How to Make a Baby Sling

Like if this guide is helpful
How to Make a Baby Sling

Infants spend a lot of time being carried around by a parent. Being close to a loved one provides the baby with comfort and security. Making a baby sling frees the hands and arms, so that parents and users can move around and hold things, while still keeping the baby close. A parent's first consideration is the baby's safety, so the sling should be made in such a way as to keep the baby from falling out or choking. The next most important consideration is selecting the fabric, since materials and construction play a large role in the child's comfort.

To make their own sling, parents should have at least a modicum of sewing skills, which the construction of most slings requires. Although some patterns do not require solid swing rings or sewing, these slings are not as secure as those that do. Buyers should also have an understanding of such things as fabric, different baby sling features, baby swing materials, and sizing. Moreover, the user should know how to properly wear the sling. eBay has a large selection of baby carriers, as well as baby supplies, available for purchase.

Baby Sling Fabrics

Making a baby sling requires an appropriate fabric, and well as tools like scissors and a sewing machine. To make a ring sling, two small, metal rings are also needed. Choose a fabric that is soft, comfortable, and which does not irritate the baby's skin. Make sure to buy enough fabric; a typical sling requires a 2.3 metre swath, but buyers should consider buying extra fabric, just to be on the safe side.

Make sure that the fabric is not overly stretchy, and that it is heavy-duty enough to support the weight of the baby and ensure the child's safety. However, some amount of stretch makes the sling more comfortable for both the baby and the wearer. A cotton-Lycra blend is a good option. The blend should be 97 per cent cotton, and 3 per cent Lycra, in order to keep the fabric from being too stretchy and not supplying enough support to the child and the user. Whichever type of fabric is selected, buyers should remember to wash it before constructing the baby sling so that the fabric does not shrink and change the size of the baby sling.

Another option is to make the sling out of two different materials. This second material can either act as a lining, or can make the sling reversible. Fleece is a great choice for a lining material, since it is extremely soft on the baby's skin. Buyers may want to use two different colours or types of material to allow the sling to have different styles and match different outfits. A reversible baby sling allows for the most versatility as far as style and fabric type.

Making a Baby Sling With and Without a Ring

A ring sling requires the purchase of a couple of metal rings. A pouch sling foregoes the rings; instead, the fabric is sewn so as to form a circle. Hem up three sides of the fabric about 6 mm.

To make a ring sling, the buyer should fold the unhemmed end repeatedly into a fan shape, so that the end is bunched together. Fold this fanned section through the two rings and then sew the fabric back onto itself. The seam should be strong enough to safely hold the weight of the baby. A ring sling is convenient, since it is adjustable and the rings support much of the baby's weight.

When a buyer is making a sling without a ring, it is adjustable because the fabric is sewn into a large circle. This is done by sewing one end of the fabric to the other. To begin, lay the fabric lengthwise. Then cut the fabric in half lengthwise. Measure from the hip to the shoulder of the wearer, and add 6 cm to 10 cm to the length. Match that measurement with the length of both pieces of fabric. Sew the two curved edges together to make a nesting area for the baby. Then sew the top straps together to create a sling that the user can easily slide on and off. Make sure to use proper stitching. Also be sure the sling fits snugly, and is strong enough to support the baby's weight.

How to Wear a Baby Sling

Once completed, the wearer dons the sling over one shoulder and across the torso. To secure a ring sling, simply slide the loose end through both rings, slide it up and around one ring and back through the other. A convenience of the ring sling is that it is resizable. This means it can be adjusted to fit different sized users, and can be resized as the baby grows.

Traditional (ringless) baby slings are worn just sliding one it over the user's head, over one shoulder and across the torso. They cannot be resized, and thus are not as convenient for use by multiple wearers, and may not be as comfortable to use when the baby grows older.

Other Ways to Wear a Baby Sling

A baby sling is very versatile, and can be worn in a lot of different ways. Once the sling is on the user, the baby is placed in a cradle position, flat on its back in the sling. This is most useful when trying to get a baby to fall asleep. Then, when the baby is wide awake and wants to see the world, place it in the carrier sitting up and looking out. The baby's legs should be bent and placed comfortably in the sling. The baby then rests with his or her back on the user's chest or belly. Some users like to position the baby over their hip and place the baby's face towards the user's body. Another much loved position is with the baby facing the user, sometimes called baby-to-baby.

Baby Sling Sizing Information

Make sure to size the baby sling to both the user and the baby, so that the baby is safe and secure. The sling should fit snugly enough around the user's body that it should nearly feel too tight. The baby should sit firmly above the hip bone. Slings that are too large can be unsafe for the baby, and can cause the wearers shoulder and back pain.

When taking measurements for a sling, measure the user's torso with a measuring tape, or wrap the fabric around the wearer's torso and up over the shoulder to determine how much fabric is needed. The chart below provides the basic measurements and corresponding sizes to keep in mind while making or shopping for a baby sling.

Shoulder to Hip Measurements

Size

Less than 69 cm

Extra Small

69 - 73 cm

Small

74 - 78 cm

Medium

79 - 81 cm

Large

More than 82 cm

Extra Large

Keep in mind that the measurements above are general. When purchasing a baby sling, the manufacturer's size measurements should be considered more accurate.

How to Buy a Baby Sling on eBay

Baby slings and the materials needed to create your own are available for purchase on eBay. To begin your search, type "baby sling" into the search box on the eBay page. This returns a lot of listings you can browse through, to determine what is available and what you like. If you already know what you want, enter more specific search terms into the search box. A search for baby slings on eBay brings up a wide range of manufacturers and sizes.

To find materials to make your own sling, perform a similar search. For example, enter "sling rings" or " fabric". These should provide you with enough listings to start browsing.

Be sure you read detailed item descriptions of any listing that interests you, and also examine any included photographs, to make sure the item is what you want. Also, be sure to read the seller's information page, to find about who you propose to do business with. Feedback from other buyers is accumulated and posted over the previous 12 months. This gives you a good idea of how satisfied previous buyers have were.

Conclusion

A baby's arrival is a reason to celebrate, and it is a wonderful time for a family. But babies need a lot of care, and need to be held and carried around a lot. Fortunately, many tools are available to make this easier on parents. A baby sling allows parents to carry the baby around while keeping their hands relatively unencumbered. Slings are comfortable to wear, and keep the baby from fussing since they nestle the baby closely to the wearer.

Some parents purchase slings; others make their own. Some important considerations when purchasing a sling are the size of the sling and its construction materials. Before setting out to make a baby sling, buyers should be aware that doing so requires some tools and equipment. These include a sewing machine, comfortable fabric, and (depending on the type) a couple of sling rings. Buyers should make sure that the sling is suitably sized to be both safe and comfortable. The best way for a user to make a comfortable, secure sling is to measure the length between the shoulder and the hip, and to add 6 to 10 cm centimetres. When buying one, check the manufacturer's sizing information for more details on the appropriate size. eBay has a large selection of baby slings and materials available for purchase.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides