Thursday, May 23, 2013

Baby is the New Black

The hottest new accessory this summer?


Babies. 

Don't pretend you don't want in on this trend.

Hands free!

Excuse my tired face.  I am tired.  There is a whole world of babywearing fanatics out there that I've only just discovered.  Obviously, not having a baby to wear before now.  We received a Baby Bjorn carrier as a shower gift and I was really excited at the prospect of being able to pop newborn baby Jane in to it and carry on about my business. (I'm also excited about J wearing Jane a la The Hangover- tee hee!) Unfortunately that is not what happened.  I've tried several times to get her in to the Baby Bjorn unsuccessfully.   She screams and yells and is not happy.  Since she can't hold her head up yet she has to go in facing me with her little legs frogged in front of her.  It truthfully doesn't look very comfortable.  I think she doesn't like it because of the large leg openings on the sides.  It feels to me like she could slip out of one of those leg holes if she squirmed around too much.  Not very secure.  Once she can hold her head up I know we'll get lots of use out of it.  Then she can face forward and stick her legs through those openings.   But for now it's a no go.  So my dream of packing my little bub in to the carrier and leisurely strolling around Target was shot down.  It's the little things that get a new mom excited.


Enter the ring sling.  I learned about the baby ring sling after seeing a beautiful silk version on Sew Fearless.  She linked to the instructions she used for making it by Jan Andrea of Sleeping Baby Productions.  Holy cow.  Everything you ever wanted to know about making a baby carrier and wearing your baby is covered and linked to through her website.  I was so impressed with how much thought obviously went in the construction of her slings.  


I used instructions for a reversible, unpadded ring sling using two fabrics of differing weights.  The fabric is pleated at the shoulder to fit in the rings and then fan out over your back.  I used an ivory handkerchief weight linen for the inside and a printed linen for the outside that was slightly heavier.  In hindsight I wish I had used only handkerchief weight linen.  My sling is a little heavy and as a result is kind of difficult to slide through the rings.   I'm hoping it will soften up with use.  Plus I don't really love the print I chose.  It's pretty earthy, if you know what I mean.  But then again, I am wearing my baby.  I did have to cut away the fabric underneath my pleats to take away some of the bulk.  I bought my rings from SlingRings.com.  Like Jodi said, DO NOT use any old ring you find at the craft store.  These rings are made and tested to support the weight of baby.

The first time I put Jane in it she wasn't too impressed.  But we've used it a few times now and she really seems to like it.  One thing that made a difference was making sure her bottom was down lower in the sling than her legs.  That definitely made a difference in her comfort level.  What I love most about my ring sling is that it's fully adjustable.  You pull on the tail to tighten up any spot in the sling that needs it.  I like that I can sit her up high- more on my chest.  Much easier on my back.  For reference, baby Jane is five weeks old and about ten pounds.   I have her in an upright "cuddle" hold.  She is sitting in the sling much like she would in the Baby Bjorn except she is totally supported by the fabric.  It's super snug.  Here's a photo without her in it so you can see how the fabric makes a pouch to hold baby.


I've worn her around the house for short periods of time.  Today she was kind of fussy until I put her in the sling and she promptly fell asleep.  But I do have to walk.  Can't sit down with her in it or she starts fussing.  Maybe I'll get that leisurely stroll around Target soon.... bwahahahaha!


So that's that.  I actually sewed something-- with a five week old baby.  Yay me! 

47 comments:

  1. You two are just gorgeous! When Jane is older the Bjorne will be great as she will be able to see what you're doing and you'll have both hands free. My boy loved it, but then he also has the nickname Captain Beaky Small as both him and his Father have to know what's going on!

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  2. Oh man! I made one as well. And can I just say how freakin' impressed I am with your lovely stitching on the fabric holding the rings! My machine was not happy when it came down to sewing over it. Needless to say the stitches look WONKY.

    Gorgeous sling! And yay babywearing!

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    1. Let me just tell you... I was cursing the entire time I was sewing those three lines of stitching. I broke two needles before I switched to a size 18 needle. That seemed to do the trick although I did have to hand crank it over the really thick parts.

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  3. PS- Looking great you and Ms. J.

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  4. Yay, you! Beautiful you with your beautiful baby.

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  5. oh my, you girls are looking fabulous! also, i'm a bit ashamed now - you managed to sew, with a five week old baby, while i wasted an entire day doing nothing but staring at my swimsuit pattern pieces and drinking coffees and being pissed cause it's raining

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  6. Gorgeous comfy baby (and I'm very impressed that you've been able to sew with a tiny baby at home)

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  7. Oye!! Look at that baby doll! :) Gorgeous girls, you both are!

    I've read that no matter what the baby-carriers say, ring slings are the best for the first couple of months... Glad you figured it out! You'll get your handsfree, Target trips with the Baby in her Bjorn.. Just wait and see! :)

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  8. If you have a yoga ball, wear her in the sling and sit and bounce on the yoga ball. Less walking for you. :)

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  9. The ring sling looks ingenious! Glad you are both doing well.

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  10. Cuteness! And what a useful sewing project.

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  11. Both of you are so cute!!%) Look beautiful!

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  12. Looks great :D And as she gets bigger, you can still use the sling; she'll sit on your hip just like you would hold her there. You can be just as hands-free with a sling as with a Bjorn, and there's some suggestion that the way a soft fabric carrier holds their hips (the same way you'd hold them without a sling) is better for hip development than having their legs dangle straight down :)

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  13. Adorable!!! My favorite ring sling for Z was one my mom made with those same slings... used it up until well past age 2.

