This week, I’m participating in a virtual busy bag exchange with kids! Today’s post is a virtual busy bag exchange for babies, and in addition to my fabric lovey, Nadia from Teach Me Mommy is sharing how to make a textured photo book for babies. I’m so excited to share this with our new little one! Later this week I’ll be doing a virtual busy bag exchange for toddlers.
Now, before we get into the fabric lovey, let me give you a little back story. Earlier this summer Toby picked out two sewing projects, one for him, and one for baby.
“Floyd,” the stuffed monster to the right, was the result of our toddler sewing project (see more photos and read about the pattern book).
Since we completed the first project, someone had been on my case to make baby’s sewing project too! And, since new babies don’t really do much except for eat, sleep, and …well… you know, this lovey-style baby gift will get at least a few good months of mileage.
Making the Fabric Lovey for Baby
Making a busy bag for a baby is more of a creative exercise, since the younger kids are, the less they need to be entertained. Since we’ll be welcoming a newborn to the family very shortly, I thought this fabric lovey would be perfect for baby. Toby helped pick out the pattern (from Sew Together, Grow Together) as well as the fabric for the project.
We used a navy cotton terrycloth for one side, and a flannel caterpillar print for the other side. The ears and heart embellishments were made from those materials also. We used some white acrylic yarn for hair, and embroidery floss to make the eyes and mouth. I wasn’t originally planning to add any stuffing, but both the boys here (dad and big brother) thought it needed some, so this fabric lovey has just a little “poof” to it. To help hold everything together and define the fabric lovey’s shape, I top-stitched around the edge of the lovey, and added some top stitching on the face, arms, etc.
Benefits of a Fabric Lovey
Toby had fun helping make this, so I guess it was a toddler activity of sorts too. But in general, fabric loveys are great for babies because of their tactile sensory benefits. Having something to chew or suck on, different colors to look at, and different textures to feel — all these things make an object interesting for babies. Our newborn, when he arrives, will have to grow into all these “busy bag activity” …but that’s ok since it will extend this fabric lovey’s “life” as a toy of interest.
One other thing you can do to help a fabric lovey be comforting for babies is to make it smell like mom. You can accomplish that by sleeping with the lovey yourself for a few days, or holding the fabric lovey close to you when you’re holding your baby. That way, when baby isn’t next to you, “l’essence de mama” will still be nearby in a subtle, comforting way.
Wondering about other ways to enhance the tactile/sensory benefits of a homemade lovey? You could add little fabric tags to the edges, more colors of yarn for the hair, or multiple colored embellishments. While we didn’t add any crinkle fabric or bells to the inside of this lovey, when making a fabric lovey it is really easy to put such “sound-makers” inside.
Fabric Lovey Photo Gallery
I wanted to share some photos of how we made the fabric lovey, and also detail shots of what the finished product looked like. Click on any image below to view it in gallery mode.
Busy Bags for Babies
Here are some resources and ideas for making a busy bags for babies!
- Make A Busy Bag – Babies
- Baby’s Busy Book from Recycled Denim
- How to Make a Baby Sensory Blanket
- Baby Sensory Play – Discovery Bottles
- DIY Sensory Toys for Baby
- Playtime Ideas for Babies Under 12 Months
- 7 “Homemade Toys for Babies
This post is part of a virtual busy bag exchange.
Check it out for busy bag ideas that are portable for traveling, and more or less mess free. You’ll find busy bags for the following age ranges: babies, 1 year olds, 2 year olds, 3/4 year olds, 5/6 year olds, and school aged children.