Saturday, November 01, 2014

DIY Moses Basket

When my daughter was 5 weeks old, my husband had business meetings that he needed to attend. Families were welcome, and I knew that I really couldn't handle being on my own with my children, so we packed up and tagged along. I knew that I wanted something small for her to sleep in so that it would fit in our small room in the lodge at our church's campground. I also knew that I wanted something that I could move around and have her sleeping in different parts of the lodge. Inspired by the drawer I'd used earlier, I decided to use this laundry basket that I had. I took a blanket and folded it under her for comfort, than used it. I loved it! It was the perfect decision, because I was able to attend meetings or visit with friends and she was able to sleep in a comfortable place. And, my friends thought it was a pretty genius idea too.

Fast forward a year. We were now expecting our fourth child. And, even though we were having a baby, we had a lot of travel plans already made for our summer. Since I knew that we were going to be traveling a lot with this baby in the first couple of months of his life, I seriously looked at all the options for small portable beds. I was especially drawn to a Moses basket, but I was not drawn to the price. I decided that I could still use my basket idea, but I wanted to make it a look a little better.

It worked better than I imagined it would. I was able to keep this basket at my bedside everywhere we went, and then move it into other rooms where we were working, relaxing, or playing. He slept in it the majority of the time until he was two months old. We used it at my dad's home, at our church's camprground in a cabin, at friends' homes, in hotels, etc. And, he used it again for a couple of weeks this October. I certainly got my money's worth out of this DIY. I only spent about $20 specifically for this project, as I had several of the items already in my stash.

This basket is just the right size for the littlest ones. But as you can see, ones that are a little older will also think it's a great place to hang out and play!

Supplies for a DIY Moses Basket

 Laundry basket
1" foam cut to size for a mattress
1/2 meter outdoor fabric to cover mattress
pdf pattern
old sheet
3 packages eyelet ruffle
scraps of fabric
scraps of quilt batting

Steps to Make Basket

 1. Measure basket and cut foam to size. Measure the mattress and cut outdoor fabric to size, adding a 1/2" seam allowance. Sew zipper in, then sew up mattress cover. Insert foam into cover. Your mattress is now complete.

2. Measure basket. Get measurements and cut fabric according to this pdf pattern. Sew the bottom ends of pieces B and C to piece A right sides together. Then sew sides together to form a box.

3. For outer sides of cover, measure and cut pieces of eyelet ruffle, making enough for 5 rows on each side. You will need 10 long and 10 short pieces. Mark pieces D and E on the right side at 1.5 inch intervals starting at the bottom. Pin and sew eyelet to fabric. Cut 4 lengths of ribbon, one for each side. You'll want them at least 12 inches longer than the width of pieces D and E. Heat seal ribbon ends. Center ribbon and attach to each fabric side covering where the top eyelet row attaches. Hem bottom and sides of each piece D and E. Then sew each piece, right sides together to the tops of pieces B and C. Slip your completed cover into the basket and tie ribbons to hold the cover in place. Slip you completed mattress in now too.

4. Make a miniature quilt, if wanted. I used two scraps of fabric that I had that were big enough to have one on top and one on bottom. I pieced a layer of quilt batting over the bottom fabric and sandwiched it with the top fabric and pinned it together. I then quilted it with simple wavy lines and bound it with more of the top fabric. I love how it turned out. It is also the perfect size to tuck around him in his carseat to keep him from getting cold.

5. Make little sheets, if desired. Or you can slip the mattress into a pillowcase. Or you can buy little sheets for a bassinet or pram that is similar to the size of your mattress. That is what I did.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Day 8: The Drawer


Sometimes, when you are traveling, you just don't have a bed to use. And that is OK, too. When my daughter was three weeks old, we traveled from where she was born to our home, which is 8 hours away. (For that story, look here.) We  decided that since she was so little, we would break the trip up and stayed with my sister, who was roughly half-way. On that trip, we used an empty dresser drawer, padded with a blanket. It worked and that simple solution was the inspiration for what I will share tomorrow.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Day 7: The Peapod

Yesterday we talked about the pack n play. I love mine and currently have it set up in my kid's school room. But I also mentioned that there was another type of travel bed that I have and use. It is the KidCo Peapod. Basically, it is a little tent, complete with a mattress, that you can contain your little one in.
My oldest using this for the very first time - May 2009

It comes in two sizes, regular and plus. And we own them both. The regular one is smaller and is designed for use with children ages 1-3, while the plus one is larger and can be used up until the age of 5. We have older models of them, but I have to say if money wasn't a factor, I would probably upgrade them to the current models. What I love most about these is the size when they are collapsed for travel. The regular one can fit in a carry-on suitcase, while the plus fits in normal luggage. 

I can tell you, these have been everywhere with us. We've flown with them multiple times. We've taken them camping. We've taken them on road trips. We've used them when visiting family. We even used this when we first moved into our current home, when our belongings arrived two weeks after we did! All of my children, aside from my 3 month old, have used these and loved them. They think they are so special to be sleeping in their own little tent! When packing space is at a premium, these are the beds that we travel with. If I'm not worried about packing space and I want a ready made change table (I love my change tables!), then I travel with the pack n play.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Day Six: A Bed to Sleep In - The Play Pen

The most common travel baby bed that people think of is a play pen. There are many variations  and companies offering these that you can choose the features that you want and the price point that you want.

July 2013 - my daughter enjoying her naptime in the play pen during our vacation last summer
When I was first in the market for a travel bed, I chose to get a Graco pack n play. The features that I liked about it were the bassinet and the change table attachments. My play pen was used many times over the years on many different trips as well as at home, until last summer when we unpacked it in a hotel room late one night only to find a screw missing from one of the supports underneath. Thankfully, the hotel had play pens and we were able to get one from them.

This fall, as I was decluttering my basement, I decided to take a quick look at my play pen to see if it was fixable. I was pleasantly surprised to find the missing screw in the bottom of the bag and was able to fix it with in a couple of minutes. I am really glad. I do have some other options for baby travel beds, but there are some trips and ages that I really prefer to have the pack n play. I am glad that I'll be able to use it for baby #4.

The thing that I don't really like about my pack n play is its size. It is bulky and thus can be difficult to pack. It also can take a little extra time to set it up or take it down. Tomorrow, I will talk about another option that I also love

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