Month: April 2024

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Baby Clothing Basics

The arrival of a new baby is an exciting time, but it also brings with it a plethora of decisions. Among the first ones is which clothes to buy. There are countless brands, styles, and patterns of children’s clothing, which can easily get you confused on what to pick. The best clothing for your newborn or young kid should not only be cute but also comfortable and soft. Fancy outfits in the name of fashion may look promising, but if they are itchy, your little one will be in tears the whole time and maybe just itching to get out of them. The fabric you choose for your child’s clothing makes a huge difference. It is important to consider natural fabrics like bamboo fiber, which is soft and will help keep your child cozy and happy. You should also look for clothes that are stitched in a way that will not cause any irritation on your child’s sensitive skin. You will need a few basics to start your baby’s wardrobe: Onesies are an essential, and you can get them in short- or long-sleeve varieties. These will serve as a no-fuss outfit for summer and winter, and they can be easily paired with pants or a pair of footie pajamas when it’s cold. Bodysuits are another good option for babies, and they come in long- and short-sleeve varieties as well. You can also add a few kimono-style bodysuits to your baby’s closet, which are great for wearing until their umbilical cord falls off, usually around two weeks after birth. A few pairs of leggings are also a good idea for your infant. They can be worn over a bodysuit for warmth and comfort, and they are easy to pull on and off as needed. You should also include a couple pairs of socks, and hats for keeping your baby warm, especially in the cold months. Lastly, you should have some blankets on hand to keep your infant warm and snuggly in a carrier or stroller. You can use muslin and cotton blankets, which are breathable and will keep your baby from overheating, or you can also get fleece or sherpa blankets, which provide more warmth. You should always check the washing instructions on each piece of clothing, and be sure to follow them closely. You will want to wash your baby’s clothes in cold or lukewarm water, and avoid using bleach, which can discolor clothing. You should also avoid any clothes with attached buttons or strings, as they can become strangulation hazards for your baby. After your baby’s basic outfit is ready, you can also start adding other clothing items, like dresses and shirts, which will be perfect for special occasions. You can even add some coming-home outfits, which will be a wonderful memento for you and your baby. When it comes to buying baby clothes, remember that your little one will grow fast, so shop by weight or length recommendations.

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Choosing Burial Gowns For a Loved One

The process of dressing a loved one for their funeral or memorial service can be a profound act of love and respect. For many families, selecting their loved one’s final outfit is an important part of planning the service and can help honor their unique personality and style. The clothing chosen can also be a symbolic reminder of a happy life and cherished memories. Involving family members and close friends in this decision can be a comforting and meaningful experience. When deciding on appropriate attire, it’s best to take into account the deceased’s personal and cultural preferences. For example, if your loved one typically wore suits or dresses to work, it would be fitting to have them dressed in those pieces for their final journey. Likewise, if they had specific requests or wishes in regards to their burial attire, honouring those requests is an important part of the grieving process. For adults, the most common choice of clothing for a funeral is a suit or dress. However, if your loved one preferred a more casual approach to style, you can select a sweater or sweatshirt that was a favorite or even an old pair of jeans. Many people also choose to bury jewelry, like a wedding ring or pendant, with their loved ones. It’s best to consult with a professional when choosing a suitable piece of jewelry for your loved one as they can offer helpful guidance and recommendations. Choosing the perfect outfit for your loved one can feel overwhelming, especially at a time when you’re already grieving. A professional funeral director can help guide you through the selection process, making sure your loved one is dressed appropriately for their final journey. In addition, they can provide insight into any cultural or religious traditions that may affect the attire selected. When dressing your loved one for their final journey, it’s also important to consider the amount of detail you want to add to their look. While it’s usually fine to rely on a simple gown or shroud for most cases, you can also create a more detailed ensemble by adding lace, embroidery, or other embellishments. For example, this baby burial dress was sewn from a cotton fabric and features cluny lace on the bodice, gathered skirt, and matching bonnet. It was designed for babies weighing two to eight pounds. The wrap and gown were stitched using a sewing pattern by Melinda’s patterns. The project has been a labor of love for the MOV Memorial Gown team, which is composed of local women who share a passion for making beautiful and special clothing for infants in need. Their hard work helps to ensure that babies who die shortly after birth, or are lost during pregnancy or birth, are covered with a beautiful gown rather than an impersonal hospital blanket. The team’s efforts have been appreciated by the parents of many angels, as well as hospitals, funeral homes, and midwives. If you’re interested in learning more about the group or making your own burial gowns, check out the website.

