DIY Baby-Wearing Wrap

by Roz on September 25, 2013

DIY Baby Wearing Wrap by Real Food Family ~ The most comfortable way to wear your baby, hands down!

This post is part of a Baby-Wearing Blog Hop with a list of amazing resources, reviews and giveaways of BABY WRAPS AND CARRIERS!

Welcome to the world of Baby Wearing! I can’t imagine life with a baby without one. I feel so sorry for the women I see carrying their babies all the time while trying to accomplish grocery shopping or cleaning the house. We all feel for the girl who is fashioning a sort of zombie style from a baby who refuses to sleep, or the ones sporting spit-up couture because of a digestively distressed baby. Enter baby-wearing.

My baby wrap would almost instantly put my babies to sleep and keep them content and happy throughout the day. I could wear my babies and get almost anything done…cooking (carefully), shopping, even a Ballet class (I wish I could find my picture of that)! My wraps were perfect for breastfeeding, offering fabric to cover up and support to keep one of my hands free- even two sometimes. When I wore my wrap with my babies, people would constantly stop me to ask me what it was and I proudly let them know that I made it myself. I have a few slings and carriers that I like to use, too, but mainly my baby-wearing apparatus of choice is my homemade design. I found it to be the most comfortable and useful wrap for all-day baby wearing.

When my first was born and I saw the price tag of the most popular wrap-style carrier then decided to do a little research and make my own. After a bit of trial and error with my first few homemade wraps, I came up with what I believe to be the best baby carrier, and that is what I’m going to teach you how to make here. It supports your back well and distributes the baby’s weight evenly over your entire torso. It uses a fabric with a little stretch so it will pull both ways, meaning no uncomfortable strain on your body as you move, which is a typical complaint of a 100%-cotton wrap. (Cotton only stretches one direction.) This kind of fabric is lighter, too, so it doesn’t get too hot when you wear it. To avoid the problem that people tend to have with all-stretchy-fabric wraps, my design uses what I call a “lock fabric” in the center-front to ensure the baby is secure and doesn’t start drooping down as time progresses.

*If you continue to read this post and make a wrap for yourself, you agree to my site terms and conditions and you understand that you create your wrap and wear your baby at your own risk. I’m simply sharing how I’ve made my own wrap and worn my own children, and am not responsible for the safety of you or your child when carrying or “wearing” your baby.

You will need:

  • some sewing skill and experience
  • 3 continuous yards of a 97-98% cotton/2-3% stretch (lycra) fabric that is at least 48-inches wide (I suggest that you get a 60-inch fabric in case the fabric is inconsistent and less than 48-inches on some parts, or has an ugly selvage edge.)
  • 1 yard of a durable, non-stretch decorative fabric
  • sharp fabric scissors
  • thread to match your fabric
  • sewing machine (and the ability to use it)
  • surger or overlock sewing machine (and the ability to use it) and thread used for this machine
  • an iron

Directions:

First you will need to cut 2 strips of the cotton/lycra fabric that are each 8 feet long and 2 feet wide. (Use leftover fabric to make cute play dresses for your kids or something fun from Pinterest.)

DIYwrap1

*Although my fabric is a little wrinkled in my pictures because I pre-cut it then folded it for a few days before taking the pictures, make sure to iron your fabric before cutting so your measurements are correct.

Cut a piece of your non-stretch fabric that is 30-inches long and 26-inches tall. This is the decorative piece of fabric, or the “lock fabric” as I will call it from now on, that will be on the front of your body, so decide exactly what part of the fabric you want to use, centering the design as you like.

DIYwrap2

Serge/overlock the top and bottom 1/4-inch of the “lock fabric” to finish the edges. Use a hot iron to fold down 3/4-inch of fabric on the top and bottom of the “lock fabric” (the sides you just finished). Use your sewing machine to sew a final straight top-stitch along the fold with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. (This should make the unfinished sides of the “lock fabric” panel exactly 24-inches long.)

