When I had Jackson, I had a baby sling that I put him in all the time. About a year later, it was recalled. It didn't really matter too much to me, because he had outgrown it already, but then when I got pregnant with Gavin, I started doing research on something to replace the sling. Everything I read was saying that the wrap style baby carriers were the way to go. I had seen these before, but to be honest, they looked WAY too complicated for my busy life. Sure, they were great once you took 15 minutes to tie it around yourself and put the baby in, but I just don't have that kind of time or patience. I was talking to a neighbor of mine about these wraps and she said she had one that I could borrow. So I did. And it sat in the nursery for the first two weeks. Then one day I got the motivation to try it out, and Googled how to wrap it around me. It took me a couple minutes the first time, but once I got Gavin settled in, he loved it.
He fell right into a swaddled baby sleep and that's how he stayed until I took him out.
And it was so much more comfortable on me than most other carriers. It's super lightweight and not bulky, so you can still go about your business. And after I figured out how to wrap it, it only takes me a minute to wrap it around me and put Gavin in it. The other thing I loved about using a wrap is that I felt that Gavin was so much more secure than any other carriers I have. I have both the Ergo (with the infant insert) and the Bjorn, and while they are both good for older babies, I always feel like I need to support his head with my hand when I moved around. When you wrap the baby, their head is firmly on your chest and not going anywhere. Being truly hands free is a necessity for me right now because of Jackson. So I fell in love with this wrap, the only problem is that I was just borrowing it from a neighbor and needed to give it back. Similar wraps can run you upwards of $70 (or more), and that's just not a possibility right now. Enter DIY. For about $16 a wrap, I made my own, and you can too. No, seriously. You don't even have to know how to sew! Here's how:
|This is what the original borrowed one from the neighbor looked like, all laid out.|
1) Go to your local fabric store and get 6 yards (5 if you have a smaller frame) of a knit or rayon blend stretchy fabric. Like t-shirt material. The key with this is to get something that rolls on the ends and doesn't fray. You'll want something with a little give in it. A jersey knit is best. The fabric I got was a little more expensive at almost $13 a yard, but I never shop at Joann's without a 50% off coupon, so that brought it down to $6.50 a yard. That's still really expensive fabric, but I was being really picky and wanted something super soft and lightweight, since it's still in the 90's here. You could get it for as low as $2.50 a yard, (with a coupon) if you really wanted to. This fabric will be enough for you to make 2 wraps. (Sorry, you can't get 3 yards and only make one wrap, you'll see why later....)
2) Now that you have your fabric, find a place with lots of floor space and lay out the fabric. Fold it in half long wise and in half long wise again, so that the fabric is shorter, but it's still the same original width of the fabric.
3) Now you cut it in half, width wise, so you have 2 pieces of fabric that are 6 yards long and about 25-30 inches wide (depending on how wide the fabric you bought was). You don't have to sew a hem in it or anything, because the fabric doesn't fray!
4) You're done! Take one of those puppies and wrap your baby around you and go about your business.
Now, for those of you that want extra credit, here are a couple more steps that I took, to give it a more finished look.
1) Take one of your wraps and fold it width wise.
2) Cut a triangle off the open side at the end, like this:
So it tapers at the ends, like this:
3) Do that to both sides.
This step makes it a little less bulky at the ends, where you tie it and it hangs down.
If you really want to go above and beyond, you can hem the edges.
I'm a pinner and found that pinning and ironing this material really does help to keep it in place. I also fold it over twice, so you don't see the raw edge.
I realized after making this and looking at the pictures that I look an awful lot like the Statue of Liberty.
Here's the best part, this DIY project makes two wraps! That means that I have an extra one that I'll be GIVING AWAY! All you have to do is leave a comment (any comment) and I'll randomly pick someone to give it to on Friday. I'll even ship it to you for free!