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Donate Wedding Dresses to Charity

Donating your wedding dress is a way to keep it from going to waste after the big day. Many charities will take dresses off your hands (and they may be able to give you a tax deduction in the process). You can also donate bridesmaid and flower girl gowns, along with bridal accessories like veil or tiaras. Some places even take prom dresses, too. And the good news is that your dress doesn’t need to be new or in perfect condition for it to be accepted by a charity—most of these locations will have specific instructions on their websites about what they’ll accept and what they won’t. If you’re a thrifty bride, you might want to consider getting your dress professionally cleaned before dropping it off for donation. This will help ensure that there’s no staining or damage to the fabric, which could be detrimental to the charity. Several charities that accept donations are dedicated to supporting a cause, including the environment and veterans. Others are just trying to make life a little easier for people who have fallen on hard times during the pandemic. Regardless of their mission, all of these organizations are looking for donations of dresses in good condition. Most of these nonprofits have vetting procedures and will require you to fill out a short form or email a photo of the gown before they’ll accept it for donation. Some charities will also have cleaning requirements, so be sure to check out their websites for detailed information. For example, the Emma and Evan Foundation will turn your old wedding dress into tiny angel gowns to be given to infants who have died before their first birthday. They will also make bonnets and other keepsake items that are given to grieving families for free. They will accept any wedding dress that is less than five years old, along with other wedding accessories and formalwear. Another great option for a nonprofit that accepts donated dresses is The Brides Project, which is a bridal boutique with a heart. The store sells eco- and budget-friendly wedding gowns to shoppers, with all proceeds from the shop’s sales helping support free programs for families impacted by cancer at the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor. They will take any wedding dress within five years, as well as bridesmaid and flower girl gowns and bridal accessories. In addition to these wedding dress charities, you can donate your gown at most local thrift stores that take charitable donations. They can provide you with a receipt for your donation, which can be used to claim a tax deduction. The Salvation Army is a great choice since it’s a global organization with a variety of missions, including disaster relief and providing clothing and other goods to the homeless. Many other charitable organizations take in donated wedding dresses to resell at discounted prices and raise money for different causes, including environmental protection, aiding military brides and victims of abuse, according to Zola. You can also find options at local bridal shops, like Cherie Amour, which takes in gently worn dresses and other accessories.

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Angel Gowns For Infants and Newborns

In the United States, more than 626,000 babies are born through still birth or miscarriage each year. For many families, this is one of the hardest losses they can endure. It is an emotional and spiritual loss that never fully heals. For these bereaved families, a simple outfit can help them remember their baby in comfort. That is the goal of an organization in Minnesota called Angel Gowns, which uses donated wedding dresses and other dress wear to create burial gowns for infants and newborns. The gowns are then given to hospitals, funeral homes and directly to families for free. The group’s mission began with one woman’s personal journey. After losing her second son, Allison Hauer found solace in sewing these little outfits for other bereaved parents. Hauer recruited an army of volunteers who meet monthly in the basement of All Saints Lutheran Church in Darwin, Minn. The women transform donated wedding dresses and prom gowns into tiny angel outfits for babies who pass away during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth. The outfits are completed with a knitted hat and blanket, a keepsake charm and a cross or heart. They also make vests for boys out of men’s suits and pants. One of the newest members to the team is Mayo Clinic nurse Lynn Gaber. Gaber works in the cardiovascular surgery ICU at Mayo and is familiar with the heartache of the loss of a baby. That’s why she was so moved by a story in FOX 9 last year about Sarah Clark, who lost her baby boy after just four days in the hospital. “It’s a story that really struck me because I know that pain,” said Gaber. “I’ve seen it so many times. I want to give them a little bit of comfort.” Gaber has made gowns for her patients and others around Spokane, Coeur d’Alene and the Twin Cities. Her work has now spread nationally. She’s supplied gowns to hospitals in California, Oregon and Texas. She hasn’t met the family that will receive her next creation, but she hopes the gown will bring them some comfort. “I think this will remind them that their baby is beautiful and that he or she is loved,” she said. The hospital’s NICU nurses and labor and delivery nurses are thrilled to be able to offer these special gowns to families who need them. They know that for some, it can be the only thing they have to hold on to their child. For more information about Dignity Health – St Mary Medical Center and their maternity services, visit their website here. To learn more about how you can support their efforts, click here.

