How to Wear Your Unpadded Sling

Please remember that learning to use a baby sling will take time. Practice, patience and persistence will allow you to learn to easily and quickly place your baby comfortably and securely inside your sling.

THREADING YOUR SLING: It is very important to thread the fabric properly through the rings. Lay your sling down with the pocket facing up. Then take the pocket end and spread the fabric out. Take the fabric to the right side of the pocket in your right hand, and the fabric to the left side of the pocket in your left hand. Gather the fabric together, working towards the center, as if you are folding up a fan. When you reach the center, your sling should be all gathered together. Now thread about 1/3 of the fabric up through both rings. Fold the fabric over and loop it back through the bottom ring.

Your sling can be worn on either shoulder. If you would like to wear the sling on your right shoulder switch the lefts and rights in these directions. To wear this sling on your left shoulder: Hold the rings of your sling with your right hand. Be sure the tail is in front of the loop. Put your right arm through the loop and bring the sling over your head. Rest the rings in front of your left shoulder. They should rest on your collarbone, where you would wear a corsage. It's very important that the rings do not move from this spot, no matter what position you are wearing your baby in.

Using your sling with Newborns and Small Infants: Whenever you place your newborn in your sling, always support your baby's head until the sling has been tightened enough to provide support. The most common position for nursing is when the baby's head is opposite the rings. Depending on his/her length, the legs/thighs may be poking out of the sling on the ring side. As you nurse, you can completely cover yourself by placing the tail of the sling over your shoulder. Some newborns are happier in a vertical position. Your baby can be carried this way if you tighten the sling enough to support your baby's head. Always wear your sling as snugly as you can comfortably do so.

Nursing/Sleeping Position: Open the pouch of the sling and carefully set your baby inside. While you support your baby's weight and head, pull on the tail to tighten one side of the pouch and pulling on the other side of the tail to tighten the other side of the pouch. Once your baby is securely in the sling, start moving around. Babies associate the snugness of the sling with the womb - hence, movement is crucial.

Using your sling with Older Babies and Toddlers:

Kangaroo Carry: This position works best with younger babies who have head control (3-9 months, up to 18-20 lbs). Put on your sling and open the pouch as if you were planning to put your baby in lying down. Cross your baby's legs and place your baby in sitting up. While supporting your baby's weight, pull on the tail to tighten the sling.

Hip Carry: This is an excellent position for heavy toddlers (6 months and up) because your hip is used to support your child's weight. Put your child in your sling and rest your child on your hip with your child's legs straddling you. The bottom of the sling should extend out to your child's knees. The top of the sling should come up to your child's arms.

Wearing your baby on your back: Once your baby is securely in the Pouch you may slide the Pouch and baby around to your back. Pay attention to your baby's movements because it is possible to climb out of the Pouch. Bring your child back to the front if he/she is trying to get out. We recommend this position with cooperative babies, age 15+ months.

Washing Instructions Your sling can be machine washed and dried. For best results, wash in cold water and either line-dry or tumble dry on low.

A few words about the Velcro® closure at the shoulder... I started putting Velcro® on my slings when I first started making slings for myself, over seven years ago. I did this for a number of reasons, and over time I found many other benefits, a few of which are: I prefer Sea Dog® brand nylon rings over metal rings or wooden rings. Wooden rings break, and metal rings are, well, metal. Which means that I had to take my baby out of the sling to go through security checkpoints at the airport or courthouse, and if I left the sling in the car in the summer, the sling was unusable because of the burning hot metal rings. Sea Dog® nylon rings do not get so burning hot, and I have never heard of one breaking. The down side of Sea Dog® rings is that they are hard to find and relatively expensive, and since I like to have several slings (I am including instructions for making more slings for yourself), I put Velcro® on the slings so I can change the rings from one sling to another. Other advantages of Velcro® is that I never have to listen to the rings banging around my washer and dryer, and when I use the sling at the park or church as a blanket for my baby, I could remove the rings and [the little kicker] would not wake himself up by kicking the rings or banging himself. I have had the occasional question about the safety of the Velcro® closure over just sewing the rings in, and I guess if the sling was not worn correctly, there could be a safety issue. However if the sling is worn with the Velcro-ed flap on the underside at the shoulder with the rings in the "corsage position", the Velcro® could not slip. If you are still concerned, take a couple of diaper pins and pin the flap closed near the Velcro®.

Safety Instructions Safe baby wearing tips. Baby slings have been safely worn by countless moms. However, there are some common-sense guidelines parents should follow to ensure their children's safety:

You can download this document as a PDF.

Don't forget to check out the sister document, How To Make An Unpadded Sling.

© 2004, 2005 by Corrine Flatt, all rights reserved. Before sharing, please email me for the most updated version.   Do not modify this written document. Do not post on the Internet
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