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.



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. 


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?




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).


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.


 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.


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.


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,


Call for Submissions: Your Babywearing Stories; Your Babywearing Photos.

Update April 12,2010: The Babywearing Celebration is now going on. Go here to see the latest posts, read stories, and enter your name for the giveaways.

For those of you new to Clean, welcome!
Take a look around. We think you'll love it here. We post daily on
natural cooking, baking, crafting, and homeschooling.

We're hosting a Babywearing Celebration. Every day during the week of April 12 we'll have a safe, comfortable carrier or two to give away (see list at bottom of post) plus other babywearing resources. To you! Just for popping by.

We will also be posting five reader stories, (or poems, prose, essays, haiku, etc.) on Clean. Stories that illuminate the simple magic of wearing your little one. What it means to you – or to them.

Was babywearing an important part of your journey in becoming a mother or father?

Did it affect your experience as a grandparent, nanny, aunt, or uncle?

Did wearing your little one ease a painful time or allow you a joyful adventure?

What did you see in the child you wore that spoke to your heart? 

Has babywearing changed your life?

Share your story. Inspire us. The five selected essays will be published on Clean the week of April 12 and the author will receive a $25 LuSa Organics gift certificate. Oh, and fame and glory. Plenty of fame and glory. I have no requirement on length or style. Bring it on in whatever way inspires you. To submit your story email it to: rachel <at> lusaorganics <dot> com. Deadline is April 9th. Deadline extended to April 11th, 12pm CST! Reader submissions are now closed.

Family Xmas 009_1

And photos! Sweet babywearing photos.

I expect ya'll are getting tired of seeing Lupine and I allover this blog by now. I want your photos! They needn't be professional. Just photos of ordinary people wearing their kids. Upload them to our flickr page and I'll begin sharing them throughout the month of April here on Clean (or send them via email to rachel <at> lusaorganics <dot> com.) (If the photo is not of you and your child, please get permission before submitting.)

Edited: For more up-to-date information (including a schedule for giveaways) go here.

Thanks everyone for the great response the babywearing celebration is receiving. I can't wait to read and share your stories. So far we have the following giveaways lined up:

Mothering Magazine subscription,

3 copies of Babywearing 101,


Moby Wrap,

Ergo Baby Carrier,

Baby K'tan,


five copies of Tummy 2 Tummy babywearing DVD,

a carrier from Kangaroo Korner,

a carrier from Happy Bambino,

and a mama made sling/toddler doll sling set. With lots more to come!

Please spread the word via your Twitter account, Facebook page, blog, website, or mama's group. And thanks!