When you look at a baby wrap you may not see more than a long piece of cloth. How hard can it be to just take the same cut of cloth myself and use it in the same way?
While it is not quite that simple, it is definitely one of the more compatible pieces of baby gear with a DIY approach.
In this post we will walk you through the steps to make your own baby sling at home. From selecting the correct fabric through to the finished product.
In This Post:
Will a Home Made Wrap Be Strong Enough?
Most commercial baby wraps and slings have a capacity limit of 30lbs up to 45lbs. Whether your homemade wrap will handle this load will depend on:
- The thickness of the fabric used
- The quality of stitching
If you are not a confident sewer then perhaps just skip this and buy one. You don’t want to risk dropping your baby to save a few bucks.
But if your baby is small and you are confident you know what you are doing then read on!!
Suitable Designs for DIY
We will focus our instructions on the sling design as this is the easiest to make that will be suitable for a newborn to small toddler.
You will not need to worry about sewing in fabric reinforcements, padding, or snaps due to the smaller weight load.
The pouch sling is made of a soft and durable fabric and can worn over one shoulder.
They are streamlined, simple to make, simple to use, and a great way to keep baby close to you. They are also inexpensive to make and the fun.
One reason is that you can coordinate fabrics and colors of the pouch sling wrap to match your clothes for special events such as weddings or birthday parties.
A ring sling is also doable but more complicated.
There are basically two steps to making your own baby wrap that we have broken down in the following two sections:
- Select and purchase the correct fabric and thread
- Cut and sew the fabric to make the sling
When you go to the cloth store, keep in mind that most babies have sensitive skin. You may be drawn to heavier fabrics such as duck cloth or burlap.
While those types of fabrics are very sturdy they are also too rough for baby’s delicate skin and very difficult to manipulate to create the pouch.
The cloth should be smooth and have a bit of stretch such as some form of jersey or a smooth polyester and jersey mix.
There will be many colors and designs from which to chose your piece from for the pouch sling.
You will need about four yards to five of the fabric. Fabrics also have widths. Don’t get a piece that is less than 25” wide because that will be too small. 25”-30” is a good size.
Do keep in mind that if the piece of material is especially wide, such as 50 or 60 inches, you won’t have to purchase as many yards.
Fabric is priced by yard, so tallying up the total cost will be easy to do. You may end up spending around $10.00 to $ 15.00 total.
It is always better to buy a little extra rather than to run short.
You can also tell how much you will need by the size of your child. The clerk at the fabric store can assist you with getting the correct size. Once you have the cloth you can begin to create your masterpiece.
Steps to Make Your Baby Sling
Now you are ready to create and sew your homemade Baby Sling masterpiece.
Take a measurement of your body from shoulder to opposite hip. For example, measure the right hip to the left shoulder.
When I measured my length, it was 24”.
Then I doubled that number and added about six inches of baby room. That was the exact amount I needed for the pouch sling cloth.
Cut your cloth lengthwise in the dead center. Then fold that piece in half lengthwise.
Begin at the folded longer side and pin the ends.
Then cut a gradual curve to the end, 2 to three inches is good. This curve will make the pouch that holds your baby.
Now unfold the lengthwise fold. Then you should sew the new curved edges together. It is best to stay about ¼” from your edge.
You want to put the wrong side of the material together. This places the seam inside of the pouch, not outside where the world can see your stitches.
You will sew the wrong side to about ½” from your first seam.
Hem the raw edges together for a polished look. When you flip your material, you will have a smooth ouch with a nice finish. The baby’s bottom is placed where the curve creates the pouch.
With your baby facing you in the sling pouch, the two of you can go places and do great things. Make sure the bottom of the sling goes no further down than yout hip.
It should fall between your hip and belly area. If you are incredibly visual and need to watch someone make a sling pouch there are hundreds of how-to videos on YouTube.
You will know when you need to graduate to a bigger pouch sling size, but just in case, if the pouch begins to show wear or baby’s bottom no longer fits comfortably in the curved pouch area, then it is time for a new carrier.
If all of this sounds like too much work, then check out the ready made baby slings and wraps in our guides. You can find something that suits at an affordable price point for minimal hassle.
Not sure which one to go for? Check out our baby sling vs wraps comparison.