Recently I was chatting with a friend on the Rez, telling him what our group was doing. I happened to mention one of our new programs The Infant -Toddler Diaper Bag Program. He was happy to hear we would be providing diapers and other items to parents with infants and toddlers. A few days before a young dad showed up at his doorstep asking if his family had any items they could give him for his baby. His wife had taken off and left him with a 1 month old baby and nothing else. My friend said, “And while the baby did have a few clothes on his back, I could see that he really needed help, diapers especially. The baby lay in his father’s arms diapered in newspaper”. Quite ingenious I would say but not very comfortable for the baby. He needed clothing items, blankets,toiletries and formula. If you’re a parent you know how much babies need and how much it costs to care for them. I googled what babies need for a layette on a few sites and felt this site and this one gave the best overviews. The layette on the Rez looks nothing like this one. Many parents hope they will get some goodies like diapers, a few blankets,sweater, and samples of formula and toiletries given out at the hospital and from Healthy Start ( if they participated in that program) but mostly they rely on friends or family to help with their needs. Babies generally sleep in a bed with the rest of the family as cribs and playpens are not affordable, unless the parents can find someone who has one not currently in use and is willing to lend it out.
Sew For Kids along with Pine Ridge Babies group wants to help parents with resources to help with some of the stresses that happen when the new baby arrives home from the hospital. Any person who has been a parent knows how stressful the first 6-12 months can be especially with the first baby. Those sleepless nights can wear on you and with no skills and resources that stress is magnified. We can’t supply all their needs as we’re a small group, so that is why we are asking for YOUR help to make this project a success.
All of the diaper bag donations will be stored at the Kennedy Community Center in Wanblee and parents will be able to go there and “shop” for what they need for their baby. Keeping the center well stocked with donations will relieve some of the stress parents face as they frantically try to locate diapers or other necessities and may also prevent them from “stocking up” if they know the center will have goods on an ongoing basis which saves resources for the next person in need. If the Infant /Toddler Closet is to be a success and a reliable resource for parents to use, we need your help to keep it well stocked. Two programs we’re hoping to help with in the future are the cloth diapering and breastfeeding programs, topics for a future blog.
If you would like to help with donations to the Closet access our spreadsheet and see what is currently needed and check our donation guidelines page. Used items in “nearly new”condition are always welcome. Please send a list of items sent including sizes and gender so we can keep the spreadsheet up to date and help prevent shortages in sizes. The spreadsheet is a way for us to keep inventory control, if you have clothing donations not needed at present send them anyway as the need on the Rez is so great everything will be used. For those sewers making clothing please sew a tag in the garment with the size marked or pin a tag to the outside so the personnel at the Closet know what bin to store it in. Our goal is to make sure we help all age groups in the infant/toddler group (0-5 years).
Diaper bag contents for newborn:
- Diaper bag
- Changing pad
- Warm blanket/afghan/quilt 36×48
- 2 receiving blankets 32″-36″ (lightweight single layer for summer,
double layer or fleece for winter)
- 2 burp cloths
- 2 bibs NB or small
- Sleep sack (cotton or lightweight flannel for summer; quilted, double layer flannel or fleece for winter
- 2 washcloths
- 2 pair socks
- 2 pacifiers
- Towel/hooded towel
- Crib sheet
- *8 cloth diapers, prefolds for summer; flat folds for other seasons due to drying times
- *3 pull-on diaper covers or wool soakers…not plastic pants
- *4 to 6 diaper pins
- *4 diaper doublers (rectangular double or triple layer flannel added to diapers for night time use)
- *Instruction sheet for cloth diapers
- *Plastic lined bag for soiled diapers
Asterisk items will be packed separately into a cloth diaper set with rubber gloves and bar soap for washing diapers by hand and be included in the diaper bag if parents want to try cloth diapering.
Other Donations Needed:
- Seasonal Clothing 0 to age 5
- Toiletries-diaper cream, baby wash, lotion and powder, wipes, tylenol, bar soap, Qtips, sunscreen
- Nail clipper, nasal syringe, thermometer, pacifiers
- Laundry soap
- Powdered baby formula, bottles, bottle brush
- Plastic bowls/plates and feeding utensils, plastic containers for snacks (snack trap)
- Baby/childrens toys and books (washable or board books for 0-12 age group)
- Books for parents on pregnancy, parenting, nursing, etc.
- Baby wearing gear (slings, wraps),
- Boppy and cover
- Nursing covers, pumps, nursing pads, nursing bra/blouse
In future blogs we will discuss suitable patterns or instructions for those interested in sewing or making items in the diaper bag as well as discussion about toys and books, cloth diapering and other needs of the program. While you’re doing your spring cleaning check your closets, toy boxes and book shelves for items you may wish to donate or check out those great garage/yard sales and thrift stores. As always we welcome your ideas and suggestions on how to make the Closet a valuable resource for parent and baby.
Thanks from Sew For Kids.