4 April 2014

I've started looking after ten-month-old granddaughter, Alba, for one day a week.  Suddenly I've realised how much paraphernalia babies now need to get through their day, here are a few of the items I've just acquired:
  • for sleep: cot, sheet, gro bag, cuddly toy, baby monitor, blackout curtains.
  • for meal times: high chair, bowl, spoon, cup with lid for water, bottle for milk, container of dried baby milk, measuring spoon, bib
  • for changing: mat, tissues, nappies, nappy bag, wipes, cream, spare set(s) of clothes.
  • for playiing: toys: upstairs and downstairs, mat for her to play on.
  • for outings: pushchair, rug, rain cover, car seat and base.

And that's probably not all, for instance a stair gate (or two) will be needed as soon as she's on the move.  Also a toy cupboard and perhaps play kitchen or table and chairs for playing at.

I've just made a large mat for Alba to sit on and play downstairs.  It's about 40" x 55" comprising lots of squares of fabric. There are various colours, patterns and textures. 

Many of the pieces are left over from other makes or old clothes, so they're interesting as well.  For instance the yellow and black striped square is from one of David's silk ties and the blue fabric with dogs on is from when I shortened the sleeves of one of my night shirts. So I'm hoping it'll give us lots to talk about later.

changing mat
Today's job was to make a padded changing mat.  It's washable and was made out of an old tablecloth and some wadding left over from another project.  The fabric's fun as it's from Portugal and depicts their national emblem, the rooster (see: http://juliedawnfox.com/2012/03/12/a-btl-bonus-from-barcelos/).  

A very good friend of my grandmother had a sister who'd married a Portuguese man.  They lived in Lisbon and that tablecloth was a gift from them to my grandmother.  So the tablecloth must be at least 50 years old, and at last it's being used often enough to appreciate it.

Earlier this week I knitted A a lovely random colourful jumper (see pic).  It's so warm that it's guaranteed to make the weather improve!  But it's plenty big enough to still fit her next autumn.  Although the neck is nice and snug it's easy to get A into it as it has a placket at the back with three buttons on it, like the pic here:

Toys are not too difficult - one she loves is a shoe box with different coloured and textured fabric squares taped (securely) to the outside. Inside is wonderful: wooden spoon, various sponges, a bag of beans, nesting containers. In fact anything interesting and not too small, as everything goes into her mouth first.

Here are a few more ideas for play: 39 of the coolest children's toys you can make yourself: http://www.buzzfeed.com/twopoodles/toys-you-can-make-yourself.

8. Or make it for balls, not water.
I think we'll enjoy making this as much as Alba playing with it!

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