Summertime is fast approaching!
Soon, you’ll be able to take a refreshing dip in the pool, attend lakeside barbecues and feel the sand between your toes at the beach.
What’s a mama to do with her infant when she wants to enjoy the water? Here’s a simple DIY idea to make your own ring sling that even a stumbling seamstress can manage it!
How to Make a Ring Sling
- 2-2.5 yards of athletic mesh fabric, which is a type of material that is breathable, you can often find in basketball shorts. Of course, I ordered mine from Fabric.com (in my favorite color) for less than $2 a yard!
- A set of sling rings, which you can order from SlingRings for about $3. I ordered a sampler set of the nylon rings to test which size worked best for my sling, and I settled on the small ones. I chose nylon over aluminum to avoid rust issues. Because they are less slippery — the mesh is already a pretty smooth fabric, so the nylon feels more secure than metal.
- Optional item: A sewing machine and/or needle and thread. Hem the sling makes it sturdier and easier to adjust, but this is unnecessary. If you choose to hem, it doesn’t have to be done to a golden standard of sewing. Even the most basic sewing machine skill will work just fine.
Step 1: Lay the mesh on the floor and cut it in half lengthwise. This will allow you to make two slings: one for you and one for a friend! I passed off my extra mesh to another mama and told her what size rings she needed to order to make herself a $3 sling. Needless to say, she was pretty psyched.
Step 2: If you want to hem your sling, hem the edges with a straight stitch. Hemming may help the fabric to hold up better through repeated wear and washing, making adjusting the sling a little bit easier.
Step 3: Thread your sling through your set of sling rings.
Step 4: Put your baby comfortably into the sling and enjoy the pool!
This sling works for babies as young as six months old to swim in the pool or the lake.
Babies that young cannot regulate their body temperature so being kept close to the mama ensures that the baby will be comfortable in the cool water.
Plus, babies who might be scared of the water will often stay calm if they feel secure and snugly attached to their mom.
A word of caution: When you thread your sling, ensure it feels nice, tight, and secure before putting your baby in it.
Always double-check that the baby is secure in the sling after you put them in. If the sling isn’t properly threaded, it could lead to your baby falling out.
This sling is a wonderful tool for keeping your baby close in the water and keeping a hand free for you to do other things.
Remember, it will not be as secure as a buckle carrier, especially when holding a baby over 20 lbs.
Due to the athletic mesh being stretchy, heavier babies may cause the sling to sag and slip, so always be vigilant when wearing your baby!
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