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?
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.