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  14. The sling looks great and don't worry, you'll be able to use the Babybjörn in a while, when the baby gets a bit bigger and can hold her head.

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  15. Yay you indeed! I am incredibly impressed, sewing and blogging it too! Oh, and super cute baby XX

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  16. This is fab. I have always hoped that when/if I have a baby I will be able to use a sling like this - keeping my fingers crossed, and bookmarking the links - thanks!

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  17. What a great make, I'm taking note of this as I'd like to make something similar, thanks for the links. Jane looks very cosy and contented :)

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  18. Your sling looks great. If I can be so bold there are so many amazing options out there for baby wearing and better for baby than baby bjorns or other outward facing carriers. Look for an ergo or manduca, both offer excellent support for those little frog legs and keep baby facing inwards. Have a google if you get a chance, I used my ergo until quite recently and my littlest is close to 2 years xx

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    1. I just read about the ergo- thanks for the tip!

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  19. Oh, how gorgeous do you and little baby Jane look?! VERY!

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  20. I love it! Really pretty fabric too.

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  21. Woo hoo! Being able to put Imogen in a carrier was a god send. I even managed to grocery shop by myself once. We have an ergo baby sport carrier. I wanted a ring sling but by the time we decided we wanted one and went to try one Imogen was too big and it was easier to use the ergo. Oh well! Maybe I'll get one next time.

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  22. my itty-bitties never liked the slings until they were old enough for a front facing carrier. maybe if i would have known how to sew up my own it would have been different! you two look so sweet together, i love it. :)

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  23. You both look adorable! I wore my baby in a sling and loved it well until he was a toddler. Yours is very pretty.

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  24. You have the most adorable baby ever! I really like the fabric you used - my first thought was, ooh, how pretty and earthy :)

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  25. You look so beautiful! What a lovely way to be close to baby Jane!

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  26. I love it! I love baby wearing, and I can't believe you found time and energy to make your own! Go you. I'm also envious. Ollie hasn't taken to being worn the way his big sister did. I have a moby wrap, which I love. So my dreams of just going to the grocery store without juggling stroller/car seat/shopping cart combo are on hold. Hopefully, like you said, once he can really hold up his head, maybe he'll come around.

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  27. How gorgeous...you'll need one in all your favourite fabrics.

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  28. What a beautiful little bubba! My girls love it when I make something for them - she's clearly a fast learner to have picked up on your fabulous makes so young!
    (and my girls never liked those baby front packs either)

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  29. Gorgeous you, gorgeous baby, gorgeous sling! K was never into the bjorn either, but did love the Ergo, especially when I carried her on the back. I tried everything from Moby Wraps to high tech strollers, but back then I didn't think of making my own sling!

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  30. Good to hear babies are the new summer trend, as I'll be sporting mine come August :-D
    Thanks so much for the link, it's like the lottery of sling information! And for being so tired, you don't look it! Congratulations on your beautiful daughter!!

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  31. Oh that was a super useful post, thanks so much!!! So helpful to hear some details like 'her bum needs to be lower than her legs' type thing, and thanks for the links. You may be tired but you are looking awesome!
    Zoe x

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  32. Awwww! I never had a sling (I had a couple of different style snugglies that worked even for very small babies)but baby-wearing is definitely the way to go. We moved when my second was six weeks old and I had three days to clean the whole house, more or less by myself. Baby spent pretty much those entire three days in the one little carrier that worked on my back, and I could not believe how long she would sleep there and how un-fussy she was, as long as I was constantly moving. :)

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  33. What a perfect little pea-in-a-pod! I highly recommend that you go do any necessary bureaucratic errands while Baby Jane is still little. I had to go to the DMV when Belly was a tiny baby and I couldn't believe how helpful and sweet everyone was (not sure if it was because she looked so cute, or because they wanted to get me out of there before she started to cry). Same thing was true at other government offices - so much so, that I considered starting a rent-a-baby business. And if you bring her in a lovely HANDMADE sling, you'll be bumped to the head of every line.

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  34. Oh my gosh, adorable. Congratulations again on her safe arrival. My niece didn't love the Bjorn either, this looks much cozier.

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  35. You look gorgeous! I carried Anna in something similar, she practically lived in it for the first six months or so...

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  36. You and Jane look so beautiful! :-) I second Lisa S - a gym ball (aka yoga ball or medicine ball) is an absolute must for babies that won't let you sit down!

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  37. Love the accessorising!! And you oth look gorgeous. I wish I'd known about such slings when I was a new mum, it looks such an amazing close experience to have Jane snuggled up there so close ...

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  38. You and baby J look beautiful together! I love your sling too, the fabric is really lovely. It gets easier when she can hold her head up!

    My first sling was a huge long wrap and I couldn't get the hang of it with my first. For my second I bought a Hotsling and LOVED it!!! They've improved the design now too. We had a couple of other carriers too, I've noticed the designs have all been improved since I last used one!

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  39. Aww what a sweet pic of you and baby Jane! I haven't been reading blogs lately (been so busy at work) so this is my first chance taking a look at her. (belated) Congratulations!! and what an awesome sling - I wish I had one when my son was a baby.

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  40. Oh my gosh! I LOVE this. I want to make my own. It's just darling! My little girl hated the carrier too until she got above 9 pounds. Now we walk around the house with it. Not as stylish as this gorgeous sling, however. And btw, that knit dress you are wearing is very flattering. Did you make it? You and baby Jane look fab!

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  41. You look so natural with that baby all snuggled up in there! That is gorgeous fabric, but I have say it is overshadowed a bit by Baby Jane. Hope you are enjoying these newborn days!

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