The only thing I recommend new parents buy (in terms of equipment) for a new baby is a good baby carrier. Ours is an Ergo and it is so good that it has been used pretty much every day for the last four years. I have never had to buy anything else, and we even gave our pram away.
Here is my littlest one feeling sleepy on my back. She used to spend a lot of time there when she was smaller. At the moment she is spending more time on my back because she is feeling pretty miserable with six teeth coming in all at once 😦
And as so often happens, my daughter’s babies have been feeling a bit miserable now and then too, and they want to be closer to their mummy also. We tried wrapping them on to her snuggly with one of my long silky scarves, and it worked ok … but it was a bit floppy and the scarves were not really long enough for a good fit.
So Baby Rosie and Baby Hans received a baby carrier for Christmas. It was a rush job (as my home-made Christmas presents so often are!) and I have some improvements to make on the design, however until I can update you, I’ll show you how I made this one.
I used a few online tutorials for ideas. I particularly related to the 41 steps involved in this tutorial! I’m pretty sure I managed to make mine in about the same amount of steps, but lets see if I can whittle it down for you. Sorry about the quality of the photos!
YOU WILL NEED:
1 baby doll
2 metal rings
at least 2m of strong ribbon (see note at end)
fabric of your choice (I used flannelette)
STEP ONE: To find the width of your pattern, fold your fabric in half and lay baby on top of it. Cut the fabric so there is about 2 inches either side of your baby. You will, of course, lay your baby more central than I have done here!
STEP TWO: To find the length of your pattern, lay baby so that the fabric reaches just up behind baby’s neck, depending on how much head support you feel baby is going to need. Fold the fabric up between baby’s legs so that it comes up and over baby’s tummy. Measure this point and cut there, leaving some seam allowance.
STEP THREE: Place baby somewhere comfortable to watch the proceedings. Then cut some of your ribbon to make the tabs to hold the rings. Just enough so that it can be stitched into the seams.
STEP FOUR: Fold your fabric so the pattern is on the inside. Mark a place just above the end of the fabric when it is folded up for baby in step two. This is where we will sew the rings (but unlike me, you will pin them on the INSIDE of the fabric, not the outside!)
Fold your ribbons tabs through the rings and pin them INSIDE your folded fabric at the place you marked. I didn’t do this, so of course when I folded the fabric right way out, the rings were on the inside, which wasn’t very useful and required some unpicking.
At this stage, cut your remaining ribbon in half and pin those ON THE INSIDE right up at the top, at the fold of the fabric. These will be the straps (You can just see the edges of the straps peeking out at the top of the folded fabric.
STEP FIVE: Stitch down either side of your fabric, over the straps at the top, and the ring tabs mid-way down. Leave the bottom open and turn your fabric right way out. Tuck in the raw edges at the bottom and sew them up.
STEP SIX: Fold the bottom edge up to just under the ring tabs and sew securely in place. DO make sure your straps are out of the way, unlike me.
That’s it! Baby sits in the seat of the carrier and is placed on the front or back of the child, then the straps are taken over the shoulders like a back pack, or crossed over if preferred, then through the ring tabs and tied up together.
Because this was such a rush job, I didn’t buy proper ribbon, and the stuff I found in my cupboard wasn’t very strong. The stitching from the machine effectively perforated the ribbon, so it tore off after the first wearing 😦 That’s ok – today’s job is to fix that with some straps made of fabric so that Baby Rosie and Baby Hans can be carried about when they need a cuddle from a busy mummy.
I am also thinking of attaching clips to the ends of the straps so that they can be clipped on instead of having to be tied up.