DIYwrap3

Now you will sew the 3 pieces of fabric together using the serger/overlock machine. Use pins to keep the fabric lined up and stitch slowly because it can be very difficult to successfully sew a non-stretch fabric to a stretch fabric. Also note that we are not finishing the top and bottom edges of the stretch fabric. This kind of fabric will not fray and can be kept unfinished. Line up the unfinished edges of the “lock fabric” with the cotton stretch fabric- right sides together. Use the serger/overlock machine to sew these pieces together using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

DIY_wrap_2_pic

To top-stitch and secure the side panels to the “lock fabric”, use an iron to fold down 1/2-inch on each side of the “lock fabric” toward the back side (or wrong side) of the “lock fabric”, with the stretchy side panel fabric folded away from the center panel. You will have 3 layers of fabric folded on this 1/2-inch: the “lock fabric” folded on itself, plus one layer of the cotton stretch fabric (refer to the picture). Sew two top stitches along both sides of this folded seam to secure it down.

DIYwrap4

To taper the ends of your side panels, fold the last 12-inches of the fabric in half lengthwise and cut a long half-oval starting at the open edge, rounding the last 2-inches on the folded edge. When you open the fabric you should have an evenly rounded, tapered end of the panel.

DIYwrap6

Clean up any loose threads and your wrap is done!

DIYwrap5

Here are some pictures of wraps I’ve made, with directions for putting it on below.

DIY Baby-Wearing Wraps by Real Food Family ~ The most comfortable way to wear your baby...seriously!

Instructions for tying your homemade baby wrap:

  1. Place the center of the middle panel of your wrap in front of your stomach, and wrap sides around your back.
  2. Criss-cross the side panels of your wrap behind your back, then lift the panels over your shoulders.
  3. Criss-cross panels again in front of your chest, then pull through the underside of the middle panel of your wrap, keeping the side panels crossed.
  4. Wrap crossed panels around your waist and tie in a secure double-knot behind your back. If you have extra material, you may wish to wrap around again to the front of your waist and tie.

Placing your baby in the wrap: *This is the basic “tummy-to-tummy” way of wearing your baby. You may find other ways to wear your baby on baby-wearing websites or on these YouTube Channel videos.

  1. Hold baby, facing you, and place on leg through the crossed panel in front of your chest that is closest to you.
  2. Place baby’s other leg through the other crossed panel. Make sure both panels are spread across baby’s bottom.
  3. Pull middle panel of your wrap over baby’s back, pulling baby’s legs through.
  4. If baby falls asleep, turn head to the side and secure back of baby’s head with panel material.

*Drop baby to the side for discreet breastfeeding.

I hope you enjoy wearing your baby in your homemade wrap! Let me know if you have any questions.

 

****

Ergobaby Giveaway!!!

For those of you who aren’t going to make your own wrap, or are a baby carrier junkie like me and would love to have as mangy carriers as possible, I’m giving away the popular and ergonomically designed to be safe for baby- Ergobaby carrier!

Simply use the rafflecopter form below to enter for the giveaway. Rafflecopter will randomly pick a winner when the giveaway closes and the winner will be contacted by me (Roz@RealFoodFamily.com) to collect the information needed to send the winner their new Ergobaby carrier. Before the winner is contacted, their entries will be verified. False entries will disqualify the winner and a new winner will be chosen. This is not a sponsored giveaway and is paid for by me. Valid for U.S.A. & Canada residents only. All participants must be 18 years of age or older.

If you don’t win, don’t forget you can always purchase your own Ergobaby carrier! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ergobaby carrier photo credit: http://ergobaby.com

Real Food Weekly Meal Plans PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. These small earnings make it possible for me to continue offering you valuable and quality information provided on this site. I will never endorse any product or service that I cannot fully support. Thank you for supporting Real Food Family! To learn more, read the Real Food Family Terms and Conditions page here.

{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Beth September 25, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I’d love to try the Ergo with my first baby! I’ve heard so many good things about it.

