If you’re a new parent or a parent-to-be, you’ve probably already noticed that there are lots of items to buy for your baby! Though they may be little, babies do require a lot of things to ensure their proper care and comfort.
If your registry and shopping list are starting to seem very long, you’ll be happy to know a baby carrier is an item you can make yourself with a sheet or other fabric that you may already have sitting around at home. You’ll be amazed to learn how easy it is to make a sling out of a blanket.
DIY your own custom baby carrier
If you follow these easy steps, you can make your own customized baby carrier using any blanket, fabric, or cloth of your choosing.
Find the right fabric
You can totally customize the look and feel of your baby carrier when you choose your fabric. There are some guidelines you'll want to follow to ensure you have the right size and material to work best.
Step 1: Get a piece of cloth that is roughly 2.25 yards or about 80 inches long. Standard-size blankets are 90 inches long, so a regular blanket should work well.
Step 2: Make sure it's a sturdy material that feels comfortable against your skin and that won’t irritate baby’s sensitive skin. The best fabrics for baby carriers are cotton or cotton blends. We recommend using a woven fabric that's breathable and easy to wash.
Step 3: Choose a pattern that you like and that matches with a variety of colors and designs, so it looks good no matter what you or your partner wears.
Step 4: Blankets are the most common go-to items to turn into baby carriers. However, you can also use a tablecloth or a large scarf. Just make sure it is enough fabric based on the necessary length of 80 inches.
Use your fabric to make the carrier
Now that you've chosen your fabric, it's time to make your baby carrier.
Step 1: Spread the fabric across your back.
Take both ends of the fabric and spread it diagonally across your back. Make sure it is flat. You don’t want any twisting or unevenness back there.
Step 2: Pick a side.
Choose the shoulder that feels more comfortable and natural for carrying the baby. This method works on both sides, so it doesn’t matter if you are a righty or a lefty.
Step 3: Pinch away.
Take the fabric that sits on your shoulder and pinch the fabric to gather both sides. Try to make your pinching as even as possible. This will help you spread the fabric once the baby is being carried, so you can fit them nicely and snugly against your chest.
Step 4: Repeat on the other side.
Now take the fabric that is still hanging and pinch as you did with the other end. Again, try to make this pinching even. By the end of this step, you should have gathered both ends of your fabric and are now ready to tie the knot.
Step 5: Make sure the fabric across your back is still flat. It won’t be as wide as it was before, but there still shouldn’t be any twisting or unevenness.
How to tie a slip knot
If you don’t know how to tie a slip knot, don’t sweat it! Here’s how to do it in a few simple steps:
Step 1: Take the bottom end of the fabric across your chest. This is now your horizontal end.
Step 2: Place the horizontal end across the vertical end of the fabric.
Step 3: Cross the horizontal piece behind and up through the top.
Step 4: Drop the horizontal end of the fabric down.
Step 5: Take it underneath and over the vertical end.
Step 6: Pull the fabric through the loop to make the knot.
Step 7: Adjust to your preferred height.
The beauty of the slip knot is that you can easily adjust it to your own preference and height. It slides easily up and down without untying. This is convenient, because once you’ve made the knot; you shouldn’t have to redo it very often. You can just slip it off and readjust it to the height of the person who is wearing it.
Customize to the size of your baby
Adjust the fabric to fit your baby’s size. The sling should create a little nook for them to be cozy inside, without being too tight or too loose. You can readjust once you have the baby positioned in the sling.
Try it out
The only thing left to do now is to try out your new baby carrier!
Step 1: To put the baby in the sling, hold them up high on your shoulder and slide their feet and body through the sling.
Step 2: Tuck the bottom of the fabric underneath to position it between you and the baby.
Step 3: Open the baby’s legs so they are hooked onto your upper body. Make sure the fabric goes from one of the baby’s knees to the other. Double-check that the baby’s neck is supported.
Step 4: Make sure the baby is positioned properly and centered within the pouch. If one part of your arm or shoulder seems to be taking the brunt of the baby's weight, you can spread the material on your shoulder out. This will even out the distribution across your whole shoulder.
Step 5: Make all the adjustments you need to fit the baby snugly, so it feels safe for you and your little one.
There are many benefits to making your own baby carrier out of fabric. There is no sewing required with this DIY project, which is also easy and affordable. It allows you to choose the fabric of your preference and you can make as many as you like to match with your outfits and the baby’s wardrobe.
You can also adjust the sling for you to share with your partner. It works on both sides of the body and you can reuse it as often as you like until the fabric starts to wear. Plus, you'll love using a homemade item that has a special story and creates a greater bond between you and your baby.
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