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How to Plan a Child Funeral

The death of a child is a tragedy that can affect all those who knew and loved them. There are many decisions that must be made, including funeral plans and whether to have a viewing or service. Ultimately, it is the parents’ decision on whether or not to have a child funeral, but it is important that they discuss it with their children and be honest with them. Children are resilient, and with clear, honest information and time to process it they may be able to participate in a service that is meaningful for them. A child funeral can be as simple or as complex as you wish. It can involve family and friends only, or a larger group. It can include a service similar to that of a traditional adult funeral, or it can be as small and private as spending time at the graveside. Some families even choose to hold a memorial service in their home rather than at the cemetery. Some parents decide to view their child’s body before the funeral. If so, they should prepare their child for what they will see. This can include explaining what the casket will look like, or if they are going to be cremated, then what their ashes will look like and where they will be kept. If your child is uncomfortable with seeing their sibling’s body, it is important that they are reassured that the body can no longer feel cold or pain. It is also helpful to explain that everyone grieves differently, and that they will probably see people expressing a variety of emotions, from tears to laughter. Children are often very perceptive, and they will absorb what they are seeing around them. Keeping their comfort in mind, it is good to appoint a trusted friend or relative to be their “funeral buddy” at the services. This person can keep them engaged in the proceedings, take them outside for breaks, and help them understand what they are experiencing. When it is time for the ceremony, your child should be encouraged to attend if they wish. However, if they are not comfortable and want to leave, it is important that they are allowed to do so without feeling guilty. It is also a good idea to talk with them ahead of time about what to expect and what it means that they will have to be quiet and sit still for long periods of time. After the funeral, your child will likely continue to have questions about their sibling as they grow up. It may be comforting for them to listen to a recording of the services, or it might be helpful to have their photo taken with a special sibling marker. In this way, they will be able to feel connected to their lost sibling whenever they want. This can be a very moving and comforting experience for them as they move through the stages of grief.

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Choosing Baby Clothing For Comfort and Coziness

Having the right clothing items for baby is essential to making sure they are comfortable and cozy at all times. The best baby clothes are breathable and allow your little one to move freely. In addition, they should not have any tags or tags that could scratch your newborn. You’ll also want to include some outerwear that will keep them warm and protected from the elements. Baby jackets, mittens, and hats should all be included in your infant’s wardrobe. Cotton is a great option for many babies due to its hypoallergenic properties and breathable nature. In addition, it is easy to launder and dries quickly. When purchasing cotton, look for organic options (typically found on the garment label) as these are made without harmful chemicals that may irritate your baby’s skin. Other baby clothing materials to consider are muslin, bamboo, and fleece. These fabrics are breathable as well and offer a range of colors and styles to complement your baby’s outfit. When selecting these types of baby clothes, make sure that they are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified to ensure they’re free from pesticides and other potentially harmful substances. Babies are happiest when they’re warm and cozy, which is why many parents prefer to dress their child in layers. This will also help to protect them from overheating during the day and night. For a warm weather outfit, try rompers and 2-in-1 dresses (a dress top half with a romper under section) that will keep your baby cool and comfortable. Baby hats are also important for protecting your infant from the sun, and footie pajamas with attached mittens can help to prevent your baby from scratching themselves. While blankets can be a comforting addition to your infant’s sleep, it’s important to remember that SIDS is still a risk and to minimize the amount of blankets in their bed. A sleeveless swaddle blanket that can be worn over a sleeping sack or baby sleeper is a good alternative to a traditional blanket. There are many brands that specialize in creating a variety of baby clothes. These brands often focus on ethically sourced fabrics, minimalist designs, and a neutral color palette. For example, Honest Baby offers a wide selection of organic clothing for newborns that is GOTS-certified and free from flame retardants, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides.

