Tuesday, October 25, 2011
How to: Baby Carrier!
I told you a while ago that I was making my own SPOC (simple piece of cloth) baby carrier. They're also often referred to as baby wraps or slings, and they're often HELLA-expensive!
Witness the awesomeness that is babywearing - I've just noticed my hand seems to be supporting Squiggle's bum here - that's completely unnecessary, he's nice and snug in there... in fact after I took this picture I went shopping (about half a mile walk there and half a mile back) Squiggle had a nap in the sling (not uncommon - it's so relaxing for him!) it rained cats and dogs, but I just popped up my umbrella while other mothers were ducking for cover trying to figure out how to attach their rain cover to their buggy . . . Meanwhile Squiggle carried on with his nap. . .
I'm kind of embarrassed to even call this a sewing project it really is as simple as buying a piece of fabric and hemming it... no really!
Buying the fabric
Choosing the fabric is the main consideration here, I suggest you follow the guide from wearyourbaby.com. They suggest your fabric is cotton, breathable, washable, and has a little stretch along the bias (diagonal stretch) go to the page where they detail fabric here. I chose a nice quality cotton, it was about £7 p/metre. Of course you *can* make a wrap out of almost any fabric, but a nice soft cotton will be most comfortable :-)
My wrap is 24" x 5 metres (I know, I know, crazy to mix measurements, 5 metres is about 5.5 yards) the length of the wrap you need will be determined by how big you are and what carries you want to be able to do. I'm a UK size 14/16 if that helps.
This table from Thebabywearer tells you what wraps you can do with different lengths of fabric and links to instructions on various sites.
Do not buy 2.5 metres of fabric, cut it lengthways and sew together at the ends to make a 5 metre length! your seam will be a weak point in your wrap which could be dangerous. If you can only afford a small piece of fabric look at the table and consider whether you could make do with a shorter wrap. Or make do with what you have.
You want a hem that is going to be even all the way along your (extremely long) edge and that looks nice on the 'wrong side'. You could use bias tape, but it's a good idea to be able to differentiate a 'right' side from a 'wrong' side. This helps you to know that your wrap isn't twisted when you're tying yourself together!
This is what I did:
I drew a line around 1/2 inch (I cant remember exactly... ) away from the edge of a piece of paper
You'll also want to do something to remind you where the middle of your wap is, I made a small tag out of some complimentary fabric and sewed it in place so I'd be able to find the middle in a hurry.
Wrapping the baby
I suggest you find a babywearing group or slingmeet near you to help you wrap for the first time, it can be quite a nerve wracking experience until you get comfortable with putting your baby in a safe position.
Of course I didn't do that because I'm reckless... I watched this video and copied the lady :-) but if I were to try a back carry for the first time I would completely make sure I was in a well padded area and had help on hand!
For more informative baby wrapping videos go to Wrap Your Baby's youtube channel
also consult this table from thebabywearer which directs you to a bunch of instructions for loads of different carries, for all different positions and lengths of wrap.