It’s June already and time to start work on our next project. Every few months we like to build up the stock of baby and toddler items for nurse Debbie, the daycare center, WIC and of course for those parents who call or come knocking on the High Horse door.
Babies are born larger on the Rez so newborn clothes are quite often too small for them, aim for the 3-24 month size range. Many of you find bargain prices on baby clothes at garage sales and resale shops and don’t bother to sew clothing for this age as it’s not really worth the time and trouble. Good baby clothing is usually plentiful at sales and many times there’s lots of items that were never worn as babies grow quickly and are on to the next size before you know it. At these ages kids aren’t mobile so clothing stays in better condition. I’m amazed at the high price of new baby/toddler clothing and the inferior quality, sometimes it’s more than I pay for some of my clothing.
The clothing the daycare receives allows them to have clothes on hand for children that come to the center dirty – due to a lack of soap and water, adequate clothing or education at home. The daycare will wash children’s clothes (if they have detergent) and bathe them and at pickup time toss a few extra outfits in a bag for the child to take home. WIC and nurse Debbie give moms clothing and other items sometimes as an incentive gift for coming to a follow up appointment or to teach a new skill using the item or just to give mothers what they need to take proper care of their new baby. Theresa and Jerome help anyone who comes to their door or calls with a need and will go shopping for them if the shelves are empty. We want to stock their shelves so their money can be saved for other essentials such as gas for their car so they can deliver needs to people in outlying areas or go pick up food or other supplies in Rapid City.
We need clothes for all seasons, weather is extreme on the Rez with winters being very cold and windy and summers hot and dry. Remember Jerome has a storage container now so feel free to send clothing for next fall and winter too.
- Coats, sweaters, jackets, buntings, snowsuits
- Winter hats and mitts
- sun hats
- Shorts and T shirts
- Sleepers, gowns, onesies
- Sun hats or baseball type caps
- Sleep sack – light cotton for summer/fleece, double flannel for winter
- Pants and long sleeve shirts (fleece is especially warm)
- Socks and slippers
- Shoes and boots for toddlers
- Training pants
Baby accessories are needed too, many of the items below can be made from fabric you already have in your stash or by recycling or upcycling.
- Changing pad
- Diaper bag
- Blanket/afghan/quilt 36×48
- Receiving blankets, 30- 36″ square or larger. Go larger if you have the fabric.
- Burp cloths
- Bibs – newborn or small
- Towel/hooded towel
- Washcloths, baby/toddler size
- Scratch mitts
- Diaper wipes – homemade from flannel, terry cloth, cotton knit or purchased disposable
- Nursing pads made from flannel and stored in a small clutch
- Slings, moby wraps, etc.
- Cloth diapers
These items are always needed and have to be purchased.
- Baby Wash
- Teething rings
- Baby bottles (BPA free) and bottle brush
- New nipples for bottles, newborns and older
- Sippy cups
- Plastic dishes and cutlery
- Cloth or board baby books
- Cuddle toys or learning toys (could be handmade, no eyes, strings, buttons or other choking hazards)
- Disposable diapers size 2 and up, larger sizes 3 and up rarely come in on the trucks
We would like to start making cloth diapers and covers so parents have something to use toward the end of the month until their new SNAP card arrives. Many times Jerome and Theresa don’t have the extra money to purchase disposable diapers and it could be 2 months or more before the NAHA trucks bring more. Cloth prefold diapers can be made from recycled T shirts, flannel and fleece using a pattern such as this one and the covers from fleece, wool or PUL. Diapers and covers can be made as a single item and use inserts to absorb the wet. Here is a good site to find diaper and covers to make, to get you started thinking about making them but there are also many more good sites. And here is a video of how to make the flannel diaper on that site. The diaper inserts or the diapers themselves don’t need to be thick as one can use more than one diaper or insert, allowing them to be easily line dried. Training pants are basically underwear with some padding at the front or back and these are also easily made for toddlers. I need to devote a blog to this topic as we would like to show moms ways to save money and the environment. It just takes a little effort on their part but certainly is doable. I am no expert on this subject as much has changed since I raised my kids so we are open to suggestions and patterns etc.
I will soon share some items I’ve been working on for the baby project, don’t forget to share your ideas, patterns or photos of finished projects with us. We like to see all your projects, and especially love to see how you put to use scraps of materials you have on hand to make or add to a project or upcycle items.. Making baby items is a great way to use up those items.
Items made can be sent here. Thanks as always from Sew For Kids.