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Burial Gowns

Burial attire can reflect a person’s personal style, cultural background, and religious beliefs. It can also play an important role in a funeral service or memorial when it is worn by loved ones. While some people choose to dress casually in the days leading up to their burial, others prefer to select a favorite garment that holds sentimental value and would have been worn during their lifetime. When selecting clothing for a loved one, it is important to consider the fabric, color, fit, and ease of putting on. It is also helpful to check with a funeral home or cemetery regarding their policies on clothing and personal items. The majority of burial clothing was mass-produced in the United States during the industrialization of funerals in the wake of the Civil War and the acceptance of embalming as a process that allows families to have their loved ones returned in a preserved state. The garments, such as the gown shown here, are designed to be easily put on a dead body, with ties in the back for easy closure and drawstrings that can be adjusted to accommodate any changes in size after death. Some garments were dyed with natural dyes such as madder to enhance their appearance, but this was not always a consideration in the selection of clothing for burial purposes. A study of the biodegradability of wool fabrics found that soil types and microflora have a significant impact on the degradation rate of the fibers. In addition, the study determined that the addition of chemicals to the textiles increased the biodegradability rate significantly. While some individuals plan out their funeral attire in advance, it is not uncommon for a person to pass away without making their wishes known. When this occurs, family members and friends may need to make choices on their behalf. It is often best to stick to a person’s preferred style of clothing for their viewing and burial, and to take into account any religious or cultural guidelines that they would like to be adhered to. When choosing clothing for a loved one, it is vital to remember that the garments must be comfortable and easy to put on, as the individual has been in a coma or similar state since their passing. Using soft, breathable materials is the best option for this reason, as these fabrics will be gentle on the skin. It is also a good idea to consider the physical changes that have occurred in the deceased individual, such as a change in weight or body size, when selecting an outfit. While it is not a pleasant task, choosing the right clothing for a loved one who has passed on can be an opportunity to pay tribute to their unique personality and to honor their memory. By considering their preferred style of clothing, any religious or cultural guidelines that should be followed, and any special personal items that may be meaningful, the choice can be an uplifting and remembrance-filled experience.

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Donate Wedding Dresses

Most girls dream of growing up and getting married in a beautiful storybook wedding. However, many brides don’t have the means to afford the wedding of their dreams. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people have had to scale back on their plans or cancel their nuptials completely. In light of this, more and more brides are choosing to donate their gowns rather than keep them in storage. Some of these wedding dresses end up going to thrift stores, while others are donated to charities and other organizations that specialize in helping couples with their special day. According to Zola, donating your gown is the best way to make sure that you don’t end up with an unused piece of clothing and that it is used for something other than hanging in a closet collecting dust. There are a number of charitable organisations that accept wedding dresses, and most of them have online forms to fill out or contact information that will walk you through the vetting process. Some of the most popular include Brides Across America, which outfits military and first responder brides for free, and Wish Upon A Wedding, which allows couples dealing with terminal illness to have their dream weddings. Other organisations include Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring, which helps high school students get retail work experience while selling donated gowns, and The Brides Project, which offers support for adults and children impacted by cancer. Some of these charities also resell the wedding dresses they have received, with the proceeds funding their missions including aiding women in the military, environmental protection, and supporting abuse survivors. You can find a full list of bridal charities that accept wedding dresses, including those that resell, on the Zola website. Another option for a used wedding dress is to have it made into a christening gown or other baby clothing. This is a great option for a family with small babies, and it can create a keepsake of your big day for the rest of the family to enjoy. Before donating your dress, it’s important to check that it’s in good condition. This includes ensuring that it doesn’t have any major rips or tears, as most charities prefer to give away dresses that are still in good condition. If you notice any damage, have it repaired by a seamstress before handing it over to charity. With so many options for donating your wedding dress, it’s important to take your time and select an organisation that has meaning to you as a bride. As a bonus, it’s likely that you will receive a tax deduction for your donation. Just make sure you get a receipt from the charity that you can use when filing your taxes.