Reply

Gillian @ The Haas Machine September 25, 2013 at 04:41 p09

This is probably one of the best giveaways EVER!! Thanks for organizing this :)

Reply

Anna O. September 25, 2013 at 04:41 p09

15 weeks pregnant and would absolutely love to win the Ergobaby carrier!

Reply

Amy p September 25, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I’d love to win an ergo! Thank you!

Reply

Ashley September 25, 2013 at 04:41 p09

We LOOOOOOVE our ergo and so glad we made the leap to get one. Would LOOOOVE to have another one to make a double carry a bit easier. Our 16 mo twins and 3 yr old all still fit in one so there is almost always at least one and often two toddlers strapped to me at any given poit if we’re out of the house! Our front carrier is so uncomfortable compared to the ergo so it would be so awesome to be able to wear two and be comfy!!

Reply

Jennifer September 25, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I would love an Ergo as I just gave birth to my second baby in July and it would help me be hands free to take care of my toddler. I would have a friend sew this for me as I don’t have a sewing machine or the time. I am not experienced with sewing so it would probably take me a while.

Reply

Erica September 25, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I’m having my fourth in a few weeks and have never carried my baby like this, but would like to! I’d have to use the ergo as I can’t imagine finding the time to sew one myself… Thank you for the giveaway

Reply

Kristy September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

Leaving a comment! :)

Reply

Denise Cross September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

Thank you for the DIY wrap. I will probably try making one after we move next month. I have heard great things about the Ergo and want one. Im preg with #4 and need an easy & comfortable way to wear this new baby.

Reply

Emily Murphy September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

Very cute DIY idea- I need to pair up with an experienced seamstress… lol :)

Reply

Sally September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

Thanks so much for this tutorial! Anxious to hunt for some cute fabric and try to make one. Would also love to win an Ergo for our angel due to arrive in December. Thanks!!

Reply

Blessie Nelson September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

We have been looking for a comfortable carrier for our baby when we travel. This ergo carrier is ideal for both me and husband to carry our baby when we go out and more than anything, my baby will love it too!

Reply

lace September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I’d love to try an ergo. Its on my list to see if I would like it. They are so popular and easy to get that I recommend them all the time but have never tried.

Loved your very detailed diy. I’ll probably make one of these since babies can only use this style for such a short time.

Reply

Roz September 27, 2013 at 04:41 p09

Lace, I wore my homemade wrap for up to a year, but at 9 months it’s good to have the Maya sling and Ergo, in my opinion. If I wore the baby all day- like at Disneyland or something, I prefer the wrap…depending on how big the baby is. I have really bad lower back pain, though, so the homemade was always best for me- I’m not totally sure why…I think it’s because I can totally manipulate where the support it. Thanks for commenting!

Reply

Laura September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I highly doubt I could make that wrap myself (I have NO expertise) but I bet I could get my sister to do it for me!

Reply

Leah Koch September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I would love to win an Ergo!! and I might try to make one… my cousin is due a month before I am and we both want to try babywearing- her first, my second… I think it would be great to have more than one carrier so I will always have one on hand if needed!!

Reply

Shari Brown September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

Thanks for the info. Can’t wait to use an ErgoBaby with my baby boy!

Reply

Ashley C September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I have an ergo and love it and plan to get one for my SIL who is expecting her first!

demureprincess7(at)gmail(dot)com

Reply

Suzy H September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I want an ergobaby because I have not yet had one and have 3 kids – so I’m hoping that I would use it with hikes with my littlest and then for our next kid (whenever that happens!)

Reply

Robyn September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I have been wanting to get one for my high-maintenance 9 month old, I just don’t have the extra cash. It would make outing with my older kiddos a lot less stressful!

Reply

Sarah September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I am six weeks pregnant with my first little one and I would LOVE to win an organic Ergo!

Reply

Laura September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I really like my ergo, but it is getting wore out from 6 years continuous use. i would really like to win a new one.

Reply

janell September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

Please pick me!!! I have a 4, 3 and 6 month old! I could use a carrier. This is such an awesome giveaway! Thanks for the chances to win! I hope its me!

