Wednesday, October 21, 2015

DIY Woven Babywrap

If you've been reading my Teeny Peep Bumpdates or following me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I've been on a serious hunt for a woven baby wrap for a couple of months.  I wore Dutch on the reg until I was about 6 weeks pregnant with Teeny Peep and put on pelvic rest.  When our placenta issues resolved themselves around 19 weeks, my caregiver removed me pelvic rest and gave me the green light to wear Dutch again.  In the time that past since I wore Dutch, we both grew!  He got taller and I got wider lol  Because I couldn't wear him on my front due to my belly, my only option was on the side or on my back and my Moby wrap, which I have LOVED, was no longer a safe option for him.  The Moby is too stretchy for a safe back carry, so my search for alternatives began.  The Mr. loves the Bjorn still, because of the structure that comes with it, but that is exactly what I don't like about it; I prefer wraps.  Dutch and I were missing the contact and comfort from wrapping, and I really wanted to have that connection back with him.  For back wraps with toddlers, a woven material is the safest and most secure option, and so began my search for one.

I searched all over the internet for wraps, and what I found is that these things are expensive! I'm talking like $150-$300 each!  My search turned to used Facebook pages, consignment sales, and Ebay and Amazon, and I kept hitting a tall (and pricey) brick wall.  It seems that these wraps are so treasured that no one wants to part with theirs...and I honestly can't blame them simply based on the investment alone.  I posted on Facebook about borrowing a woven wrap and a generous friend from church gave me a ring sling, and I was thrilled to try it out.  Dutch and I practiced around the house with a side carry and back carry using the ring sling and it seemed to work great; however, when I wore it in public for longer than 30 minutes I was in intense pain at my stomach and clavicle.  I practiced with the fitting positions and posted on my babywearing group pages for help, and while I was wearing it properly, it still wasn't comfortable for longer periods of time.  I think this is due to the fact that my middle is growing daily.  Perhaps it wouldn't be so uncomfortable if I wasn't pregnant?  I'm definitely going to try it again after Teeny Peep arrives, but until then, I returned to the search for a woven wrap.  At the end of the day, I just couldn't justify a baby wrap purchase for anything over $75; that was my personal spending comfort line.

Then I had a thought, "Hey Darby, you know how to sew.  Why don't you just make a wrap?!"  Uh duh! So I began researching fabric options that were secure and safe for babies and toddlers for front and back carrying positions, while still being cost efficient.  I found that osnaburg (a muslin fabric) was the perfect fit for what I was looking for in a woven wrap.  Since we have a Joann's Fabric at the entrance of our neighborhood, one afternoon I drove around the corner for a peak; I was just going to look (famous last words, right?).  I ended up with a great deal and a DIY project sitting in my passenger seat.  I purchased 6 yards of osnaburg for $6/yard and I had a 40% coupon from their website, so I spent $22 (much more affordable than anything I found on the internet!).  As soon as I got home & Dutch went down for his nap, I got started & was done with the entire wrap in about 25 minutes :-) Awesome, right?! So let me tell you how to make your own woven wrap without killing yourself or your bank account!Woven Baby Wrap
Materials:
6 yards of osnaburg- it seems like a lot but for a back carry it is perfect!
permanent marker or ribbon
sewing machine- thread & scissors

Instructions:
1.When you purchase the fabric in yards it comes as 45 inches in width.  You will want to cut it to 31 inches.  To wrap you will want to know where the middle of the wrap is located, so mark the middle either with a permanent marker or sewing a ribbon on the rail at the middle.
2. Sew a seem on both ends, the top & the bottom.  Feel free to use different colors of thread for the long sides (or rails) to help you distinguish the top from the bottom when tightening your wrap.  If you're new to babywearing this may be really helpful for you, but if you're really comfortable with wrapping you could just use a single color.
3. Start wrapping!

Seriously, I don't think this could get easier: 
CUT, SEW SEEMS, WRAP! :-)
DIY Baby Wrao Instructions
I have seen some mamas dye their wraps or add colorful fabrics to the ends, and you can decorate your wrap anyway you want.  I personally like the neutral and natural color of osnaburg so I have left mine alone.  Osnaburg does shrink so you might want to wash it first.  It also feels a little scratchy (or as they say in the babywearing community "diggy", but with a single wash it's completely fine).  I wash mine on mild and delicate settings in cool water, and dry it with a gentle setting.

This wrap is ah-maz-ing!  My toddler is 22 lbs and I'm 6 months pregnant and don't have any discomfort; it is perfect for us!  Dutch and I are so happy to be babywearing again and so glad that this took no time at all and was so affordable!  Happy babywearing mamas!

1 comment:

Anne said...

As a fellow lover of baby wearing, I have a ergo, Mai tei, and the mr. Has a infantino flip he loves. I couldn't get into wrapping, but my bestirs sweet mama just made me a gorgeous ring sling. We used a gorgeous linen blend material. And I'm obsessed with it plus my big almost 1 year old likes it. ;) AND I can still lift my almost 4 year old!!! ;) yay to baby wearing!!

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