Tag Archives: IBW2014

Babywearing: Hacks, Simplicity and For Cheaps

Sometimes, the world of babywearing can seem kinda intimidating. I felt like there was SO MUCH I didn’t know and that at any given moment I would say the wrong thing within a Babywearing group and have a ton of people tell me off.


Image source

I couldn’t have been more wrong about the response. Generally, I have found the online babywearing community to be really supportive and eager to share knowledge because so many who wear their babies are so passionate about why they do it- not just about their pretty carriers and wraps!

I highly suggest you have a look at the links at the bottom of this post for a Babywearing Group near you- even if you never get to a sling meet, there is still a wealth of knowledge and experience to be gained from other wearers.

Now, on to some simplicity, savings and hacks.

Many people start out with a narrow based structured carrier like the Baby Bjorn or similar more generic carriers from chain stores. For some of us, these are like a “gateway drug” into the world of carriers. There are many, though, who find these so uncomfortable that they abandon them and never go back. They often have the ability to forward face your baby, which is not considered optimal. It puts their back into an uncomfy position, the narrow base can put pressure on their tailbone and it’s not great for the wearer’s back, either. This article is a great summary on forward facing. Basically, while it’s not going to kill you, there are way more comfy ways to wear. But what if money is tight and you don’t have the cash for another carrier? No worries! Enter the Scarf Hack:


A simple scarf, tied correctly, can provide a much wider, more ergonomic, knee-to-knee seat for your bub when carried facing mum or dad- which allows them to look around comfortably or to snuggle in when the world gets a bit too much. Click the image to read a how-to.



Image source (and well worth a read)

While I love pretty carriers and wraps and I can rattle off a list of affordable brands, sometimes even the most affordable wraps and carriers are out of reach. That doesn’t mean you can’t babywear and babywear safely. This video teaches you how to wrap with a bedsheet, for example.

Here is an example of torso-carrying, which suits older babies and toddlers, using a beach towel.

This video by Chelsea from Keep Calm and Carry Them which is another great resource.

Another thing to remember is that you can sew your own carriers with a bit of know-how. I can’t. Because I can’t sew. But my cousin can. She fabulous at it. She makes her living upcycling old clothing and stuff into fabulous bags- you should check her stuff out because she’s truly amazing! Anyway, she made one of my ring slings from a beautiful linen I found. We researched which thread and fabric to use and bought proper, weight tested sling rings.

The result:image

Babywearing doesn’t have to cost a fortune. My cheapest carrier is my selendang, which I still use even thought Miss B is 2. It’s still great for a quick rebozo carry.


This carrier cost me around $15 on eBay. Here’s how to tie a rebozo.

It’s also good to know that many local groups have sling libraries to allow you to borrow a carrier to try. You can also hire carriers, often in test packs, to see what works for your family before you invest. Frangipani Baby offers very affordable trial packs- check them out here.

Don’t forget- I’m giving away prizes all this week on my facebook page. Today’s giveaway is a key fob made from Pollora Naledi Twilight Wrap scrap- click here to see the pic on facebook and follow the instruction to enter!


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The Babywearing Bug

During my last pregnancy, I caught a virus. It came on slowly. The first symptom was a vague interest in a passing stranger wearing a Baby Bjorn. I thought it looked interesting but I wasn’t sold on how comfortable it might be. Before I knew it, I found myself looking up baby slings on eBay.


There were so many! I couldn’t make a purchase- I didn’t know enough. What to do? I thought I’d just forget about it- too hard to figure out, right? But that’s not how this bug works. I found myself idly reading blogs and forum threads about which carriers were best, which were safest, which were easiest to use.

Somehow, I found myself standing at the front door of a stranger, ready to hand over $80 for a second hand Ergobaby carrier. Soon after, the postman delivered a red cotton ring sling and a pouch sling. I felt I was all set.

Baby B arrived and I soon mastered the ring sling. I tried the pouch a few times but couldn’t work it out. Google lead me to the TICKS guidelines:


Image source

So the pouch went by the wayside and virus really took root. I had worked out the Ergo but it was….well… black and…plain. Which is totally fine and was not an issue at all…Until the virus had really taken hold! You see, the Babywearing Bug likes pretties. It’s not very often that the Babywearing Bug strikes in it’s mildest form, limiting the host to one or two simple carriers.


It escalates. Quickly.

One thing to watch out for if you do become infected is that it can be very contagious. Your family aren’t safe. Before you know it, your partner will be using your slings and carriers.


If you have older children, they aren’t immune.


Even the child you’re usually wearing might start displaying signs of infection.


Then there are your friends. They aren’t around you nearly as much as your family, right? So they should be pretty safe, right? Wrong. Even if they chuckle at you while you hang out your new your selendang to dry after washing and call you a crazy hippy, they can still catch the bug.  Even if they never really used a carrier before except a brief foray with a Bjorn- once the infection hits, there is nothing you can do but ride it out. Even if they were one of the lucky ones, who only had a mild case before and was perfectly satisfied with the one or two carriers they had- be warned- exposure can reignite the dormant bug. Here’s the story of how I unwittingly infected 3 friends.


Excuse the grainy shot!

Take the first friend I mentioned. We’ll call her Friend 1. Mum of a primary school kiddo, a toddler and now a newborn. Also now the proud owner of a woven ring sling, woven wrap, mei tai and an Ergo who has a wrap conversion structured carrier on the way.

The next one mentioned? Let’s call her Friend 2. She never really got into the idea. One day she mentioned how frustrating it was having to carry her petite little miss when dropping off her older child at school. I gave her a ring sling and a 5 minute tutorial. She has a mei tai now as well.

The third one, Friend 3, was pretty happy with her Ergo for a long time. Then she tried on my Tula Carrier

Really, it’s been the Tula that did it. Seems this virus can force the host to fixate on a certain type of carrier, wrap or sling and even that fixation can be caught.

Case in point being myself and the three lovely ladies I’ve been telling you about. Take lovely Friend 3, for example. She tried on my Tula and saw immediately how much more comfortable it was for a bigger child and ordered her own…with custom accessories of course. Before too long she was avidly figuring out how the stockings work and scored herself a beautiful full wrap conversion of which I am insanely jealous. So now she has two!


Tandem Tula-ing!

Except, here’s the thing. This other one she really wanted came up in a stocking…so Tula #3 is it’s on the way from the U.S of A!.

In the same week, I decided I really needed this Tula, because unicorns!!! …am I right?


Image source

Also in that same week, the other two friends I mentioned? Friend 1 ordered this Tula– called ‘Float Away’ and Friend 2? She had ordered the beautiful ‘Oasis’ Tula. So all of us. Independently. In the same week.


This is how insidious and contagious the Babywearing Bug can be. You, your family, your friends… no one is safe! 


Don’t forget to check out my facebook page each day this week- there is a giveaway every day!

Linking up to confess my infection-spreading!

I Must Confess
Have a laugh on me
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International Babywearing Week Giveaways!


Bennie is wrapped here in a Girasol Fiesta woven

If you haven’t already, now is the time to “like” Handbag Mafia on Facebook because this week is International Babywearing Week and I have a weeks worth of giveaways!

Prizes include:

  • Wrap Scrap Jewellery by My Squishy Monkey
  • Wrap Scrap/Babywearing Key fobs
  • Suck Pads for your SSC (Soft structured carriers- like the Ergo, Manduca, Tula, Beco etc) custom made for this giveaway by While Baby Sleeps
  • A dolly carrier for the mini-baby wearer in your life!image Be sure to check the Facebook page each morning for that day’s chance to win, and tag your Babywearing friends to share the love ❤ 


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