Reply

Naomi September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

Love this tutorial! I made my own wrap minus the decorative panel, but I think I’m going to change it now. Thanks! Oh, and this is my comment for the rafflecopter :)

Reply

Melissa September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I love Ergos and will certainly use it myself or give it to a friend who can’t afford one. I am an avid sewer, too, and would love to try the DIY wrap some day.

Reply

Nicole-Lynn September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I’m expecting my first baby (girl!) this fall! I’d love to be able to carry her around while I clean, run errands at the grocery store and also be able to have her close to me when traveling, for walks, etc. The DIY wrap you made is amazing and I’d love to make one someday! Thanks for the tutorial!

Seasidesmitten@aol.com

Reply

Stacy September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

Will try yo get help & make the DIY wrap, but would love to win the Ergo.

Reply

Kelsey September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I love babywearing and does my youngest son. we are on a really tight budget and have been dying to get an ergo. He recently outgrew the cheap($13) carrier because his thighs got to big! Carriers are also a huge help so I can cook and clean.

Reply

Tammy Bybee September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I would love to win one of these for my newest grand daughter that will be born real soon here

Reply

Allie Foster September 26, 2013 at 04:41 p09

Thank you for offering this contest :). I would be thrilled to win the Ergo to use for our fourth/last baby.

Reply

UmmD September 27, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I’d just love to try it.

Reply

Anna September 27, 2013 at 04:41 p09

My sister has an Ergo and loves it! I would also like one because I have triplets and it’s nice when I can use a carrier when one doesn’t want to ride in the stroller.

Reply

Sarah Alexander September 27, 2013 at 04:41 p09

So exciting :) I got to try ergo with my nephew. love it!

Reply

anastasia b September 27, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I wouldn’t make one myself, not time for that running 3 businesses from home! But the Ergo is my first love and I would love to give it to my best friend who recently had her first baby :)

Reply

Jenn McClearn September 27, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I would love this carrier for small hike with my family, my current carrier hurts my back

Reply

Melissa C. September 27, 2013 at 04:41 p09

The ergo would be a great gift for a friend who just became mama to twins!

Reply

Rachel N September 27, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I would love to try the DIY wrap, I think my daughter would enjoy riding in it.

Reply

Valerie S September 27, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I plan to use my carrier a lot since I hike, so I wouldn’t mind having a second one for if the first is dirty/sweaty and I want to take one to the store or somewhere else indoors :)

Reply

Talia September 27, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I am unfortunately wrap impaired. I need a SSC to carry my little one, which is why I’m excited about the Ergo!

Reply

Tara September 27, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I have back problems, but having my LO close is important to me. The Ergo will help distribute the baby’s weight which will allow for more babywearing time.

Reply

Stacy T. September 27, 2013 at 04:41 p09

Thinking about trying for baby #2 soon, and had to give my borrowed Baby Bjorn back to my friend. I would love to try the Ergo baby out!!

Reply

Rebecca September 27, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I’d love to have an Ergo because I’ve heard such great things about them, and I’m due with my first soon.

Reply

Rachel Bobalik Figueroa September 27, 2013 at 04:41 p09

Would love to win an ergo. I nanny a non-mobile special needs toddler and her infant sister. We use a Bjorn right now but it is killing my back and I know it isn’t healthy for her hip and spine development so always on the look out for a new carrier to make our days a little easier :-). Thanks for the chance to win! Very excited to have found your blog!

Reply

Deb September 28, 2013 at 04:41 p09

No, I probably won’t make a carrier myself, but Ergo seems to be top of the line. I’d want to win it for my grandchild.

Reply

Liz September 28, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I’d love to win an Ergo because they look so comfy and my husband said he’d wear it! :) I wish I could make a wrap, but I have no sewing skills.

Reply

Katie September 28, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I’d love to win an Ergo because they’re great carriers!

