Do you all remember these fleeces circles from an earlier mention in my blog article Double Post Friday? I had brought home a couple of bags from church that contained hundreds of fleece circles, and ended up sewing-myself-dizzy… round and round…! It was actually very, swimmingly, satisfying! Just now, I wanted to use the adjective spinningly, in order to describe just how satisfying, but spell check doesn’t like that word and doesn’t even recognize it as a word… I would imagine spinningly to mean “so much fun that it causes you to spin out of control or become dizzy with heartfelt contentment.” Doesn’t that sound lovely? I think that this word should adopted into our dictionaries immediately! Or maybe I should start playing a game of Balderdash this very instant because my off-the-cuff definitions might win a round or two?!?
Back to the topic at hand: Fleece Scent Circles!!!
What are scent circles?
They are pieces of fleece fabric that are given to a mother, who is in the hospital, who has a baby in the NICU/in an incubator. The circle is placed on the mother’s skin and left there for 8-10 hours at a time so that it picks up the mother’s “scent.” The circle is then placed under the newborn’s head so that he/she can smell his/her mother when the mother and baby cannot be together. The mother’s scent helps her baby to bond with her, feel safe, and even helps with brain development!
According to materials that I received from the Neonatal Nurse Liaison, Sarah M., from Wesley Medical Center:
Exposure of an infant to his/her mother’s scent produces calming, pain-relieving, stimulatory and blissful reactions. It helps sooth crying. Mother’s scent helps the infant in feeding preparation, nipple acceptance, and sucking pattern and ability. Because providing opportunities for exposure to mother’s scent is important, the NSN encourages mother’s to engage in skin to skin with their babies as soon as they are medically ready and provide scent circles to be used by the infant in mother’s absence. A mother providing breast milk promotes maternal scent as well as other benefits to the infant. Teaching mother about the unique role of maternal scent in sensory development is important.
How do I make the scent circles?
- Good quality fleece (that doesn’t shed a lot). Choose smaller patterns so that the pattern will be more likely to show up in each circle. Please don’t use the color red (blood), black, or pea green (vomit). Use happy colors, traditional pastel baby colors, etc. Exception to using red – if you’re making KU sports-affiliated circles. Parents with children in the NICU have competitions going on between KU and K-State scent circles – LOL!
- Blank CD or DVD to use as a template for the circles
- Sewing machine with thread
- Unscented laundry detergent
- Sandwich baggies
Using a sewing machine, use a zig zag stitch or some other fancy stitch (if your machine allows) to outline your circle, approximately 1/4″ away from the edge. This gives each circle a more finished look. Some parents take their scent circles home as keepsakes, so the finished edge makes the circle look more purposeful, professional, and also helps it to hold up in the laundry a little bit better.
Wesley Medical Center, a hospital in Wichita, KS, uses hundreds of these scent circles on a weekly basis!!! They are always looking for volunteers to make the circles and always accepting donations of the circles to their NICU. This is a great, easy way to help give back to our immediate communities! It’s amazing sometimes, how simple a project can be, and how much good can come from it!
Much thanks to my girl, Jessica H. for her contact information at Wesley! Much thanks to Sarah M. for being so informative and welcoming and excited to have new volunteers join her project!
I think that the crafty group I just joined, Crafty Collective is interested in participating in this project, which is why I’ve typed up a quick tutorial. If there’s anyone else out there who wants to help out??? Please let me know! I LOVE it that crafters can make a difference! AWESOMEZZZZ!!!!
And, if one charitable craft project isn’t quite enough for you??? Craft Hope has launched Project 21 – we’re headed to Romania to make winter items (blankets, hats, and scarves). More on that, from Bolinger Snapshots, soon!
HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY to make Fleece Scent Circles for Babies!!!