The other day I walked into the kitchen to find Mack chewing on a box of Lara Bars and The Man referring to him as a “Billy Goat”.  I’ve mentioned a couple times how this baby will put any and every thing in his mouth – everything.  I personally took to calling him a piranha prior to this since he especially likes to sink his teeth into clothing and pull back until said item rips out of his teeth.  Lovely. Now that he’s chewing, and apparently swallowing, chunks of cardboard and such, I think Billy Goat is quite perfect.

Right after The Man went away last time, I’d put Mack down in his crib after a nursing session.  He was restless and tired, but not upset.  My hope was that he’d drift peacefully off to sleep.  Ha. I could hear him talking and squawking up there.  But then quiet, lots of quiet.  I peeked in on him to see him standing at the cribs edge, big toothy grin.  Okay fine, defeat, I’ll try the nursing to sleep again.  But when I went to latch him on I noticed all of these brown flecks around his mouth.  What the? And then I realized the flecks were coincidentally the exact same color as the finish on the crib and well, you do the math.


This would simply not do.  I needed a buffer of some sort and while they sell those plastic sleeves that go on the edges of the crib, all I could think was BPA.  And money.  I had to come up with a cheaper, better solution.

A little fleece, a little measuring, a little snapping… okay a LOT of snapping…

I told you, paws!

It’s chew-proof, though not the prettiest.  I mean really, I wanted to get out the Heather Ross and batting and twill tape and make something stunningly perfectly wonderful. The time I had to construct this was when we were in 30 minute nap-land and sewing with a very mobile infant is pretty much an exercise in futility.  Non-fraying fleece and industrial snaps it is!

Now, I know not everyone (okay very few people) has an industrial snap press at the ready.  Mine is leftover from my days when I thought I was going to be the next famous WAHM diaper maker.  Clearly that empire didn’t pan out, but don’t I love my snap press!

If you have a beaver billy goat baby that likes to chew on the crib rails, you can make something similar without snaps.  Here’s a recipe of sorts using ties instead.

Find some fleece you love.  Keep in mind that something with a grid-like pattern like what I used takes a lot of the guesswork out of cutting.

1. Measure the length of your crib rail(s).

2. Measure the width you’ll need by measuring over the rails – you’ll need about 4″ of extra fleece on each side to cut and tie the ties that will hold your fleece on.

3. Cut your piece(s) of fleece.

4. Watch this video (starting at minute 2) for the method of cutting the fringe and tying (turn the sound off – it’s not narrated, just weird Chinese restaurant music).

5. Measure from the center of one crib bar to the center of the next – this is where you will cut your fleece so this is how far apart your cuts will need to be, we’ll call that number “X”.  You’re cutting so that the ties are in the spaces between the bars, so your measurement is bar to bar, capiche?

6. Fold your piece of fleece in half as if you were placing it over the edge of the crib.  Lay it on the table like this and make 3 – 4″ deep cuts every “X” inches.

7. Once you’ve made all the cuts, place the piece of fleece over the crib rail and tie all of fringe/ties to secure the fleece to the crib.

8. At this point you can trim the fringe if you’re concerned that your little beaver might gnaw off a piece of the hanging fleece fringe.

9. Whatever you use, snaps or ties, make sure you check them often for pieces of loose fabric or snaps. With both, but especially with snaps, use at your own risk.  The snaps CAN come off and CAN be a choking hazard, though the way mine are positioned he’d have to be really ambitious, or really hungry, to even know they were there and try to chew one off.


2 thoughts on “gnaw

  1. I haven’t had the time to do this, but I have bookmarked it so I can. My beaver has destroyed not one but both sides of the crib. Today he tried to eat a can of soda that the Frenchman left on the coffee table before he left. I don’t remember my 11 year old being this *good* when it came to chewing and biting. Oy vey LOL Thanks so much for the step to step guide. I suck when it comes to sewing and well doing anything with fabric.

    • Hey mama, I was actually thinking of you when I posted this, hehe! My 10yo was definitely not this much of a billy goat either – he hardly put anything in his mouth that I remember. We have teeth marks on pretty much any markable surface – entertainment center, table, my a laptop – whatever he can get his mouth on! I had to take some wooden blocks from him because he was chewing them to bits. Oy vey is right!

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