Reply

christine k September 29, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I want an ergo because we have two kids and only 1 ergo

Reply

Tannis W September 29, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I’d love an ergo because I don’t have a SSC yet, and I’ve heard so many good things about their brand.

Reply

Rachel September 29, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I’d love to win because I’ve heard Ergos are great carriers! Love the wrap directions, too!

Reply

Diana September 29, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I will definitely be pinning this pattern link for this wrap. If I win I will probably be keeping the Ergbaby wrap for myself.

Reply

stacy h September 29, 2013 at 04:41 p09

i’d love to give an ergo to my cousin and his wife! they are expecting their first soon!

Reply

Bonnie September 29, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I really want to win this for my sister in law, she is currently pregnant with number two and I really want to persuade her not to use the crotch dangler she used with my niece.

Reply

rachel September 29, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I haven’t sewed in a long time but maybe I’ll give it a try. :)

Reply

Danielle D September 30, 2013 at 04:41 p09

Because I would absolutely love to be able to wear our first, and as of now it is a luxury item that we wont be purchasing for a while.

Reply

Ros September 30, 2013 at 04:41 p09

Just started looking at baby stuff for my grandbaby due in March ’14! These carriers are great!

Reply

Ginelle September 30, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I like the idea of making your own wrap.

Reply

Leah Vanberg September 30, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I love the Ergo! We bought ours used and it is worn out; we are desperately in need of a new one!

Reply

beth September 30, 2013 at 04:41 p09

Awesome giveaway!

Reply

Grace Delp September 30, 2013 at 04:41 p09

I hope to win a carrier to give as a gift to a baby wearing new mom!

Reply

actuallykristen October 1, 2013 at 04:41 p10

Thanks so much for this tutorial! Would also love to win an Ergo

Reply

Amy kleinman October 1, 2013 at 04:41 p10

I love the extra support the Ergo has.

Reply

Sara October 1, 2013 at 04:41 p10

I have a Mai Tei that I love. I don’t know how to sew, and the 13 year old broke her machine, so I won’t be making one. I would love an Ergo because I enjoy baby wearing, and have heard great things about the Ergo. I had wanted to save money to buy one, but the other things we have needed have taken all the money I had saved up….

Reply

Beth Berry October 1, 2013 at 04:41 p10

I don’t know about making the wrap for a friend, as my sewing skills are not ‘up to par’ but I may just have to find a friend to make one for me! I’d love this Ergo for my DS, 1 year old, as we’re frequently out and about and he can’t stand to ride in the stroller!

Reply

Laura B October 2, 2013 at 04:41 p10

Would love to have an ergo! I think my husband would feel more comfortable wearing one than a wrap.

Reply

Stacey October 2, 2013 at 04:41 p10

Need this!

Reply

Kerri October 3, 2013 at 04:41 p10

Great give-away. I’d love to make some wraps for friends and family!

Reply

Rosemary October 9, 2013 at 04:41 p10

Hi :) I have an ergo (which totally saved my sanity with my velcro baby) but I found it useless for the first few months – this wrap is totally on my to do list before number 3 comes out BUT I’m confused about the fabric requirements – the stretch fabric: is that a woven with lycra for a little stretch or a knit with lycra, or doesn’t it matter?Also, if you could be bothered updating the post, corresponding cm measurements would be super helpful for people outside the US – I somehow always manage to confuse myself and have to calculate things several times before I cut! This is a great post though – I was going to buy a woven wrap but can make this for SO much cheaper and maybe get a woven when baby is older if I find I need it :)

Reply

Roz October 10, 2013 at 04:41 p10

Thank you, Rosemary!! I will definitely try to update with cm measurements! My husband is the seamster (?) in the family and he only uses cm measurements in his patterns. Stay tuned. :) I use woven cotton with the 2-3% lycra fabric, but I’ve used both knit and woven successfully. The most important part is that small percentage of lycra or it will be too stretchy. Hope that helps!

Reply

Rosemary October 12, 2013 at 04:41 p10

Thanks!

Leave a Comment

{ 22 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: