luckily he should be supplementing with cereal already, but this doesn't fare well for the younger tots.

-- Hokie (, December 25, 1999.

Danielle, many thanks for this information, I know it will provide guidance for other families with youngsters that have been procrastinating on purchasing these items.

Pay NO attention to those who have nothing better to do than flame.


-- Ray (, December 25, 1999.


One thing that you can do is buy the inexpensive plastic storm window kits from a hardware store. The plastic sticks on with double-sided tape and by looking carefully at the window frames, you can add two or three layers with at least 1/4" spacing to the one or two panes that are already in the window. In a normal house, heat loss through the windows is usually 25% of the total and I would think it would be an even higher percentage in your case. Taking this step will cut that heat loss in half.

You could also consider putting a sheet of 1 1/2" foam insulation over the windows which would cut the heat loss even more. If you do this and your windows face south, remove the foam during the day as there will be a significant net heat gain from the sun.

Try to insulate one room more than the others and stay in that room and keep the door closed. Each person gives off 400-600 calories (100-150 watts) which will help a little.

If you can't rig up any extra heat, you will need heavy sleeping bags and clothing and lots of blankets for the baby. You can also drape blankets over rope attached to the walls or over furniture to make a tent to sleep under at night.

If you are above the fourth floor of an apartment building, there may be no water if the power stays off long enough. You will have to store water.

If these ideas don't work and it gets too bad, you will have no choice but to go to a shelter or move in with friends that have the essentials. A lot depends on how many outside walls there are in your townhouse or apartment and what the winter is like.

-- John (, December 25, 1999.

Dear Danielle-- My baby is 23 and I hadn't given babies much thought but........ I would first buy a baby food mill. Shouldn't cost more than $5.00 and you will be able to make pureed vegies & meats for your little ones. These are hand cranked and are in baby accessories aisles with pacifiers and bibs, etc. Second, I would buy diaper pins and rubber pants. In a pinch you could use any cloth as a diaper but large pins and rubber (plastic) pants would be hard to substitute. Third, I would buy a pack of baby washcloths. These are lighter and smaller than adult ones and are reusable. Fourth, I would get tubes of zinc oxide in the bandaid aisle. Much cheaper than desitin and the same thing. Fifth, don't forget some pedialite. Powdered gatoraid is also a possibility. Oh my, babies-----what a delightful thing to have on Christmas morning. Pam

-- Pamela (, December 25, 1999.

To Apartment Dwellers.

If you foresee that you may need to relocate to a shelter concentrate on putting together the 'go-bags' ...

One backpack/bag per person. In each (depending on age and needs) place the items you need. For instance, yourself, toothbrush, toothpaste, wash clothe, towel, underwear, bras, socks, female hygiene items, vitamins, wipes, birth control, pain reliever, comfort food, etc. This is just a sampling.

Are all of you up to date on your shots? If not, go to the health department or your doctor this week and take care of it.

Please, please don't delay going to shelter if things are bad. Adults can tough it out in most cases, but the babies need to be warm.

Good day, zeaal

-- zeaal (, December 25, 1999.

I understand that babies can eat what the Japanese cakll kokah (spelling?). It's very finely ground brown rice for those who have brown rice and a grinder.

-- Mara (, December 25, 1999.

When we lived in MI it got mighty cold at nite so we always put the kids in blanket sleepers...get one their size and one bigger and you can put two on at once. Double diapers and they were usually good until am. Also, if really cold they slept with us to share the body heat. And don't forget that most of your heat loss is thru your head so put on those hats!

-- Mutti (, December 25, 1999.

I'll be able to help some hapless soul out there with diapers. I had bought a couple of bags to line a tiny cat carrier for a litter of kittens I had gotten when they were a few days old. One bag is unopened and untouched. I also have an unopened bottle of infant liquid vitamins.

-- Paula (, December 25, 1999.

Danielle, this is not a flame, but you say you have been researching y2k for 16 mo. Your youngest baby is 9 mo. Why did you choose the formula route? I am no breast feeding fanatic, but foretelling the future is not that difficult.

