A sling baby carrier provides a great way to free up your hands while still caring closely for the baby. When my baby was under 8 months, the sling was a great helper for getting baby to sleep and in general keeping the baby in prolonged peaceful state – which parent doesn’t want that!
Actually, benefits of carrying the baby closely in a sling go beyond just the convenience. Various scientific research has been done to back that up. The baby that is held close to the body gets into ultimate state of security, which promotes good brain development and physical growth. Such babies actually grow up more independent, emotionally intelligent and confident in the long run. Not at all insecure and emotionally attached in an unhealthy way as someone may think since the baby is being too close to a parent.
I think I can relate to this as an adult in some way. I imagine being in a state of total security, without the daily worries (be it money, health, relationships, or various other risks of life) and being surrounded by a really caring people that genuinely love me – I would only feel more confident and courageous about life! Creating such comfort zone for your baby is a wonderful gift!
There must be a reason that women for generations were carrying their babies around, and not leaving them in a crib, laying down on their back, thinking that watching the mobile is the ultimate comforting activity. Nope! Those little guys and gals long for this thing – to be carried and all the time! There go the big plans on doing more yoga and working on personal projects during the mat leave. It’s not all gloomy when we can master the baby carrying. At least there is a way to eat and do something else with your precious mommy or daddy hands. And if mommy can nurse while the little on is on you, extra applauds go your way!
Here are a few ways to make your own sling carrier fast.
If you are looking around for fabric, I recommend to go for natural fabrics.
- Linen is a great choice – it is sturdy, breathable and is same on both sides, so there is no extra step to figure out which side is “right”.
- Woven Cotton is great as well, If it is thin, you may need to have it folded in two layers, to have the right amount of sturdiness.
- Cotton Denim is another good choice. It is strong enough to be used as single layer and is also warm. It can be used for cooler periods of the year.
Here is how much fabric you will need for best results:
- Measure yourself from shoulder to hip across your belly – for example from left shoulder to right hip. Say it is 30″
- Take this measurement, add 3″ to it, so we have 33″
- Double the last number, so is 66″
- Buy or cut the fabric to be around 22″, not much wider
There are various ways to tie up the baby in a sling. Whichever one you choose, make sure that you get the baby into the hip-safe position. It will also be more comfortable. Basically you want to make sure that the thighs are wide apart and are supported well by the fabric like so:
When in doubt I check how the old-school babycarriers do it – they have perfected the art. In the past as well as now in more indigenous lifestyles the women literally spend all day with a baby on their back. This tells me that they have perfected the technique to make it most comfortable for both the babes and the moms. Looking though some photos, yep – they check out fully with the right baby positioning! See for yourself below:
As an alternative, without buying or cutting any new fabric, you can also use a simple bedsheet folded in half (preferably of quality 100% natural material):