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Return to Main - DIY Babywearing on Facebook - TICKS Rules for Safe Babywearing - 4 Rules for Safe Fabric Selection

Don't know where to start? Start here.

So you want to wear your baby, and you want to do it yourself...but where to start? Start here. All the links will open up in a new tab/window so you can keep coming back to this page to get to the next step.

Step 1: What kind of carrier?

Start by reading through the different types of carriers. Pay attention to the pros and cons of each. For example, some are only good for newborns through the first couple months. Others can't be used at all until baby is sitting independently. Some may require a steep learning curve to learn how to make them.

It may help to also read about some specific comparisons as far as ease of construction, age appropriateness, and ease of use.

If you don't have a sewing machine and you are getting discouraged, don't give up! We have a page dedicated to what you can make without a sewing machine!

Step 2: Read through a tutorial

On the main page, there are tutorials listed for every major type of carrier. Some of these will provide links to external tutorials, and some we have local tutorials for. Read through the tutorial so you get a sense of what you are getting yourself into and what materials you will need.

Step 3: Acquire materials

The hardest part is the fabric. Read through the Four Rules of Safe Fabric Selection (which also includes some specific suggestions for types of fabrics to look for.) Keep that page bookmarked on your phone while you are shopping. If you aren't sure where to shop, check out this page which lists some good sources depending on what country you live in.

Step 4: Review Construction Basics

This page is not terribly organized, and references techniques for a lot of carriers, but is a good reference to skim through regarding how to safely hem fabric, reinforce straps, what thread to use, etc. Even questions regarding how many body panel layers you need for a buckle carrier or mei tai.

Step 5: Sew!

Go back to your tutorial, read it over one more time, and then go! Try! If you get stuck, come back to the Facebook group with questions or troubleshooting.

Step 6: Learn to use it

Review the TICKS Rules for Safe Babywearing before you start (and memorize it!)

Nearly every section in the carrier types page includes links to YouTube videos to learn to use your carrier. Check these out, and practice over a soft surface, like your bed. Check yourself in a mirror. If possible, get help from your local Babywearing International Chapter (in person at a meeting, or simply by posting a picture in their Facebook group for a "fit check" so they can help address safety concerns and make sure you and baby are as comfortable as possible.) If you don't have a local chapter, you can also join a global group like Everyday Babywearing. That particular group is full of Volunteer Babywearing Educators ready to lend a hand!

Remember than any carrier will take practice to learn to use it and be comfortable in. If you have never worn a baby regularly before, you may experience some soreness while you build up those specific muscles. If baby seems unhappy with being worn, start by getting a fit check at a BWI meeting or with some selfies on a Facebook babywearing group. This will make sure you are doing everything to make you and baby as comfortable as possible. After that, try wearing baby for short spurts every day to get him/her used to it. As soon as baby is up and secure, a change of scenery and brisk walking (like walking to the mailbox) can help distract baby and help him/her appreciate their new view!

-- Alyssa Leonard - 2016-09-30

Return to Main - DIY Babywearing on Facebook - TICKS Rules for Safe Babywearing - 4 Rules for Safe Fabric Selection

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Topic revision: r2 - 2017-02-06 - TWikiAdminUser
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