It is history now, but what other incongruous thinking have you done that needs checking at this late date?

-- gary elliott (, December 25, 1999.

Danielle, at the age of 9 mos., your baby doesn't need formula. It's a handy way for him/her to get all of the vitamins and minerals he/she needs in order to grow, but he/she can easily eat most of the foods that you eat, especially if you use that baby mill. (BTW, babies who are used to one brand of formula may balk at another. Bottles, too, are habit-forming. Water and juice can be offered by cup at this age.) Babies can pretty much gum just about anything to death and make it fit for consumption--cheerios are a really good and easy way of getting babies to figure that out if it's a new concept. Don't offer anything real hard and small (cheerios basically become mush), like candy or pieces of chips--which you don't really want to give anyway, because your baby needs all of the good nutrition he/she can get for the relatively small amount of calories he/she wants to consume.

(chuckle) It'd be really hard for Danielle to start lactating now. *Really* hard.

-- Agent00 (, December 25, 1999.

I stocked up on about 6 months of formula for my 5-month old son, at that time saw no shortages, but I depleted the supply of soy formula at several stores of a chain.

No one else seemed to be stocking up, but I remember thinking what a vulnerable item.

On Karen Anderson's site, there is a recipe for "emergency baby formula," made of dry milk, oil, ...

I read somewhere that K-mart has increased their inventory of some items, including baby formula.

-- RB Zaxus (, December 25, 1999.

Danielle: I may not be able to assist with your baby food problem, but the date issue with your camera is quite straight forward. This is something my wife used to do all the time, with cameras, alarm clocks and anything else where she had to set the date/time.

Ensure that when you set the date in the camera that you check whether you have set for am or pm. It is very common to set the date in the morning, but with a pm setting. Then all photos taken in the afternoon will be out by one day, but photos taken the following morning will display the correct date again. Its just a matter of being twelve hours out.

-- Malcolm Taylor (, December 25, 1999.


you might want to think about cloth diapers - if things do go wrong, there will be no trash pickup. disposable diapers are toxic to burn, and DO NOT decompose even when buried. how will you dispose of them?


-- loreli (, December 25, 1999.

I must be the OLDEST person reading this request! I finally have some first hand/lived knowledge to share with someone. Let us first put commercials to rest: 1. Your child can live without milk. 2. Milk formula can be made with dried milk, water and some Karo Syrup for flavoring (can cause some constipation) 3. There is no reason to buy another useless appliance, such as that mill! Mush your vegetables up real good, scoop it up on your finger, and put small quantity in Babes mouth. No salt or spices added to it. There are other cultures, where the Mother first chews the food into a mush, then puts in in the Babes mouth. Folks fed children this way for hundreds of years. How do I know? Cause I have seen it, Because you and I and everyone else would not be here if they had not done it. that way. As for diapers LOL!! Cut up a sheet into squares, big enough to fold three times, to final size to fit Babe like store bought. Get two safety pins, pin on each side at waist. Now, when they use this diaper, you are going to have to wash it out, hang up to dry, and use again. I have read that one culture (can't remember who) just lets the Babe crawl around without anything on bottom, so they poop, you just scoop. Personally, I think this is easier clean up. Common sense, Girl! Think how your ancestors lived!

-- Baby Keeper (, December 25, 1999.

