You probably already know the benefits of babywearing, but if not, let Dr. Sears refresh your memory: in a nutshell, he believes that sling babies cry less, learn more, are more organized and are generally smarter (a more in depth look at his discoveries can be found here). If those aren’t enough selling points, here’s yet another that’s just for you: babywearing not only strengthens your bond with baby, it also allows you to be hands-free. YES! And while we’re big fans of both baby carriers and slings, for the obvious aforementioned reasons, we had no idea that you can actually MAKE them yourself (and you don’t have to be especially crafty, either)! With all the expenses of putting a together a nursery and the seemingly endless list of baby items needed, anything that saves a few dollars is a “win win” in our book.
Very Well Family offers excellent step-by-step instructions to creating a No-Sew wrap with something you already have at home; a sheet!
- Begin by folding your sheet in half lengthwise. You want the sheet to be long and narrow.
- Put the folded sheet over the shoulder of your dominant hand. Place it so that the fold opens toward the outside of your body.
- Be sure that the front part of the sheet is hanging at about your waist level. Allow the other end of the fabric to drape over your back.
- Tie a slip knot in the sheet by following the steps below:
- Pull the end of the sheet at your waist in front of you.
- Hold the material that is hanging down your back, and drape it around your lower back to place it underneath your other arm. Pull that end towards the front, making sure the material is taut against your back. You may want to “pinch” the material against your body using the elbow of your non-dominant hand.
- Place the long end of the sheet that is under your arm over top the shorter end of the sheet that is draped over your shoulder to tie the knot.
- Pull the long end under the short end and pull up through.
- Pull the knot so that it tightens at your chest at a comfortable tension.
- Now make an “X” with the ends of the sheet so that the long end is under the short end that is at your dominant side.
- Bring the long end up and through to complete the slip knot.
- Re-position the sheet on your body so that the knot is sitting just slightly in front of your shoulder, not on top or toward your back.
- The fabric of the sheet at your chest now forms a pouch. Depending on the age of your baby, there are several different ways you can carry her in your home-made baby sling. Choose one of the positions below based on your baby’s development. Note that these positions are all similar to the positions that you would use for ring slings.
- Cradle hold for newborns or babies without good neck control.
- Buddha carry, baby faces out. Good for babies 3 to 6 months old.
- Hip carry, for 5 months to 2 years old.
- Back carry for 6 months to 2 years old.
- Once you have placed your baby in the pouch, adjust the sling for comfort. Fan the fabric at your shoulder out so that more of your shoulder’s surface area is covered. This will help spread the weight of your baby out over the shoulder.
- Finally, adjust how close your baby is to your body by pulling the short end of the sheet out in front of you, and sliding the knot up or down to suit your comfort.
If visuals are more your speed, check out what we found on YouTube:
This no-sew video, by Michelle Madrigal, is one of my favorites because it literally requires nothing but a pretty pashmina, preferably with a little bit of stretch. So easy!
This next video, by the DIY Dad, requires just a tiny amount of craftiness, but is also very doable. You’ll need 2 old t-shirts, a belly band and a pair of scissors. His step-by-step instructions are easy to understand and you’ll have your carrier ready to go in minutes.