I found this to be a godsend when my daughter was a baby. The ones available in stores and catalogues were pretty, but didn’t hold enough weight, and couldn’t take much activity, and since I breastfed for 18 months, I needed a sling made of sturdier stuff that didn’t have a metal or plastic ring digging into my chest.
This is what I came up with. It can be worn with the child carried in the front, back, or on the hip. Mine has served me, and the mothers for whom I’ve made them, well, and I thought I’d pass it on.
Note: The drawing is not to scale! It is just an illustration with basic guidelines. These instructions will need to be adjusted for your height, size, and your child’s activity level. It is very adjustable, and you can add grommets with ties, or sew in strapping with a heavy duty plastic (backpack) clip, if you prefer not to use Velcro.
You can also use fabric paints to put whatever designs you want on it.
You will need:
- 4 to 5 meters of washable cotton muslin. Other fabrics may be used, but do not use any stretch material.
- 1 large bag of hypoallercenic polyester filling (polyfil)
- heavy duty thread
- a heavy duty needle
- power sewing machine
- 2 feet or 1/3 meter heavy duty (1.5 inch or 3 cm. wide) VelcroTM
- Fold the ends (the short edges) in about 1 inch or 2 centimeters, and sew a straight stitch to keep them down,
- Fold the outer (long) edges in about 4 inches or 6 centimeters, and male two straight stitches about 1/4 inch or 1/2 centimeter apart, or right on top of each other (depends on your preference) about 2/3 inch or one centimeter from what was the outer edge.
- Fold the top ends towards the middle twice or three times, until you have a wide strap, and then make 4 seams to hold the layers together. The resulting strap should be about two feet, or 2/3 meter long.
- Stuff the slots on the sides, firmly, with polyester fill (Polyfil), leaving a few centimeters at the bottom.
- Secure the bottom by sewing a straight stitch along it.
- Make a 3 inch or 5 centimeter ring out of cloth folded into at least five layers, or use a good quality metal ring or loop that will hold a good amount of weight.
- Shove the bottom end through the loop, and then sew carefully, from end to end. This will make gathers, and it should be done at least twice.
- Sew the scratchy side of the velcro along the outer end of the strap, and the soft side of it about an inch or two centimeters down from the scratchy side.
- Curl the strap through the hoop or ring, so that the velcro sides face one another, put the sling over your shoulder and under your arm, and adjust the velcro so that you have enough room for your baby to fit in the pouch, and at least 3 inches or five to six centimeters of the velcro touching, and resting securely on your shoulder.
Originally written in 1998, when my babygirl was just 5 years old. That babysling would still hold her, so I am thinking that if you are caring for someone who needs carrying, you could probably adjust it for heavier weights. I would add maybe 20cm of length to the shoulder strap, reinforce the seams, and maybe sew a belt with a buckle along the bottom. I will do some experimenting and see if I can carry friends. Stay tuned. 🙂
© 2023 Nicole T. Lasher