Baby sleepwear to sew

Baby is due 25 January, so it’s time to have the sleeping stuff ready ‘in the dark’ as the LO isn’t able to relay if s/he has any major preferences yet. Crib, mattress, and fitted sheet are DP’s to do. I get the stuff that can be done seated and involves no heavy lifting. Sleepwear sewing! Be patient with me, I’m 8.5 months pregnant, just finished teaching for the year yesterday, and DP is returning tomorrow from 3 weeks in Indonesia.

KS 3090 view A, sleeping gowns I’ve heard nothing but raves about the ease of diapering with this. Eve on PR mentioned that with her twins she sometimes wanted to put them in the bouncy chair first if she really needed some java before proceeding, so she prefers footed sleepers to sleep sacks (and therefore to sleeping gowns beneath them). But my gowns are already ready, so that’s that.

Sleep sack: thanks to Jan at Sleeping Baby Designs for hosting an earlier tutorial on how to convert a sleeping gown pattern into a sleep sack A nice apricot and a limp medium blue polarfleece are in the stash, awaiting the call to duty. I need a matching zipper so it’s on the back burner but still *cough* must will eventually get done. But a baby needs at least two sleep sacks, right? Hmm. A webpage from a materials scientist and (not coincidentally) sheep farmer in New Zealand intrigued me with a scientific discussion of the structure of polarfleece versus wool. He and his family gave up fleeces and wear only wool–of course, but still. Wool is also naturally flame-retardant without added chemicals, while polyestor fleece; well, poly melts. OK, I admit it, I bought in and now want to just make a trial version in cheap fleece, then whip up a second one in a soft felted wool. It just so happens I have a bonny Black Watch tartan wool that was cut out to make a bias skirt, but fizzled on the cutting table. Hopefully after serging the edges I can breathe new life into it by felting it and making a second sleep sack. LO’s cotton jersey sleeping gown will keep any possibly itchy wool felt off the skin. Turns out cloth diaperers champion a wool sleep sack because babies can simply wear their prefold cloth diaper without a (wool, fleece or *eew* plastic) diaper cover over it. The sleep sack does the job of forming a watertight barrier between the diaper and the rest of the world. But since it’s a nice airy sack, it airs out the baby’s billikins and prevents diaper rash. Great!

The PR discussion on sleep sacks: sleeveless or not? At first I thought ‘no sleeves’ were for those living through temperate winters, but according to BabiesRUs, sleeveless sleep sacks may prevent SIDS by preventing re-breathing in sleeves. BRU isn’t what I’d call a scientific authority, but they are vastly more experienced with babies than I am, and I’m not about to take the risk when a nice warm swaddling blanket will do the job.

I found this ‘burrito’-style free swaddling blanket pattern, but after getting the willies about SIDS and such I decided I wanted to have a look at a brand-tested version that millions of parents use. The Disney swaddling blankets at my local Cora (similar to Walmart) are very simple to duplicate. They look suspiciously like a hooded square bath towel with a triangle to cover the forehead in one corner. A baby-sized pouch, just like an enormous cell phone pocket for a handbag, is also sewn on top of the square, t keep tiny toes warm. The bottom corner is folded up, then the side corners are Velcro-ed on the same way as the free swaddler pattern demonstrates, to keep up with a growing baby. But the pouch will necessitate more manipulation of the baby for a 4 am diaper change. I do not want to wake up or stimulate TLO any more than is absolutely necessary at that hour. So I’ll nix the baby pouch feature and just make a good and loooong trailing bottom corner to keep out drafts.

Not being a purist, Version 1 and possibly Version 2 of the swaddler will be made of polarfleece. If the wool really works out and such, I might make another version in the future from wool. I can find it at Berger Stoffen for €5/m at 60″/150cm width, which is an awesome price!

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2 thoughts on “Baby sleepwear to sew

  1. seriously? I just wrote this whole lone comment and then it errored when I tried to post. Hmmph. I’m too tired to re-think it. Basically:

    1) wool good, fleece bad
    2) flannel blankets make great swaddlers but I can’t bear to rewrite the instructions

    argh.

  2. OK, wool it will be! As for the receiving blankets, if I have a large enough sized remnant I’ll just hem the edges. It’s baby blue but if it’s a girl, well, ça va. I read that babies aren’t often mobile enough to kick off a simple swaddling blanket until 2 months, so that should buy me another 3 months, cross your fingers!
    I cannot believe in 5 weeks I’ll be a mother! No way!

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