Making Slings and Using Them, Too

I have made a fair number of slings lately, mostly for locals, and am perfecting the process. It’s fun and rewarding to see people out and about using them! I am making both adjustable ring slings and pouches. I still use a pouch to put Kate on my hip almost every time I run errands. Quick, no fuss and keeps her from wandering off.

The really pretty Mei Tei I made last month and posted pictures of just didn’t work out for us. Kate merely tolerated it and I couldn’t get her on my back without help. So I sold that one, too and we ended up buying an Ergo — I highly recommend it if you are looking for a back-carrier. I can get Kate on my back easily by myself and it’s unbelievably comfortable. I know, I could use a stroller or a harness or something, but I really enjoy wearing Kate. She’s more content for a longer period of time and its easier to interact with her while I do what I need to do.

13 responses to “Making Slings and Using Them, Too

  1. Sooo…would you be interested in selling another one? I’ll ask in case you’re up for it, but if you’re not, please do not tarry to decline! I certainly do not want to be the culprit of taxing a pregnant mama.

    Even though I don’t quite “get” the concept, I think if I had one I could figure it out. And I think Ellis would really like it. He loves sitting up with me and being held. Just chillin’. And even moreso, if he can’t hear, I want him to feast his eyes! 3 mos isn’t too late to start slinging, is it?

  2. I am out of my back-log and up for making a few slings before I get too baby-busy…

  3. Wearing your baby and then selling slings to subsequent admirers is the best way to spread the good news about babywearing! While I personally never saw a baby in a sling before I started scouring the net for anything related to babywearing, most people aren’t like me. They see it, realize it works, and want to buy one *now*. Good work, Kristen!

  4. Yeah, I Definitely don’t sell slings to make money. I make enough selling them to be able to afford to make them for free for showers and such, but that’s about it! :o) I make slings because I love babywearing and I want other people to be able to sling their babies and there’s not one local place to buy an unpadded ring sling. Richmond is not the most wired of cities and a lot of people just don’t shop online much, let alone at places beyond So, for some people, if I didn’t make them, they probably wouldn’t use them.

  5. So what are the necessities for baby wearing? A sling and an Ergo? Should I get both from the beginning or wait until baby F is older to buy the Ergo?


  6. Ooooh… that’s a good question, Rebekah!

    Your first sling should probably be an unpadded ring sling. It’s adjustable, extremely versatile and has a small learning curve. Plus, you can wear a baby to sleep and then loosen the sling and lay the baby down, like this.

    Then, it depends on what you want to use it for. If you don’t do much hiking/walking and your babe is on the lighter side, I’d say a pouch next (like Once a babe starts being carried more or less exclusively on the hip, it’s so nice to be able to put them in without adjusting anything. A pouch can also be used for a newborn, but some carries are more difficult (or nearly impossible) in a pouch, so I probably wouldn’t recommend it as a one-and-only sling unless you really can’t get the hang of adjusting a ring sling.

    If you do a lot of hiking/walking or your babe is heavy, I’d say get an Ergo before a pouch. You CAN wear your baby on your back in a ring sling or pouch, but it’s not the most comfortable way to use a sling, nor does it always feel secure. The babe has to be willing to be on your back, and that’s a wee bit scary with a young toddler. The two-shouldered, padded Ergo is extremely comfortable and its very easy to use. I excercise-walked for 30 minutes with Kate with no pain or discomfort at ALL (at 25.5 weeks pregnant.) You can also use an Ergo to wear an infant, but it needs a special insert, etc. I’d stick to a ring sling for teeny babes.

    There’s a lot of other options as well. But I probably would recommend a ring sling, Ergo and pouch as my “first three” for people new to babywearing. Wraps are also popular and good for versatile carrying, but they take longer to learn how to use and are more difficult to use by yourself with a squirmy toddler. Mei Tais (like the pretty one I made) are also very popular and versatile, but a little more difficult than the Ergo. I think the sporty look of the Ergo is good for dads with older babies and toddlers :o) Mike happily used slings when Kate was a babe, but he is pretty excited about the Ergo.

    You can definitely start out with getting a ring sling for yourself and registering or dropping hints for a pouch and an Ergo and if you don’t get them, you can pick them up as you have need and funds. Wow, this was a long comment! Serina, any other thoughts?

