Monday, July 27, 2015

Tange-ring sling

Even though I have four kids and have owned twice as many carriers, I am a dilettante baby wearer.  I have always wanted to be one of those smiling moms you see in the photos, doing laundry or housework or running errands, all while a happy baby contentedly relaxes in the Ergo/Moby/mei tai/Beko/whatever.

But me wearing a baby never looks like that.  The baby is always beet red, screaming and flailing around, desperate to flip him or herself out of confinement.  My clothes are always bunched up somewhere, such that I am always flashing some belly flab, back flab, or more cleavage than I'd like.  And at least one bra strap is always showing.  It is not a pretty sight. 


When Niko was born I had a mei tai and a Beko (that needs a replacement buckle before I can put the baby in it).  I have tried wearing Niko in the mei tai a couple times and all of the above happened.  He hates it.   I was about to give up on baby wearing.  It was too stressful.

But then my husband's brother and his family came to visit.  During Niko's baptism, my sister-in-law popped my seven-month-old niece into a pretty blue sling. And that little baby sat contentedly on her mother's hip for the entire service.  It didn't hurt that both mother and baby are gorgeous. They could totally model ring slings.


In any case, I was intrigued, albeit skeptical that this would work for me.  As I happened to have an extra 2.5 yards of home dec sateen lying around (due to a Fabric.com order screw-up that at least wound up in my favor), I ordered some rings and got to work.


The fabric is the same that I used for an unblogged window seat cushion in our upstairs hallway.  My husband built the bench, which opens and stores linens, this past winter. The blue bookrack is a thrift store coup - $4!  I am considering painting it, maybe a medium or charcoal gray color.  Isn't this the cutest little nook?


Essentially, the sling is just a 2.5 yard long, 30" wide piece of fabric hemmed on both long sides and one short side, and then looped over both rings and sewn down on the other short side. I did some pleats on the looped-over part.

My rings are not quite big enough for the fabric. I am planning to take it apart and cut 4" or so off the width so that it will be easier to adjust through the rings. I also might take 10" or so inches off the length as it is quite long. It's not as elegant as the slings you buy online - it seems sling makers generally use fabric without a wrong side so that the tail looks like the rest of the sling. My fabric is a print so that doesn't work - but it was free and it was taking up room in my stash so I don't care.  Though the length does allow me to twist up the tail and use it as a cushion to support Niko's head, so maybe I'll leave it.


The most important bit of information to take away from this, though, is that it worked! He likes the sling!  And it wasn't just this photo session; I've worn him in the sling a few other times, for up to an hour at a stretch, and he did not cry!  I even think we kind of look like the smug ring sling models in these photos. 


Though, yes, my bra strap is showing.  I guess you can't win 'em all.

12 comments:

  1. Oh what a beautiful sight a contented baby is! He is so cute and you both wear that sling well.
    I am a bit envious of that charity shop bookshelf though, what a lucky find!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Katy. I know - I had been wanting a bookrack just like that one, but they were $100 in stores so I waited. I couldn't believe it when I found it there!

      Delete
  2. So happy you found something that works for you. Babywearing has been a total sanity saver in this house!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too :) I really enjoy wearing him when he's not screaming bloody murder.

      Delete
  3. Confirmed baby wearer here.
    You look wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, I made a seriously ugly ring sling before Maggie was born, and ended up using it a ton! It worked so well it was even worth the occasional "um, did you make that sling?" comments I got. Yes, it was THAT bad. LOL. I usually frog legged Maggie up in the pouch and wore her on my front, although I put her on my hip some later. I tend to switch to the Ergo once my kids reach a certain weight/age - it's not as good when they are newborns, but the back carry is great for older babies. Seriously, the more kids you have, the more you NEED babywearing, I think!

    You totally look like one of those smug baby wearing models. Actually, you and Niko look really beautiful and "Madonna and Child" here, bra straps and all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are sweet. The only carrier I was able to get any of my kids to tolerate the back carry in was my Beco Gemini, with Gabriel. I can't imagine this sling will be comfortable when Niko gets too much bigger so I plan to switch over to the Gemini then. I'm thrifting the mei tai, though; no one has ever liked it.

      Delete
  5. Yay! It looks great on you! HE looks great on you! One of my slings had a really long tail and it is also handy as a sun shade, a nursing cover (if you're into that), keeping people's germs off of baby, and for extra warmth in winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thanks Sarah. You are my baby wearing role model.

      Delete
  6. This is hilarious! I'm so glad to see the ring sling in bigger photos and hear that it's working for you. You and Niko look great! You could totally be ring sling models. We've given away our Moby and save the Beco for hipless-Jamison and just use the ring sling from now.
    -Michelle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle! I did end up making the water sling and have been using it this week at the beach - he likes that one too! You have changed my baby-wearing world :)

      Delete

Hi! I am so happy you came by. Thanks for your comment!