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Long 9 months - German Grandchild

(20 Posts)
susieb755 Sat 15-Jun-13 22:06:20

MY DS1 has announced he and his partner are expecting, I think she must be a day late as its not due till Feb !
They live in Berlin, so it wont be too hard to get there - does anyone know about German babies? Can I knit a shawl/ cardi/ booties, or are these just British

I am looking forward to being an Oma smile

mollie Sat 15-Jun-13 22:22:49

Congratulations! I'd say knit what you want. The baby will be half British so why shouldn't he/she have some traditional British baby clothes? They don't wear them for very long but they could be kept as keepsakes and you could all be laughing about those bootees or sighing wistfully over the shawl when your grandchild is all grown up!

janeainsworth Sun 16-Jun-13 02:00:58

Congratulations Susie
I was unsure about what to knit for my first DGC, so asked my DiL and she said a blanket.
I know that not only was this used a great deal but also became a comfort thing for my DGD, so I think got more use than little garments might have done.
Happy knitting anyway sunshine

Ariadne Sun 16-Jun-13 07:43:50

One of the Grans lives in Germany - I'm sure that she will pick this up.
Do babies wear matinee coats etc these days? I know my DGC didn't. But my mother, who died just before the first DGC (now 17) was born, knitted her a blanket to which DGD is still very attached and still has in her room. She also made her a little white rabbit which is also around.

Gally Sun 16-Jun-13 08:17:04

They may have gone out of fashion but all three of my daughters asked for knitted cardigans for their babies. Not being a competent knitter, I bought quite a few at local coffee mornings, church sales etc - all beautifully made by ladies from our village and I also bought some in a charity shop, so I would certainly get going on the matinee jackets especially as it will be a winter baby.

GadaboutGran Sun 16-Jun-13 09:48:10

I have a half German grandson near Munich & I've always done what I would do with my English grandchildren. Both son & DiL want him to understand his British heritage & we are the natural carriers of that so they prefer us to speak & be English to him. We are called Grandma/pa leaving Oma & Opa for the German father & step-mother (though she's French so the French step family are called by the French names for aunt/uncle etc.). He has baby books in German. French & English so it's great language revision for me.
Baby clothes & toys are much cheaper here so they welcome these now the supply of designer label hand me downs from German friends has dried up. Many Germans also seem to be very keen on handcrafts so anything hand knitted I am sure would be welcome. My German DiL made some lovely wooden name boards for my English GS/D.
The differences in childbirth practices & rearing may be more to do with the person & health system than the culture - & Berlin culture is very different from Bavarian where everyone is very good & not allowed to wash cars in the street or do anything noisy or open shops on Sundays.
Most of all, be yourself, relax & enjoy the baby

JessM Sun 16-Jun-13 09:54:34

My DIL (Welsh) would never have taken her babies out in matinee jackets. Not fashionable I'm afraid in UK. I remember 20 years ago being amazed to see a baby in a lacy knitted bonnet - but she had "older" parents. If they were in NZ they would probably be much less fashion conscious. Kids still wear things their gran knitted there.
Blankets are a different matter I think, but maybe not too lacy? I think you should ask your DIL.

Ariadne Sun 16-Jun-13 10:00:41

My mother knitted squares and then joined them up with crochet, so that might be a good idea, given JessM's warning.

Sook Sun 16-Jun-13 10:40:31

susie the German babies I knew in the 70/80s always wore brightly coloured clothes which I loved and preferred when my own sons were born. I always loved their toddlers shoes too and was delighted to be able to buy Elephanten boots and shoes for them also.

If I were in your situation I would knit or buy a traditional English shawl why not? After all the baby will be half British, maybe a colourful blanket too as another poster has mentioned many Germans seem to be very keen on handicrafts.

I steer away from Disney items for presents so maybe a nice traditional British made teddy or other soft toy, also a set of Alfie books by Shirley Hughes who is a brilliant illustrator.

