Babywearing Celebration Day 6: Crafty

Babywearing Love, by Kendra Ortner

we were fortunate enough to have a friend gift us a moby wrap. i think this really helped us enjoy babywearing from the beginning. we practiced before our baby came, but with our newborn, some days we just couldn't get it. (the learning curve was steep on many accounts in those early days!) i wanted a pocket sling, so i could meet our baby's needs faster when i just couldn't seem to get the moby working. so my husband made one.

 

and another one. and yes. you read that right. my husband. he bought the fabric, he found directions online, he sized the slings to our bodies, he sewed. he did it all.
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i attended a local babywearing group and was introduced to all different types of carries. the leader was a devout wrapper, and her enthusiasm was catching. the wrap could go anywhere, do anything. and what's more, i learned, the woven wrap's diagonal stretch lends better support to the wearer and the baby than my moby could, especially considering how heavy my boy was getting. i had also begun facing him out, according to moby directions, which the leader told me could be stressful to his pelvic bones and his senses. on the front – facing in, on the back – facing in, and on the hip are the most psychologically advantageous ways of wearing (on the hip being the best for older babies), because the baby can hide if s/he wants, and interact if s/he wants. plus, our leader said she didn't feel the moby was safe for back carries with it's stretchiness. i was so impressed. this extraordinary mama helped me with my homemade slings (which she also checked for safety), and even magically wrapped my boy on my shoulder (the only place he cared for), which i was never able to replicate. now i wanted a woven wrap! since we didn't own a stroller, nor intend to, we splurged on the most inexpensive one we could find. 

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again, there was some learning, especially as we began back carries, but i kept attending the group. watching other mamas really helped, and luckily for all of us, many have shared videos online too. i even got to try other carriers, and plotted to sew (or get my husband to sew) a mei tai some day. as babies do, our son grew and grew, and he was becoming too big to comfortably carry on our chest. when we switched to primarily back carries, i pined for a shorter wrap that wouldn't drag on the ground. not in our budget… soooo, you know what?

 

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he made one.

 

as an anniversary gift, my husband presented me with this gorgeous fabric he had bought to make a new wrap. he talked to the shop owner to find out which materials were woven, and they tested to find one with the same diagonal stretch as our wrap. a gift of pure love – my heart swelled.

these days, this wrap is so nice because i can take this little strip of fabric with me when we are out on our journeys. if my boy, who is now two, wants to be held, i can get a little help from a quick sling tie and hip carry. or if we are really truckin', i can wrap him on my back. we use it on hikes, in the kitchen – we've even used it for family bike rides!

 

learning to wrap has been so empowering. it has given us security, intimacy, peace, and real connectedness. i just love it. and i feel incredibly lucky to have such a caring and crafty partner, whose support in this has over-exceeded my wildest expectations. spread the love, wear your baby!

DIY Revolution

Sure, I deeply adore(d) my Over the Shoulder Baby Holder, my Ergo, and my Moby. But truth be told, Kelley from Kozy nailed it when she said, "…all a new mom really needs is a set of lactating boobs and a good sling (…though even a bedsheet will work in a pinch)." (I've worn Lupine in a bedsheet on more than one occasion.) And I've made some rockin' carriers too and seen some wonderful ones made by other mamas (and papas like Marc in the story at top).

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Our ancestors made their own. Now its your turn. Here are three great resources if you're up for the challenge:

If you are ready to get sewing, one of my favorite place for all-things baby is Sleeping Baby. I've sewn several of Jan's free patterns with ease. There is even a crochet sling, several mei tais, and a no-sew fabric sling on her site. The mama made set donated today is from one of Jan's patterns.

Another priceless resource (for both holds and carrier making instructions) is Mamatoto. My experience was that navigating their site took some patience at first, but once I found my way around I spent hours there – and found some amazing tricks to tuck up my sleeve.

While not a sewing resource, I need to also mention another great resource for connecting with other babywearing families and troubleshooting, asking questions, choosing a carrier, etc. Check out the Babywearer.

