How to Make a Baby Sling From a Sheet

Mother with baby girl traveling by train looking out of window
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During an emergency situation, keeping your baby safe while you tend to unexpected challenges is a priority. In addition to caring for your baby's physical needs, you may need to find creative ways to carry your baby, because your hands will be occupied as you deal with with a number of urgent issues. 

Making a baby sling from material in your home will help keep your hands free and increase your mobility.

Material Needed to Make a Baby Sling

All you need to create your own baby sling is a long length of fabric. Preferably, you would want to find a breathable fabric that doesn't have a great deal of stretch or pull to it. A top sheet from your bed is the right size and texture to function perfectly in a pinch when you need to move quickly. A tablecloth or a large towel may work as well. 

DIY Sling Steps

  1. Begin by folding your sheet in half lengthwise. You want the sheet to be long and narrow.
  2. Put the folded sheet over the shoulder of your dominant hand. Place it so that the fold opens toward the outside of your body.
  3. Be sure that the front part of the sheet is hanging at about your waist level. Allow the other end of the fabric to drape over your back.
  4. Tie a slip knot in the sheet by following the steps below.
    1. Pull the end of the sheet at your waist in front of you.
    2. Hold the material that is hanging down your back, and drape it around your lower back to place it underneath your other arm. Pull that end towards the front, making sure the material is taut against your back. You may want to "pinch" the material against your body using the elbow of your non-dominant hand.
    3. Place the long end of the sheet that is under your arm over top the shorter end of the sheet that is draped over your shoulder to tie the knot.
    4. Pull the long end under the short end and pull up through.
    5. Pull the knot so that it tightens at your chest at a comfortable tension.
    6. Now make an "X" with the ends of the sheet so that the long end is under the short end that is at your dominant side.
    7. Bring the long end up and through to complete the slip knot.
  1. At this point, the end of the sheet on your dominant side can be held out straight, while the side that passed under your other arm can slide up and down to adjust the tension.
  2. Reposition the sheet on your body so that the knot is sitting just slightly in front of your shoulder, not on top or toward your back.
  3. The fabric of the sheet at your chest now forms a pouch. Depending on the age of your baby, there are several different ways you can carry her in your home-made baby sling. Choose one of the positions below based on your baby's development. Note that these positions are all similar to the positions that you would use for ring slings.
    1. Cradle hold for newborns or babies without good neck control.
    2. Buddha carry, baby faces out. Good for babies 3 to 6 months old.
    3. Hip carry, for 5 months to 2 years old.
    4. Back carry for 6 months to 2 years old.
  4. Once you have placed your baby in the pouch, adjust the sling for comfort. Fan the fabric at your shoulder out so that more of your shoulder's surface area is covered. This will help spread the weight of your baby out over the shoulder.
  1. Finally, adjust how close your baby is to your body by pulling the short end of the sheet out in front of you, and sliding the knot up or down to suit your comfort.

Emergency Evacuation

Emergency situations that require evacuation are relatively rare, but they do happen. Fires, floods, power outages, storms, earthquakes, volcanos and human violence are all among the disasters that require rapid evacuation. Having a baby during a time of emergency adds a great deal of stress to an already stressful situation.

A sling can keep your baby close and safe, as well as giving you the chance to take care of things quickly, such as packing an evacuation kit.