Keeping your baby secure and supported at all times is important. You might have seen some people with those high-tech baby slings they got from the store, but are these really necessary? After all, they can cost a lot. And people have been using baby slings for centuries without having to pay this sort of money for one. That’s why it’s still a good option to make your own baby sling.
Not only might a homemade baby sling be more affordable, it could also be a more creative way to make something that works just for you. You can choose the exact material you want to use and you can make sure it fits just right for you and your baby. Baby slings are a great project you can do at home.
Remember, safety is important with a baby sling, so make sure you follow every precaution carefully. You might want to test it rigorously before putting your baby in it. Don’t take any risks. The ones you buy from a store will have gone through exhaustive safety checks to make sure the material, the design and the manufacturing process are completely safe. Your homemade sling won’t have gone through these same checks so it’s important that you are as safe as possible. This article should only be used as a guide. You still need to ensure the safety of your baby. If you’re concerned, consult an expert or resort of a shop-bought sling.
That being said, most baby slings that are made at home are completely safe. After all, as we’ve said, people have been using them for decades—if not centuries. There are a few different types of baby slings that you might want to make, so we’re going to look at some of the most popular options for home-making a sling. Let’s get started.
How to make a baby sling
The most common type of homemade baby sling is one with rings. This is called a ring baby cling. These rings keep the sling in place and hold the sections together so that you can safely hold your baby.
1. Pick the right material
Before you can start making your sling, you need the right sort of material. This is a very important first step, and one you should not rush. You need to make sure the material is both strong and durable. It must not lose shape or tear. It’s also a good idea if air can get through the material (in other words, it needs to be breathable).
The baby’s skin will also be touching the material, so it needs to be soft enough. Make sure you’ve checked any allergies and that it won’t cause rashes or burns.
2. Get some rings
Rings are an important part of a ring sling, so you need to get some good quality ones. Around 3 inches in diameter is a good place to start. You can also go with slightly smaller, but not too much.
You’ll need two of these rings. Make sure they’re strong and sturdy, and are well made. These will hold the sling together and make it possible to adjust it. Metal rings are a good idea for this, although there are some plastic ones that can do a good job. Make sure you have checked specifications to ensure they are strong enough to hold a baby’s weight. They should be at least 1cm thick. When choosing a ring, be aware that if they were not made for this job, then they might not be safe to be put near a baby or in their mouth, be careful with this.
Rings bought from craft stores are not well-suited for this job. Make sure each ring doesn’t have a weld, or that it is not rough as it could tear through the sling.
3. Set the sling up
Position the baby correctly so that the mouth and nose are always visible. You do not want the face pointing into the sling, this can be extremely dangerous. Make sure the chin is not curled to the chest – this is also very important. It may limit the airway, so you need to be really careful.
4. Make the sling
Use around 2 meters of material (or slightly more). This can vary slightly depending on how big you and your baby are. You might need a wider width of material if it’s a lighter fabric.
Hem the material unless you are using a specific material that won’t need hemming. Usually do this on 3 sides.
On the un-hemmed end, create pleats by folding the material backwards and forwards on the edge like a fan,. Make the folds larger than the size of each ring, but only slightly. Tape the material together to make sure it doesn’t unfold. You can secure in place with pins or a stitch.
Push the pleated material through the two rings. After this, fold the material back over the central rings so that the sides of the material are back together. This seam needs to be really strong as it will be holding the baby’s weight. You can sew additional lines to reinforce the structure.
5. Use the sling
Now you’ve made the sling, you can carefully place the baby in it and start using it. Push or feed the shortest edge through both rings, and so it comes up on the opposite side of the material. Thread the end back through only the lowest ring. This sling is supposed to be worn around one shoulder with rings at the shoulder. It should make a pocket for the baby to sit in. If you don’t understand any of these instructions, look up some videos online or look at images. Don’t take any risks with your sling. Make sure it’s safe and secure at all times, and that your baby can breathe and is unobstructed. There are other types of slings you can make at home, too. But this is the most common.