How to Make a Baby Sling

me and "baby"

I wish baby slings were popular when my boys were infants – we had front carriers, back carriers, strollers and infant seats, all of them complicated and sometimes expensive. We were warned, thirty years ago, that we shouldn’t hold our babies too much or we would spoil them and they would be mama’s boys. Well, I wish I had spoiled them and that they were mama’s boys to the extent that they would occasionally write or phone their mama thirty years later!

You can’t spoil a baby by loving it. You can’t ruin your child’s life by holding it. For heaven’s sake, humanity has done this for eons and somehow we turned out competent, feminine women and independent, masculine men despite toting our babies around everywhere. And where was neolithic mom going to put her baby? On the ground? People tied the babies and small children to themselves to keep them warm and safe.

So, Sarah Ann, remember that I had this babysling on first, and a little bit of my heart goes to you and our little dear one with it.

The sling is designed by Handmade- Adelaide and as usual I’ve lost the http, but it is easy to find if you google babysling. It’s made from a washable home decor fabric. I now know how to make a proper French seam, too, which is essential for holding the baby safely. It keeps baby close to your body, and at first I thought it was too snug, but baby is not a designer handbag and needs to be stable against your upper torso. Sarah requested a one-piece sling because the adjustable one didn’t work well for her. We are about the same height so I made it to fit me. I assume that my middle-aged weight and the three layers of clothes I wear added a bit to the snugness.

I was unsure of how to make the pattern from the instructions so I made a scale model before commiting my nice fabric to scissors.

Lil Daddy Caillou

I made one to fit Patience’s Caillou doll. He has her little chipmunk doll “Ashley” in the sling.

And for those who are wondering where I found a newborn baby for my sling – it’s a rolled up towel, baby length and width, with a bonnet tied on for its head. Genuine Amish towel baby.


9 thoughts on “How to Make a Baby Sling

  1. I love sling, wrap baby carrier mei tai etc…. babies are happy and so is mama!!!!

    I made a few after Rebekah was born and is still using them 3 babies later! Indeed French seam is a must with sling!

    • I’ve forgotten the name of the young woman at the market who made baby slings. Her little one alway seemed so happy – as did yours! Instinctive mothering wins over scientific parenting again!

      • Her name is Heather lee Vriends, she now is back to Ontario and give birth to her third Child yesterday 🙂 a big healthy girl!!!!

  2. Hi,

    I love baby slings! All three of my babies lived in slings! My four-year-old still rides on my back in our Becco (cloth-carrier) sometimes. A few years ago I started a bumper sticker campaign that said, “Carry your baby, not the carseat,” but people got irrately angry with me for suggesting that they actually hold their babies. Anyway, great job making the sling!


    • My mother was so opposed to baby carriers – i.e. carseats and bouncy seats. First, it is more likely that the parent will ignore the child; second, the child might be in distress and the parent not know it; third, it is far more likely that the child will fall out or the seat will fall over than that the child will fall from its parent’s arms or a sling. Christine has added her important caution about the sling’ s potential danger, but babies are more likely to get caught in a seat’s harness and be injured because the parent wasn’t right there to notice! While the carseat is essential in the car, it is not a substitute for mama or daddy’s arms.

  3. Babies love to be carried :0)

    Being carried and held and touched actually affects the development of our brains.

    That’s a healthy thing thee has made there.


    • I thnik this is true of all of us! We all need to be touched and held. I saw a documentary years ago that featured scientists studying large animals in Africa. One thing they noticed about the animals that nurture their young is that they touch their babies frequently. It seems to be some form of communication between parents and offspring as well as a comfort.

  4. Just be careful. I carried my babies all the time, and I loved the idea of a baby sling. However, one day when carrying one of my babies in a sling, I looked down to see his face beginning to turn blue. I removed him from the sling immediately, and he was fine, but I went straight to the garbage can, and threw it out. Make sure to still support your baby’s weight, and check them frequently.

    • Thanks for the reminder! I made this one with higher sides so the baby can’t get her head caught over the edge if she is positioned correctly. A deep carrier is needed for little babies; older ones who can hold themselves up can be seated in a narrower carrier.

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