Someone You Should Know: Handmade Blankets For Babies

Mandan & Bottineau, N.D. - At two weeks old, Ivy Binstock is one of Mandan's newest residents. And her first check-up came courtesy of Chelsey Trebas, a Registered Nurse with Custer Health's BAMBBE—that's Babies and Mothers Beyond Birth Education—Program.

"We do an assessment of mom and baby," Chelsey says.

Those assessments are house calls. Chelsey runs down her checklist: the baby's weight, heartbeat, feedings, and so on. But there's one extra item on that list for her patients: a gift of a crocheted afghan blanket, made by loving hands that Chelsey knows well.

Meet Florence Trebas -- Chelsey's grandmother.

"I've been in Bottineau all my life," she says. "I was born and raised over on Bennett Street."

When Florence was 17 she picked up crocheting as a hobby. Now, at 96, she's still going strong.

Chelsey estimates that at least 500 newborn babies across North Dakota have been swaddled in her blankets.

"I can't sit with my hands folded all the time," explains Florence. "That time gets long. So I pick up my yarn and make them."

Chelsey says the blankets usually hit a nostalgic note with the new moms she works with.

"They often are very excited, because they feel like crocheting is becoming a lost art," she says. "A lot of times it'll tie back to their own grandmas or other people in their family."

Case in point: baby Ivy's mom, Nicolle Binstock.
"My grandma crocheted all the time for us too," remembers Nicolle. "Scarves, mittens, hats, everything. It's nice that you have people in the community still crocheting. Still doing handmade things for the babies."
Chelsey Trebas agrees. "Knowing that it came from the heart, it makes it a lot more special."

Connecting generations and strangers stitch by stitch—Florence and Chelsey Trebas are two people you should know.

The BAMBBE Program is offered, free of charge, to new mothers in Grant, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, and Sioux Counties.

Click here to learn more about the program.

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