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Angel Gowns For Stillborn Babies

In the grand tapestry of life, there are moments of tremendous joy and sorrow. In those moments of unimaginable loss, families need a little extra support. At UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, we provide a range of services to help families during this difficult time, including custom-made gowns for infants who are born too soon or pass away before going home. These beautiful gowns, made by volunteers across the country and internationally, help families remember their tiniest angel babies as part of their family forever. When Stacy Beck lost her own son to a stillbirth in 2017, she was heartbroken. But she found comfort in a quilt that a friend had made him, and from there, grew a passion to do the same for others. Now, she and other seamstresses in the Akron area are using donated wedding dresses to make gowns for families of stillborn or miscarriage babies. These gowns, which are hand-sewn by volunteers, are designed to fit any baby – from micro-preemies and those who were delivered full term. They also serve as a special keepsake for the parents, who can keep it with them always. “These gowns give dignity to grieving families and angel babies,” says Beck. “It’s so important to us because we know first-hand the impact that a loss of a child can have on a family and community.” Across the country, volunteer seamstresses, like Sue Bauer of central Ohio, are using donated wedding dresses to create the angel gowns, which are distributed free of charge to families and hospitals. A typical dress can produce up to 20 angel gowns, and Bauer’s organization — Angel Gowns of Central Ohio — is looking for more seamstresses to join her team. She’s also accepting monetary donations to purchase embellishments as well as yarn, lap blankets, baby items, sew-in Velcro, thread, ribbon, soft fleece and elastic. A former labor and delivery nurse, Mangiaracina knows the pain of infant loss, so she wrote a column in 2015 to share her story and the work she’s doing to help other women. It prompted an amazing response. She now has a network of 44 seamstresses who sew the angel gowns and wraps for families in the Spokane area, as well as for hospitals in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Columbus, Ohio; Groveport, Ohio; and Texas. At the same time, about an hour west of Minneapolis, in Darwin, Minn., Jean Lee and her team of volunteers are also expanding their work. The group, called NICU Helping Hands, turns donated wedding dresses into the final outfits for infants who die in labor or shortly after birth. The garments include a knitted hat and blanket, a heart or cross charm and a Bible verse. Eventually, the group plans to add vests for boys made from men’s suits and pants. The women meet monthly in the basement of All Saints Lutheran Church in Darwin to work on their creations. “This is the most rewarding thing that I’ve ever done,” said Lee, a Pennsauken resident who has worked on the project since 2009. “I don’t get tired of it.”

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How to Organise a Child Funeral

A child funeral is an opportunity for family and friends to come together, share photos, stories and memories of your baby, child or teenager who has died. The service can be as long or short as you wish and can be held at a venue of your choice such as your home, a community space, a church, a hotel or even a park or beach. A funeral provides a time and place to connect with loved ones who have experienced the same loss and to help us make sense of what has happened. Often, children want to be involved and it is important that they are encouraged and supported to do so. For some families it is helpful to involve their child right from the beginning, for others it works best to allow them to attend a funeral without parental involvement (with close adult supervision). Children need to be prepared for what is happening and this can begin at any age. It is important to sit down with your children, or the child you are caring for and talk about what is going to happen at a funeral and how they might feel. It is also important to explain the logistics of a funeral such as who will be there, how long the services might last and how the body will be taken care of. Providing children with all of the information they need will empower them and help them to understand what is happening. This can help them to decide if they want to attend a funeral, but it is also OK for children to change their mind on the day and this should be respected. If you are worried about how your child might cope at a funeral or you are not sure they will want to attend, it can be helpful to enlist the help of another friend or family member to support them and look after them for the duration of the ceremony. It may also be helpful to arrange a break for them away from the setting and provide them with a quiet space to rest or play, such as a garden at the crematorium or cemetery. Some children, especially those who have been in care or who have had medical complications, do not want to go to a funeral and this is completely normal. It is however, important to give your child as much information as possible and listen to them to understand their decision. Many parents say that finding ways to honour their child and bring a sense of meaning to what has happened helps them manage the grief. This can be through a special celebration of life ceremony, having a message board at the funeral or graveside or by having a candlelight vigil at home. Other parents also like to have a memorial tree planted, join a support group or donate to charities that honour the life of their child. All of these things can help them to process the grief and move on.