Parenting: Babywearing

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Uses for a square of merino

Square of knit merino (between $20 and $30 from Global Fabrics for nice colours or have a look for offcuts from TradeMe), machine-hemmed (if you can be bothered).
  • Sling tied in knot on shoulder (leaves one hand free, not both)
  • Baby-wearing sling tied at waist and shoulder (both hands usable for other things, but one elbow is used at all times to provide extra security)
  1. Open out square.
  2. Tie the two bottom corners round your waist, so it's quite snug.
  3. Tie the two top corners above one shoulder so that the fabric wraps around your body.
  4. Slot baby in so its feet dangle out below your waist and the top edge sits against baby's shoulders.
  5. Let baby 'sit' on your forearm on that side, through the fabric, so it can't slide out).
  • Shawl
  • Changing cloth (in a pinch -- it's slightly water-resistant, not absorbent or waterproof)
  • Blanket for lying baby on when you are out and about and want to put baby on ground or sofa
  • Blanket
  • Cloth to clean baby up with if no cotton ones are handy
  • Folded down tight in base of handbag, just in case
  • Swaddling cloth in winter (nice and warm and slightly springy!)

Purpose-made silk sling

I use a 700 x 1150 mm piece of dupion silk as a sling. I've gathered the ends and sewn them each stoutly to two piece of heavy black tape, then used a nice solid buckle to thread the tape through, to make it adjustable. For a little baby, you can put the head and body in the sling and let the legs dangle from the knee down, and for an older baby, you can sit them in the sling, facing you. It's not hands-free, but it's convenient and easy. The best thing is that the sling packs down really small. You can buy padded slings, but that makes them hard to transport.

Enormous long wrap that ties the baby to you securely

I used a Hug-a-bub wrap and found it wonderful.

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