Have fun and welcome to the club smile

annodomini Sun 16-Jun-13 10:49:37

I knitted jumpers and cardis but not matinée jackets. Unfortunately my DS put them in the wash with the nappies (yes, they used cloth ones) and they were never the same again. My MiL made a very nice pram blanket for DS1, unfortunately in a tasteful shade of pink. I suppose that, already having 3 GDs, she couldn't envisage having a GS!

Mishap Sun 16-Jun-13 11:06:02

Congratulations - can't fo wrong with blankets/shawl.

Mishap Sun 16-Jun-13 11:06:17

Or even GO wrong!

harrigran Sun 16-Jun-13 12:13:41

When my children were born a lot of their clothes came from Germany as my sister lives there. All-in-one sleep suits arrived for my DD when all I could buy was the thick cotton nightdresses. Over the years beautiful clothes arrived but never included hand knit matinee jackets. Strangely enough my sister's adult friends loved jumpers and I knit for them but not their children. DS and DIL only dressed GC in smooth cotton jackets, no knitted garments at all.

inthefields Sun 16-Jun-13 12:17:50

Some DDs & DILs have quite definite ideas about hand-knitted clothes (!!!) so if you want it to be a surprise for the new mum then I think blanket and/or shawl would be the safe bet.

nonnasusie Sun 16-Jun-13 17:14:03

Congratulations SusieB. A friend here in Italy has a son (married to an Italian) in Germany who had their 1st child last Sept and she was knitting and making things like crazy!!
I am going to be a nonna again in December when my DD has her 2nd baby!! I can't wait!!smile

granjura Sun 16-Jun-13 17:35:14

If yours are anything like mine - it will all go in the washing machine. So I've given up knitting for the grand-children sad unless it is cotton or seriously machine washable wool.

Where are they in Berlin btw. Some areas are much more Bohemian with a lot more home knitted stuff (like Prenzlauerberg for instance).

granjura Sun 16-Jun-13 17:36:19

Great City btw- I did a teacher exchange for a few months there and loved it. And great for you that EasyJet, etc, are doing cheap flights from uk, and not too far smile

MargaretX Sun 16-Jun-13 21:08:13

I have lived in Germany for over 40 years and as far as I can judge a german DIL won't know what to do with a shawl! German babies are not carried about in shawls. They wear baby gros - all in one suits buttoned down the back or between the legs with snap fasteners. There are so many designs and such lovely patterns and colours. They usually live for the first months in a Stubenwagen - like a cradle on wheels which is wheeled around from room to room. Very often there is one in the family which gets moved about from baby to baby.
Once you know what colour the Stubenmwagen decorations are then you could knit a blanket.
Germans are very keen on keeping the head warm so a pretty pom pom knitted hat is a good idea.

What that child will get from its British heritage remains to be seen. I wouldn't bank on it being too much. Speaking to him/ her in english would be a start but if I were you and you have time, I'd start learning German.
My children are German Our family language is German and they have had an excellent state education and are both in good jobs. Due to the German school sytem they both speak English as well as German.

Midwives here have their own private practices and so your DiL will be looked after by a local midwife - one of her choice. She will be seen regularly by doctors as well before the birth and afterwards be visited by the midwife.
You are right to be thrilled. There is little in life more pleasurable than getting your first grandchild.

inthefields Mon 17-Jun-13 01:09:39

Thats interesting Margaret.
Have to say I was surprised when my DD seemed delighted with a shawl as a gift. As with your DIL, it was really not the sort of thing I expected her to use to carry the baby in
She didn't!
She used it as a modesty wrap whenever she needed to feed!!

susieb755 Sat 22-Jun-13 21:59:20

Thanks Margaret ! I do speak a bit of German , but I will have to brush up I think - times have probably moved on since 1976 O levels ! I expect Franz beckenbauer is now an OAP not a gut fussballer smile