Published on August 16th, 2010 | by Julie Finn5
Crafty Babywearing 101: Recreate Your Favorite Baby Carriers
For those who practice babywearing, the act of carrying your baby as much as needed, could already recite the benefits of this activity:
- Carried babies cry less.
- Carried babies can be included matter-of-factly, without fuss, in most of our daily activities.
- Carried babies learn about the body’s movements, about human behavior and interactions and about their environments, all from their comfy, safe spot on their parent’s body.
While one can certainly buy the native-syle carriers most suited for babywearing, it’s also possible to recreate, with some basic tools and minimal previous sewing experience, most of these best-loved carriers. Here are five of the best-loved carriers that you can recreate.
NOTE: Before you begin, please familiarize yourself with appropriate babywearing practices. Each carrier requires proper positioning to ensure that your baby is supported, safe, and has a clear airway.
- Ring sling. This simple, easy-to-follow ring sling tutorial, from Jan Andrea, is the same tutorial that I used to make my very first ring sling, and which I used with my very first daughter many years ago. It was also one of my very first sewing projects, so don’t be afraid of it even if you’re a novice sewer.
- Pouch sling. The pouch sling is often frustratingly impossible to buy in stores, because it’s useless unless it’s a perfect fit for your body. This pouch sling tutorial shows that a pouch sling is simple to sew, and when you sew it for yourself you can guarantee the perfect fit.
- Mei tai. There are numerous tutorials online for sewing a mei tai, and you may want to browse a few before you take the plunge because this project is more complicated than the slings or the wrap. I really like the mei tai tutorial on Crafted by Mama, however, because the shoulder ties are nice and wide. I found that narrow ties cut into my shoulder too much, but these wider ties spread the baby’s weight quite comfortably across my entire shoulder.
- Baby wrap. Shh! Don’t tell, but you don’t even have to sew a stitch to make a baby wrap! This baby wrap tutorial from I Wonder Woman is nice and concise. My one caveat: do NOT be afraid that your wrap is too long and thus cut it too short. You really do need all that fabric for wrapping, especially as your baby grows.
- Ergo accessories. I don’t recommend that you sew your own Ergo baby carrier, but you can make the expenditure much more affordable by sewing most of the accessories that Ergo also sells. These strap covers from Lu Bird Baby, for instance, are practically essential when you’re carrying a baby who’s teething.
And when you’re finished with all that? Sew your baby some cloth diapers, pretty please!