Babywearing with Jess

Two ways to make a DIY babywearing “doll”

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So I have posted before about why sling and carrier consultants love using babywearing dolls, it makes it easier to practise, its not only safer but makes sure your attitude and general vibes to the process, which are in turn passed on to bubs, can be more confident and it helps when learning.

But I also mentioned, professional babywearing dolls are expensive.

 

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They are made to order and hand crafted. The have rotatable joints and weighted limbs and bodies. The are pretty important to us as consultants {for the love of God people, if you aren’t going to pick it up like a real baby, grab it by the clothes! I dread to think how quickly one of my dolls arms is going to be ripped off!).

But in saying that, I only in the last few months got dolls of my own. And I have been demonstrating and showing people tips and tricks with a carrier for much longer than that!

There are a number of ways to do so.

Obviously an actual real life child is an option. In my experience they can be a pain though. They have needs and desires and can be difficult and vocal hahaha all this is obviously what is normal with children but in a demo or practise setting, it can be a bit of a barrier…

So, while I have actually strapped a bag of potatoes to me to show someone a finish when the kids where in bed, I do recommend you use something at least with a resemblance to arms and legs…

 

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If you have a doll or teddy with a soft body it’s an option.. if you can find one that has some resemblence to knees and hips that’s even better but hey, work with what you’ve got!
My kids have a toy koala that is roughly baby sized and has knees of sorts and it’s feet even have some bean weightedness to them so that’s a good option for me… I have also used dolls, like maternity setting ones which are typically not that weighted.

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So there are a couple of ways you can make your own option… one horrified my children and husband and they all declared I wasn’t allowed to play with the kids toys anymore and get my own, which I did.. but I will get to that in a sec.. first a less permanent solution…

 

 

The Weighted Nappy trick 

So you have a soft toy or a doll that has hopefully some resemblance to arms and legs, hips and knees would be great but a soft body toy will work if that’s what you have…
Using rice or river stones or something similar to create some extra weight, put them in zip lock bags. I tap over the zip locks because I have had one “rice explosion” incident..  the doll equivalent to a poonami I guess! 😉
Then I use a cloth nappy, I’m sure a disposable would probably also work but the studs or Velcro on a cloth one, plus the fact you can take out some extra inserts or padding if you need, makes it my preferred option. Plus it means I get to use some of the cute nappies that Jai has outgrown too! 😉

Just stick your weighted bag inside the nappy laid on the floor and put it on your doll or teddy…

the-weighted-nappy-trick

 

You can take it off when your done and no one gets hurt… OR there is another option…

 

The full blown ‘decapitate, gut and stuff’ method 

 

This is the one that had my husband and kids looking at me horrified and telling me to stay away from the toy box.

 

I said to then, “the koala is actually a really good option are you sure I can’t make it weighted properly?? It will still be a cool toy just heavier… I’ll just unpick it’s throat, pull out some stuffing, put some rocks in there are sew it up again! It won’t even take me long!”

Yeah… they snatched the koala out of my hands haha Josh screamed, “get your own toys mum!!”  hahaha fair enough kid…
So I did.. while I am totally keen for having a menagerie of animals instead of somewhat creepy looking doll faces looking out at me from the plastic storage tubs, most of them are not quite as fit for purpose as the dear koala of theirs…

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So I went so a soft body doll option from Kmart.. These ones are actually a great option for me cause its “no sew”. The dolls heads are actually attached to the bodies with cable ties so it makes for a clean decapitation in that sense…

Just cut the cable ties and unthread it and you have a head less doll. Next gut it. you don’t need to pull out all the stuffing but I found it best when we go some rocks into the plastic bits of the arms and legs.. my kids actually thought this was a great activity to help me with when it wasn’t their toys I was decapitating so the dolls got rocks left right and centre really… we even weighted their heads a little bit!

Then we put stuffing back in. Into the plastic bits too, hoping to prevent a bit of rattle but that only really half worked..

 

 

Once your baby has stuffed arms and legs again and a bit of a bum, stick a bag of rocks or sand inside, similar fashion to the one used in the Weighted Nappy option and put it in the core of your doll, close to the bum if you can but you want to put lots of stuffing under and around it too or you will end up with a lumpy bummed or backed baby haha

Either of these is a great option of you have a wrap or sling and are pregnant and keen to try before bubba arrives… Another option of course is to check out a babywearing educator or workshops near you 🙂 – http://babywearingeducators.co.nz/babywearingeducators/

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