Monday, June 27, 2011

Nursing Scarf

It’s hot outside, at least 100 degrees.

I really feel sorry for those babies out there who are being nursed under heavy wool blankets. That’s gotta be hot and uncomfortable. Nevertheless, nursing out in the open just doesn’t seem appropriate in small town USA.

I have seen different kinds of nursing cover-ups, some more practical than others. I decided to make my own with what I find nice – comfort for baby, light and airy for both of us, and, if possible, a little bit stylish.


Then, one evening it dawned on me. I have a zillion unused summer scarves from Germany that I once wore a lot, but now are just sitting up on a shelf. If I cut these scarves in half, I could use the one half as a cover up for the baby, and make ties out of the other half to go around my neck. Here is the first nursing scarf that I came up with. I love this scarf, because of the tassels and am happy that it now has a new use. In the picture, you can see me using this new scarf at the zoo. It worked great!

Here’s the how to:

1. I put the scarf over my shoulder and made sure that I had enough length to cover a nursing baby and marked this spot. I then cut the scarf horizontally at this point.

2. With the remaining material, I cut out two long strips of fabric about 2 inches wide. Then, I folded each strip on the reverse side and sewed along the edge, leaving about a quarter of an inch. I turned each strip back ride side front and ironed them flat. Now, I had the ties for my neck.

3. Now, take the ties and lay them lengthwise on the fabric, so that the open end is even with the rough end of the scarf that was cut and pin in place. Make sure the ties are at least a foot apart, so that you can look between them later to see your baby. My scarf was pretty wide, so I also had at least 6 inches left between the tie and the sides of the scarf. Now, sew the entire top of the scarf including the ties down about a quarter of an inch.

4. Take the end where you just sewed and fold it down again about an inch to an inch and a half and sew once along the bottom of the fold and once on the top. If you want to cinch your scarf later, or add some wire to make it more stable (you can by special wire in fabric for this at a fabric store), you have a place to do so.

5. Finally, Put the ties around your neck and tie them in a knot. Now flip the scarf over one shoulder and you are ready to nurse in style.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Homemade Travel Crib Mattress Pad

My husband and I decided to get a baby travel crib to use as a baby crib for Lukas’s first few months. Our apartment is not very large, and a travel crib has a lot of advantages: Firstly, it doesn’t take up much space. Secondly, you can push it around from room to room. Thirdly, it is much cheaper than a brand new bassinet/crib. And, finally, it’s high enough that our 19 month old can’t reach well into it. The one disadvantage? The mattress was very hard and sunk in a bit in the middle.

The solution ended up being a combination of flattening out the bed by adding a piece of cardboard and a blanket under the mattress and adding a mattress cover. The problem was only that they don’t make mattress covers for baby travel cribs. Therefore, I decided to sew one up myself.

I decided to use a similar concept to the baby pillows that I made for Jonas. They have just enough fluff to be comfortable, but are flat enough to be safe. I also added some fold over corners to the cover so that it would stay on the mattress, another safety guard.

I think the resulting cover is so cute, it is really a shame that you have to put a sheet over it. Maybe, when he’s a bit older, I’ll just leave it in the bottom of the playpen.

Here’s the quick and easy how to:

1. Measure your playpen/travel bed so that you know how big to make your mattress cover. Then cut out 2 pieces of material, plus 2 pieces of thin polyester backing adding a half inch to each side.

2. Now cut out 4 square pieces of material, about 8 x 8 inches. Fold material in half with the nice side on the outside.

3. Lay down the pieces as follows: First one piece of material with the good side facing up. Now add the triangles to each corner, so that the two open ends of the triangle are facing the corner. Then, add your next piece of material with the good side facing down. Finally, lay the polyester backing down on top. If you have difficulties sewing over polyester backing, add a layer of newspaper to this, which you can tear off later. Add stick pins around the entire square to hold.

4. Leaving about a half inch all the way around, sew around the rectangle until you are about 4-6 inches from where you started. Now turn the entire piece inside out, so that the right side of the material is now on the outside, and the polyester backing on the inside. You will see that the triangles can be folded to either side.

5. Finally, sew up the remaining 4-6 inches by hand and you are finished.

When I added this mattress pad to our crib, my baby finally slept “like a baby.” If you need a temporary crib or travel a lot, consider making your own mattress pad.