Introduction: Baby ID-Onesie

About: CrLz : Ideas, ideas and ideas - Love it when I get one hammered out and working. Seems like there is plenty of room for creativity, in between cheap goods and expensive solutions, and beyond those boxes...
Imagine: LOST, unable to communicate, alone among strangers! A nightmare scenario for anyone, let alone a child.  Traveling with very young children is difficult.  Diaper changes in public bathrooms, schedule interruptions, feeding challenges and safety concerns.  As toddlers, my children can not communicate, much less look out for their safety.  What  if we are separated by an accident or catastrophe?

It sounds unrealistic, I know.  However, I had the fortune to visit the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum and I particularly remember the "Link" exhibit, discussing reuniting lost children with families.  The exhibit got me thinking from a child's point of view.

How would you find Mommy or Daddy, if you can't say your own name?

What would make a child feel better when found by strangers?

How would authorities identify local contacts and reach extended family?  

These worries seem distant and unlikely from an adults point-of-view, but to a baby, loosing family presence is catastrophic.  So, similar to life insurance and college savings, I felt some  travel preparation was in order. 

Baby onesies with printable iron-on transfers are an inexpensive way to keep important information with the child.  Ubiquitous digital photos are easy to include for identification.  Privacy is maintained while outer clothing covers up the onesie.  Any adult finding the child would naturally inspect the diaper, thus discover the information.  A reasonable solution to enhance travel safety!

Step 1: Materials and Tools and Info

Materials Tools What I chose to print was dependent on the trip. Labeled photos are the MOST important information! With modern digital cameras and publishing software, this is very easy to include and is what makes this ID onesie so useful. Use photos that are clear and characteristic of each person, ensuring identification.

Typically I include
  1. Child
    • photo portrait
    • name
    • home address and phone number
  2. Traveling companions
    • photo portraits
    • names
    • cell phone numbers
  3. Destination contacts
    • photo portraits
    • names
    • cell phone numbers
    • Destination address and phone (hotel if applicable)
    • Dates of travel
    • Who will meet / drop off at travel gateway (airport, tram station ...)
  4. Third party emergency contacts (grandparents / guardians)
    • photo portraits
    • names
    • cell phone numbers
    • Home address and phone number
  5. Care Information
    • Feeding notes
    • Basic abilities (recognize name / some words ...)
    • Important allergies
    • Commonly used words (translating baby's speak for others: IE "Binky" = "please give me a pacifier", "Gum-Gum" = "I'm hungry!")
    • Simple method to help comfort (song, blanket ...)
When we travel in foreign countries I also translate into the foreign language and include passport information.

Step 2: Information Print

Create your transfer document in word processing software.

Print out.

Cut off empty border regions.

Step 3: Iron

Lay out the transfer onto the onesie.

Place a piece of tissue paper over the transfer.

Warm iron up to "cotton" setting.

Iron on the transfer, taking time to slowly bond the transfer and the onesie.

Peel off the transfer backing slowly, to avoid damaging the transfer.

Step 4: Bon Voyage!

Iron-on transfers will not hold up to regular washing, but by then you'll be home.  The onesie will have served its purpose and is now a souvenir!

May your journeys be exciting and safe!

Isabelle Jeanneret, head of the ICRC’s program for restoring family links in Haiti:
"One of our greatest difficulties is gathering enough information to trace the parents of very small children who have not yet learned to talk. In such cases, we put up posters with their photos on."