Free Hands, Happy Hearts!
The Development of Nursing Classics #202,
The Very Best Baby Sling Ever!
by Elizabeth Lee Parry
This is me carrying 6 month old Lauren in "The Very Best Baby Sling Ever!" on our trip to Mexico. I am holding a baby alligator! Do you think Lauren knew what I was doing?
This was fun! No diaper bags, no stroller ... just my sweet baby, a baby sling and a fanny pack! What freedom! You can do the same!
I am wearing a great casual nursing top fashioned from Nursing Classics #107. It was perfect for nursing anytime and anywhere!
After traveling with 5 babies over the years, this pattern was born little by little, trip by trip. With my oldest baby, I used a stroller everywhere I went and with the stroller went heavy diaper bags, suitcases, and assorted baby paraphernalia I thought I needed. After going on a trip to Europe with my mother, I looked down at all the "stuff" I had and knew there had to be a better way. She had one large shoulder-bag and was FREE! I had 4 suitcases, a stroller and a baby! I felt so burdened and weighed down the entire trip! With each child and each trip, I slowly learned to simplify my life....and as each piece of "luggage" was discarded, I found I could walk easier, smile brighter and feel a bit more free! While traveling with a baby will always require more "stuff" than you might like to carry, we have designed this pattern to help you take your baby anywhere in the world and keep your hands free at the same time!
As the focal point of this pattern, we are so pleased to introduce the "Very Best Baby Sling Ever!". We streamlined this pattern and made it the safest, easiest to sew, and easiest to use sling you will ever find! Best of all, you get to make it yourself!
I started using a basic baby sling when my oldest was 3 years old. He still liked to be cuddled and there were times he was too tired to walk. It's much easier to carry a 3 year old in a sling than in your arms. With each new baby I sewed new slings, revising, changing and adapting to find something that was just perfect for me. During all of this, I tried back packs, front packs, and every type of baby carrier imaginable...always going back to the sling for its comfort and versatility!
After trying lots of slings that were cut too narrow, with not enough padding and straps that literally "flew" through the rings, unable to hold even a mid-sized baby, I developed this design for simplicity, safety, and practicality! The design is as "back to basics" as possible! It has a wonderfully soft shoulder pad that can double as a pillow for your baby when changing a diaper! The tail end is very safe and secure even for carrying a five year old! The sling also works great for nursing your baby! Because I have trouble losing my car keys, and know that many of you share the same problem, you can clip your keys right to the sling when you head into the store! This feature also doubles the security so the fabric absolutely cannot slip through the rings! The unique construction of the tail also allows you to adjust each side of the sling separately so you can add support just where you need it! There are no pockets attached to the sling itself because pockets are difficult to access while a baby is in the sling and we often felt that items in the pocket detracted from the line and safety of the sling. We designed the fanny pack to hold a few diapers, wipes, and a few small items that you might need. There is also a hidden pocket in the back to hold your credit cards and cash. With a fanny pack for your "stuff" and a sling for your baby, you can go anywhere and have your hands free...every day of your life!The child sling is a very simple version of our big sling and is perfect so your child can carry a doll or teddy bear!
A few years ago, my family planned a mini-vacation to a zoo and an amusement park. My baby Morgan was 11 months old and a very heavy baby. I was tempted to buy a stroller but I decided I didn't want to be stuck "babysitting" a stroller while everyone else had fun! I made a new baby sling for Morgan and a fanny pack for all the "stuff" and hoped I wouldn't get too tired. It worked wonderfully! We could get on the merry-go-round and other rides easily and quickly. When Morgan wasn't in the sling, it was easily carried and we could use it as a sunshield for the other children or as a changing pad for the baby. The fanny pack held 2 diapers and a small zipper lock bag with wipes and a change of clothes. We left EVERYTHING else in the car. My husband and I took turns with the baby...no one was tired and everyone had fun! When Morgan fell asleep, we just left him in the sling and we continued whatever it was we were doing!
The only thing we really had a problem with was WATER! Everyone wanted it, but no one wanted to carry it. We solved that problem with our water bottle carrier. It holds a standard 1-1 & ½ liter of bottled water and can be carried easily over one shoulder or strapped on your fanny pack or on a belt. The more you drink the lighter your load gets. If you have a lot of kids and are headed for a hot day...make one for everyone! They can refill their bottles as needed and it is easy to carry as well.
The tote-bag was designed later on when we went on a trip to Mexico. I realized that sometimes it is unrealistic to think you can put everything in a fanny pack...especially if you are buying souvenirs. The tote bag can be made lined or unlined and is a good place to keep your fanny pack, water bottle carrier, and a few extra things for your baby or anything else you need to carry so you can free up your hands! It will also hold your baby sling when you are not using it. The straps are just the right size so you can sling it over your shoulder.
You can use each item featured in this pattern in your daily life or on an African Safari, but mostly we hope this patterns helps give you a little more freedom to walk a little easier, smile a little brighter, carry your baby a little longer, hug him one more time...and teach him that love is the greatest power on earth! Love!
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Nursing Classics #202