Improvised Carriers

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Improvised carriers

This section is about using what you have to comfortably and safely wear your baby. These are generally just simple pieces of cloth that are tucked or tied. Many of these are based on how traditional cultures around the world ‘wear’ their babies.

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Improvising carrier CollageDSA wide, strong scarf can become a ring sling style carrier using a slipknot. A shawl can do the same or be a Mexican Rebozo style back carry. It could also be a Kanga style torso carry, though a sarong or lava is best for this. There are a few more in this section too. This is a video clip that features in this chapter on how to make your own non stretchy wrap around sling from a single bed sheet.

It is important to follow the FITS acronym or TICKS for safety when improvising a carrier.

Always ensure your knots are firmly tied or your tucking is secure. Make sure your baby is well supported through his/her upper back and neck to ensure an open airway. A loose carrier could let your baby slump into a dangerous chin down position.


Wear your baby at the level you are comfortable with and get some help from someone else – watch the demonstrations together.

Babywearing does not have to be expensive or flash!

This is a wee impromptu play we had with some friends who were interested in learning how to use the Manta. Our Manta was a tablecloth!


This is my 2 year old in our traditional Manta – gifted to us by some friends who had been living in Peru. Their Peruvian nanny bought it at the market. It is the style and colours of her village.


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