Instructions for a DIY Baby Sling

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Save yourself some money with DIY instructions on how to make your own baby sling. Baby slings make it possible to keep your baby close at hand while also freeing your hands to do other things. There are many different styles of baby slings and commercial baby slings can be expensive to buy.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 yards sturdy fabric (without a "wrong" side)
  • Two 3-inch metal or nylon rings (weight-tested)
  • Upholstery thread
  • Heavy duty needle
  • Sewing machine or serger

How to Make a Baby Sling

  • Select a sturdy fabric and cut it to length between 2 1/4 and 2 1/2 yards. The fabric should be soft but should not be stretchy, it needs to support the weight of your child without sagging.

  • Serge or hem the cut edges of the fabric to keep them from fraying. If necessary, serge or hem the selvage (unfinished) edges of the fabric as well.

  • Lay the fabric out flat and create folds at one end of the fabric. Fold 4-inch to 6-inch sections of the fabric in layers like a fan. It is not necessary to fold the entire length of the fabric, only fold a foot of the fabric.

  • Use a sewing machine or serger to sew through all the folded layers of fabric then slide both of the 3-inch rings onto the folded fabric and push them down 3 to 4 inches.

  • Fold the fabric over the rings and pin it in place. Sew through the entire thickness of the fabric approximately a 1/2-inch from the edge using upholstery thread and a heavy duty needle and backstitch on both ends. For extra stability, stitch through the fabric a second time.

How to Use the Baby Sling

  • Hold the rings in your non-dominant hand and slide them over your hand and onto your wrist.

  • Grab the end of the sling opposite the rings and fold the fabric into thirds. Bring the left corner of the fabric two thirds of the way across the width of the fabric and fold over the remaining one third of the fabric to the right on top of it.

  • Gather the folded fabric and pass it through the rings. Pull the fabric through the rings until the pouch that forms is approximately two-thirds the length of the sling. Fold over the end of the fabric and pass it back through the top ring so it is secured between the two rings.

  • Pass the sling over your head so the rings lay flat against your shoulder and the pouch lies across your body. Tighten or loosen the sling as needed by pulling on or loosening the fabric through the rings.

Tips & Warnings

  • Both sides of the fabric are visible when the sling is assembled so choose a fabric that does not have a "wrong" side.
  • People with wide shoulders may be more comfortable having the weight of the sling spread across a wider area. Increase the width of the sling by making the folds in Step 3 closer to 6 inches than 4 inches.
  • Baby slings should not be used for infants weighing more than 20 pounds. If the sling cannot support the weight of the baby, it may loosen and the baby could be injured.

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References

  • Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
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