DIY Mesh/Water Baby Carriers

Monday, July 28, 2014

I've gotten really excited about babywearing with Colden! Having my hands free with two is amazing! I wear Colden all the time in our Ergo carrier: around the house, on walks, grocery shopping etc. (I use the Moby for back-up but mine gets really saggy.) He falls asleep so quickly while I'm wearing him. Which is super convenient at church. He even nurses sometimes too. (In case you're wondering, I haven't had much luck with this discreetly in public but once I feel really comfortable with it at home, I'll give it a shot!)

With summer here, I knew wearing him would be ideal while chasing Bridger around the rec center pool and splash pads. But using the Ergo or Moby didn't seem practical. I started researching water carriers and joined a local babywearing group on Facebook. I found that DIY mesh carriers were the answer! Since I had so much trouble finding tutorials or tips on how to make these, I'm sharing now about how and what I did to make my own in case anyone wants to make some of their own!

Mesh Ring Sling 
Sewing machine
ballpoint needle (trust me, you'll need this needle. I broke 2 normal needles until I used a ballpoint!)
2.5-3 yards of athletic mesh (aka football jersey mesh)
thread to match
one pair of nylon rings in small (from

I'm not an expert, so I'm not making a tutorial. But here is what I know: I used this video tutorial. I had to re-do the pleats 4 times and then un-picked 2 full seams. Super annoying with mesh! I later learned after meeting another mom who has made several, that you can make these using the "gathered method" and it's 20 billion times easier. Here is a decent tutorial, but basically all you do is pull the end of your fabric through both rings and then fold it back on itself 4+ inches from the rings. Then sew 2-3 straight lines (I would use a zigzag stitch).

My thoughts on the ring sling: I don't love it. Even with a 1 month old, it's uncomfortable and digs into my shoulder.  I find it hard to get Colden sitting comfortably in it.  I've thought about selling it or giving it away but it is nice to have an extra carrier around. And it's so pretty! Watch several good video tutorials on how to wear ring slings if you go this route, they can be tricky.

One thing I really like about this carrier is that I can bunch the tail under the top rail for head support. 

After seeing some moms at a babywearing meet-up with DIY mesh wraps, I decided to give one a try. So glad I did! So much easier to make and a breeze to use.

Mesh Wrap or Water Wrap (my favorite!)
5-5.5 yards or athletic mesh (same athletic mesh as the RS, should be ~60 inches wide)
3-4 inches of ribbon

  1. So you have a choice here,  you could make 2 or 3 wraps. If you make two, you will cut your fabric in half longways to make two wraps that are 30 inches wide and 5 yards long. If you want three, you'll cut twice to make 3 wraps that are 20 inches wide and 5 yards long. I made 3 and find that 20 inches is just fine.
  2. Now find the middle of your wrap. Take your ribbon and sew it on to remind you where the middle is when you go to wrap it. All done! Now you have 1 or 2 extra to keep on hand or to give to a friend!
You wrap this the way you would a Moby. They have several helpful wrapping tutorial videos. I actually bought the end of the bolt and only was able to get 4 yards and 20 inches. With my body type, this works fine. I just tie around behind instead of in the front.

Well I hope this helps anyone looking for a way to babywear in the water! Let me know if you have any questions!

Update: For those of you who do not want to spend the time to make a water wrap, here are several companies who make them: Beachfront Baby Carriers, Stekki Bebe, Wrapsody, Splash Magic Wraps.


  1. Did you hem the jersey fabric for the wrap?

    1. I would if i had a serger! But mesh doesn't fray so I didn't worry with the yards and yards of hemming!

  2. Where did you buy the fabric? Great post!

    1. I found my fabric at Hancock Fabrics! My location had lots of color choices in late spring!

  3. Sorry, posted the wrong link. I have a video tutorial just for mesh water slings here:
    which might be helpful to your users.

  4. How did you cut the fabric? Did you use scissors or a rotary cutter?

    1. Just scissors, but a rotary cutter would be much easier I'm sure!

  5. where did you buy the fabric?

  6. What's the difference between the football mesh and athletic mesh? In the above pictures are they the same fabric? I'm looking online and the football mesh looks like the ring sling pic but the wrap pic looks different. I just don't want to make a mistake. Is the wrap royal? I love it and that's the color I would like.

  7. I'm trying to find fabric and I'm not crafty at all so I have no idea what I'm looking for really. I'm searching on Joanns. I'm finding a lot of Casa Collection Mesh Fabric in different colors that look nice, it says 100% nylon and 63in wide. Will this work?

  8. What do you believe the weight limit would be for this type of wrap?

  9. Hahaha, like a kangaroo! Such a cute diy project.

  10. I Loved Your Style
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  11. Thank you so much for this post! (Yes, I know it’s five years old!) I have a 9 and 7 year old, and a two month old. We made a last-minute decision to go to a water park tomorrow, and I needed a water-friendly carrier immediately. I had planned to make the wrap style carrier because the process seemed the most simple, but my local craft store did not have the mesh. I did find swimsuit material however, but I thought wrapping it around myself in multiple layers would be too much. I’ve made a cotton ring sling before, so I decided to go the ring sling route instead. I was very thankful that you linked to the gather method tutorial because I was not about to attempt pleats with slick, stretchy fabric! I gathered, and it turned out great! (I used a solid color, not print, to hide all the imperfections!) I didn’t measure or finish any edges. I just compared the length to my other ring sling. I wound up needing to cut more length off because of how stretchy this fabric is, but in the end, I am really pleased with how it turned out! And it only took me about an hour, which included all the cutting.


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