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 The Giveaways

Today one winner will receive a gorgeous mama made ring sling (and matching toddler doll sling), generously made and donated by my friend Denise. A second mama will receive a one year subscription to Mothering Magazine, and a third winner will receive a digital copy of Babywearing 101.

But wait! There's more! (Said in my best infomercial voice.) We have a wonderful last-minute donation from Sling Rings: not one, not two, but three winners will receive sling rings to make their own safe, comfortable, affordable baby carrier.

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Each ring set includes a pair of large rings for an actual babywearing sling and a pair of small rings for a toddler doll sling. (If you aren't up for making a doll sling, simply tie some ribbon to each ring and give them to your toddler. A wonderful and simple open-ended toy.)

Sling Rings was founded nine years ago when owner Rochelle, a new mother, noticed that there weren't supplies available for DIY sling making. She and her husband set to work to create strong, safe rings. Today they supply most of the major baby carrier companies with their sling rings and sell online for the DIY crafter. They offer rings in both anodized aluminum or plastic in a rainbow of colors to match your favorite fabrics. And every ring is safety tested. The rings are extremely affordable. 

Sling Rings is giving all Clean readers 12% off through the end of June. Enter coupon code Celebr8 during checkout!

To be entered in today's giveaway please leave a post with one thing you are thankful for at the end of this babywearing week. (Today is your last chance to add your name to the other posts from the week. You may enter once per day to be entered in each day's giveaway.)

Comments are closed. I'll announce winners later this week!

I will close all comments tonight at midnight CST. I'll announce winners as soon as I am able to next week, so keep checking back.

And me?

I'm thankful that you all showed up this week, day after day to hear (and share) these inspiring stories. I have an inbox full of stories I wasn't able to share, so if anyone has any ideas how I can post them, do let me know. When I announce the winners for the zillions of giveaways we did this week we'll have one last baby-fest with a haiku collection.

I'm so inspired by each of you.Thank you for all that you shared.

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Since my blog readership has tripled in the past week (!), I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself to those of you who are new and to throw a coupon code of my own into the giveaway mix. I am Rachel Wolf, mama of Sage (7 1/2) and Lupine (3 1/4). Lupine + Sage = LuSa (Organics), my organic body and baby care business. We are a work-at-home unschooling family based in Wisconsin.

So why the babywearing week? I think my mom would say it's because I'm idealistic, but I would say I'm just extremely passionate. I feel the choices that I make in this life deeply, and my decision to babywear (and nurse, and cosleep, and practice EC, and homeschool, and…) was one based out of love and gentleness and best-possible-outcome-for-all-peole-involved.

I wanted to share this week with you because I believe that babywearing is magical – as long as we keep it in the hands of the mamas, papas, and small businesses out there with baby love in their hearts. As I reflected on each interview I posted this week, I realized that without exception they all talked about their inspiration: their babies.

It was the same for me. My bestselling products (booty balm, baby wipe juice, and soap) were born out of my love for my baby and a desire for something better.

I hope that this week inspired you towards something better as well.

With my deepest thanks, I am offering you all a coupon to LuSa Organics for $10 off any order over $45. Use coupon code "babylove" before the end of April.

And check back with me on Clean, won't you? While it won't be a babyfest over here again, it will continue to be a lovely place to come and be inspired.

Peace and love,

Rachel

42 thoughts on “Babywearing Celebration Day 6: Crafty

  1. Natalie says:

    Most of my stash is DIY, so I loved this post! I am so thankful for all the mamas who share their wisdom through the internet on making carriers… Jan, the Babywearer, and more. And I’m thankful for Slingrings, so I can sling in confidence without worrying about whether my hefty toddler is going to go tumbling if they snap! 🙂

  2. Melissa says:

    I’ve really enjoyed your posts this week, and I’m thankful for resources like this that keep inspiring me!

  3. Tania says:

    I love diy. Alot of my carriers I have made and I love to help people make their own carriers. 🙂 I would love to win some sling rings becuase I have a ring sling idea rolling around in my head. Once again I loved reading the stories!