  7. I definitely want something that I can exercise walk with and that Stephen can carry Baby F in while out and about. I’ve seen Moms exercising carrying small babies in the Bjorn, and it seems like a good option for exercise – at least while they are small. But maybe I should just get the Ergo instead?

  8. You could do the Ergo with an infant insert or exercise walk with a regular ring sling. If it’s secure, I see no reason why you shouldn’t be able to exercise walk with a ring sling. I wouldn’t try it with a store bought one (nojo or over the shoulder baby holder) because I find they loosen more in use than unpadded, open tail ring slings. Aerobics are probably out either way, but I think exercise walking would work fine… but that’s a really good question for the babywearing board on GCM, actually. I am sure some ladies have plenty of experience with that. We had a Y membership for a while, so when I exercised, I exercised there sans Kate. But then I lost all my pregnancy weight without exercising so I wasn’t that motivated *blush*

    Edited to add: Bjorns are so ubiquitous you could always borrow one to see if you like it better if you are struggling with exercising with a ring sling and/or Ergo with the infant insert. Personally, I found the Bjorn rather uncomfortable by the time Kate got to 15 lbs. and I don’t really like the way they hang by their pelvic bone in it (we used the doorway jumper some, so I figured Kate got her quota of hanging by her pelvic bone in that!) I ended up selling ours on ebay, barely used, so we were able to recoup some of the cost of it that way… I know people that have the pricier Baby Bjorn active and they said it was more comfy than the classic one we had.

  9. Here’s another question…can you hold the baby in a sling and type with two hands? That’s the real essence of the matter for me. I like my Bjorn, but it’s hard to sit down and type with it on.

  10. Hmmm… I remember doing it. I don’t remember how easy it was…

  11. My first recommendations are always a pouch and an Ergo. I love ring slings, and they’re a close third. For pouches, depending on your weather, I recommend a Hotsling, KKAFP, or SlingSet. They’re all great, and I use mine frequently.

    For the Ergo, the price can be steep, so I usually tell folks to save $10-20/month through the third trimester and first few months, then buy an Ergo by baby’s fifth month. I like using the Ergo beginning at six months, but some babies can handle five. It’s the easiest way to back-wear your baby, and with my heavy kids (21 lbs. at six months), I couldn’t live without my Ergo.

    For ring slings, I like Sleeping Baby Productions and TaylorMade Slings. I have the TMS Organic Mesh, and love it. People rave about SBP slings, and she has many fabrics to choose from. If you can afford her slings (which are reasonably priced to begin with), she offers directions for sewing her slings yourself for personal use. She also has a $20 & Under page with quality new slings for cheap. Love it.

    I’m also a wrap girl. Some folks say they they take a while to learn, and they do. But if someone could only buy one sling, I’d always recommend a wrap. They’re so amazingly versatile, supportive, and some last forever. I like feeling connected to the millions of women from different cultures who’ve worn their babies with simple pieces of cloth for ages and ages. Check out MamaToto for cheap/free wrap options, and great instructions. My favorite newborn/stretchy wrap is the MobyWrap, and my favorite woven/all-around wrap is the Didymos.

    So, to give simple summary: start with a pouch or ring sling, which ever takes your fancy, and go from there. If you can only afford one sling for a while, make or buy a wrap and practice, practice, practice. You’ll be glad you did.

    (One might think you’d have to be a millionaire to know as much as I do about slings. You don’t. You just have to be frugal, and smart. I’ve been buying slings since my firstborn was six weeks old, and since we breastfeed and wear cloth diapers, there was a bit of extra money. I also buy used slings from The BabyWearer and BabywearingSWAP and sell slings I’ve made and slings I don’t want to make extra cash.)

  12. Fittsy: Instead of getting a Bjorn, I’d recommend a MobyWrap. They’re less than half the price, and much more versatile. There’s nothing more cozy than a newborn all snugged up in a MobyWrap. When my second was a newborn, I put her in the Moby, then zipped my fleece jacket over her and took my toddler for a walk. You can do facing in or out, legs in or out, etc.

  13. I am due before you, Rebekah, so I will experiment with my Moby and my ring sling and let you know what I think works better for exercise walking. But, that would mean I have to exercise :o)

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