---Danielle--can you afford to get matybe a propane heater or a kerosene heater? That seems about your only option right now if you stay home. Isn't there someplace you can go to out in the sticks, someplace with a well and fireplace or stove? Perhaps a cabin that rents by the week? At least for the end of the month throughout the first wek, by then everyone should know how bad it might become. Your fears on fires are well grounded. when they had the alledged storm of the century in atlanta/georgia in 93, people were lighting fires in bathtubs to keep warm. People do goofy stuff sometimes. Right now, I'm assuming you have a vehicle, a two wek vacation to a rural area seems prudent. Get on the phone to some real estate agents in some smaller towns out in the boonies near you. don't pick some "normal" tourist area, just some small fqarming community. Most agents have cabins and houses they know about for rent, geez, even a lot of mobile homes now have fireplaces or propane stoves and heat, and they are cheap to rent. I see em in our local paper for like 300$ a month. That and a tank of gas and some judicious packing of your stores to take with you seem like cheap insurance to me. Either way, Merry Christmas, good luck to you and your family and babies. Remember, you can make iundoor "tents" out of two chairs pushed close to each other , lay some brooms across the backs, and drape with blankets. Much warmer in there than the rest of the room. A big kitchen table for example, as the roof. Be creative with your resources. Lay layers of brown cardboard down on the floor, at least one inche thick, then cover with a throwrug or blanket under the home made "tent". Just don't give up!


-- zog (, December 25, 1999.

Thanks to all who responded. Gary, I said I have researched it for 16 mos.. but alot was very slow going. Also, I live around totally DGI people, and many people had some influence on me earlier on. Its been *very* difficult trying to find the real info out there, since I didnt know where to look at first.

I also admit to weaving back and forth on my beliefs for the better part of those 16 mos, since I am no computer genius and all this embedded stuff makes my brain tired. I try and find the real facts, and between those who lie and those who are in a cover-up process, it can be difficult to decide what is right. Having two small babies 11 mos apart does also not leave time to research all day long. I've done the best I can.

No, unfortunately, you cant go back to breastfeeding at 9 mos. I do have cloth diapers from first baby that were never used, and I do know that he doesnt 'need' formula to survive, but hearing others confirm it helps! I have bought some powdered milk and thats what we will use for now. I want to thank all who responded personally, I layed my heart on my sleeve and you have all been very kind.

When I needed someone's advice/help, you all really came through. If everyone reacted like this to Y2K problems, we would all be in much better shape next year.

Thanks and Merry Christmas Danielle

-- Danielle (, December 25, 1999.

Danielle, you probably already know this, but - just in case! - don't, whatever you do, feed your infant pureed adult food. A couple in England who had recently done this [I seem to recollect that their income was disrupted, and they thought that adult food might be OK, and perhaps even better, for their baby] lost him due to salt poisoning. At the inquest, it was emphasized that processed food intended for adults should never be given to babies because of the typically high salt content.

-- John Whitley (, December 26, 1999.

Danielle, Toys R Us usually stocks large quantities of baby formula and diapers at reasonably low prices. You might be able to still get a few cases from them. Not everyone thinks of them as a source for these items.

-- kritter (, December 26, 1999.

When my daughter was 9 mos old if someone had told me she didn't need formula, I'd ask then what they hey was she supposed to drink? She was on mushed, pure veggies, fruits, and cereal at that point. But she had a SEVERE milk allergy and had to drink the soy formula (nursed early on but switched over--long story there...). When she was 14 mos old we tried regular cows milk and she had an encephalic reaction, had to go to the Toddler Soy Formula. Tried goat's milk, too, she couldn't tolerate it. The poor kid would get hives on her face and IN her throat!

As far as cold weather goes, I can't say enough for blanket sleepers. My "baby" is 5 and she is upstairs asleep in one now. Get SEVERAL! And in bigger and bigger sizes, now. Even if Y2K is nothing, you will not regret it, as you will use them a LOT. We live north of Dallas and we still need them. Kiddos tend to kick those blankets off and I found my daughter with little freezing legs more than once.

Do you know the formula for homemade wipes? Roll of paper towels (NO PRINTS!!!), some baby oil and some baby bath....cut roll of paper towels in half, put in round tupperware bowl, pull out center tube, pour in mixture of baby oil and baby bath (ratio of 1:3) and soak, turn over to soak other side....pull out towels from center. Be careful in the summer, it can grow mold.

-- preparing (, December 27, 1999.

You'd be surprised how warm you can stay just by layering clothes and staying out of the wind. Consider how a nice down coat can keep you warm even when it is freezing out and you will realize that I am right.

-- Amy Leone (, December 27, 1999.

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