  4. Colleen D. says:

    You have given my family some great things to talk about. This has been a fun week and your giveaways are more than generous. Happy Earth Day.

  5. katie steege says:

    just need to get my sewing machine, and then i can give these a whirl. it sounds intimidating and scary … especially to me – a virgin sewer, but, i’m sure i can find sewing mentors in the area … if not, wanna make a trip to iowa? 🙂
    hope the farmers market was a success this morn!

  6. Katie R says:

    What an inspiring story! Wonder if I can convince my husband to make some wraps…the stories this week have been really wonderful, and I am so grateful to hear positive and uplifting accounts of other parents who wear their babies! Thank you!

  7. Kara says:

    Thanks for such an awesome week! These have been some of my favorite posts ever – I’ve loved the stories, the tips, and all those beautiful pictures 🙂

  8. Sara says:

    Really? is this the last day already? I have so enjoyed the stories and photos – thank you to all who have shared, and to you Rachel for hosting this event! I feel I have been armed with so much more babywearing knowledge and inspiration… wondering how you feel about a similar week highlighting ECing?? 🙂

  9. Jennifer says:

    It has been so great to have so many wonderful babywearing stories. I am the only one who babywears in my community, so it is always nice to no there are others out there.

  10. Kendra says:

    Been reading all week. Was at the farmers market today and really took note of all the babywearing parents out there. They are everywhere! Wow!

  11. Kathy says:

    Awww! I’m really thankful that this week happened. It’s good to know more about the resources that are available online if you can’t find a mentor mama or babywearing group. As for this post in particular, I’m super thankful for that adorable picture of the little girl wearing her sling.

  12. Sara says:

    Inspirational! I think I’m going to try to sew a couple slings for my sisters babies. And for myself too, I’m planning on doing a lot of babysitting!

  13. Ginny says:

    I love what you are doing! I just added some babywearing photos to your stream, and I also love that you have a daughter named Lupine! I have a Larkspur, about the same age 🙂

  14. Shannon says:

    I am so thankful to have stumbled upon this wonderful celebration. Thank you so much for taking the time to organize this series! So many amazing, inspiring stories have been shared here this week–warm fuzzies all over the place 😉

  15. Kim V. says:

    I would love to win some sling rings! I’ve never tried a ring sling and love to sew so making my own sling would be a great project. And my 2 year old daughter Indigo would love a sling of her own to carry her dolls.

    What a great week it has been; thanks Rachel!

  16. Iris says:

    Thanks again for these inspiring posts! Once more, I am amazed at the variety of different baby wearing options that are out there! So the message must be – find one that suits your needs and wear your baby!
    It was also helpful to know that other mommas were struggling with the baby wearing in the beginning, too. It does take practice, but it’s so worth it.
    Thanks for sharing and providing a platform for this important parenting topic!

  17. Lisa Hanson says:

    Thank you so much for this incredible week, and thank you for helping me find my courage again! Three days and counting of babywearing in a row!I wouldn’t have started without you!
    Love,
    Lisa, wearer of Fritz

  18. Jennifer Watson says:

    Thank you so much for putting this week together! I think I’ve already said that but I had to say it again. I love that there are so many options available… I am going right now and see if anyone knows of a babywearing group in my area!

  19. Rachel Wolf says:

    Lisa,
    The week was worth it for your story along. My heart swells when I think of you and your blessed little babe. I think youre the Queen of Babywearing Week! xo Rachel

  20. Darla says:

    I am thankful for all the strong mamas and papas out there inspiring others to homebirth, babywear, ec, co-sleep, breastfeed, etc etc etc!!! Yay!

  21. Kellianne S. says:

    Real men wear their babies! I would love a subscription to Mothering, such and awesome magazine. Thanks so much for all of the information and inspiration you have given and shared this week.

  22. Mamatoto says:

    I am so thankful for an online community of other attachment parenting mamas. I may not often meet these types of mamas in person where I live, but they’re always a click away when I need to feel like I’m not crazy for doing what I’m doing.

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