How to Make a Baby Carrier out of a Scarf or Shawl

Breanna | September 2, 2021 |

As long as your material is sturdy without too much stretch or slick texture, you can use it much like the bedsheet baby carrier method. Most tutorials recommend a length of at least 80 inches long and 28 inches wide (or wider). You can always fold the material if you need to downsize. 

Can you use any type of scarf?

You can use any regular type of scarf or shawl as long as it’s made with a breathable material like cotton or muslin and meets the length requirements for tying. Heavier fabrics like wool and chunky knits, or slick materials like silk, are not ideal. 

You want the material to be light enough to prevent overheating, but sturdy enough to prevent slipping. Infinity scarfs are probably not an ideal choice, as you’ll have a hard time tightening the wrap enough to keep your baby snug. 

Other things you’ll need

Again, like the bedsheet explanation, you may use a ring if you would like to make your own ring sling. This eliminates the need to repeatedly tie your scarf because you can simply adjust the sling to size. 

What carry positions are possible with a scarf carrier?

Like the bedsheet method, or a regular soft wrap, you can carry your baby in front, the back, or on your hip. Specifically, there is the front wrap cross carry, cross carry tied under the bottom, newborn hug hold (or kangaroo hold), back wrap cross carry, the rucksack carry, hip wrap cross carry, and more. 

For a sling, check out this video from Michelle Madrigal

For a front wrap cross carry or FWCC, check out this tutorial

This tutorial from WrapYourBaby shows you how to combine a woven wrap with an ordinary scarf for optimal support in a back carry

What age is a scarf carrier suitable for?

Scarf carriers are perfect for smaller babies, including newborns. Just be sure to double-check their position and breathing as you wear them. However, depending on the thickness and durability of your scarf’s material, you may want to taper off use as your baby gains weight. 

Most soft wraps are designed to go up to 25lbs, as the stretchy material has too much give for larger babies. Woven wraps, on the other hand, can handle toddler weights. Have a careful look at your material to determine when you should retire it and possibly purchase a proper woven wrap. 

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Make sure your scarf is long enough. You want it to be around 80 inches 
  2. Use both arms to spread the scarf across your back diagonally. Do your best to eliminate wrinkles
  3. Take one tail over your shoulder and pinch the fabric like an accordion 
  4. Do the same thing with the tail hanging at your side while bringing it around your waist and in front of your body 
  5. Tie a slip knot with the two tails 
  6. Test your knot to make sure it can be moved up and down easily. This is how you will adjust your carrier 
  7. Adjust the seat, making it wide enough for your baby to sink into 
For a detailed explanation of a slip knot, check out heidikimTV

Breanna is a former therapist turned writer. She earned a master’s in psychology in 2015 but ultimately decided she would like to be more present for her family. Currently flexing her writing skills as a stay-at-home mother of two toddlers (with another baby on the way), she enjoys writing in the parenting and home/DIY niches. She also writes fiction and has been published in a handful of literary magazines and a fiction anthology. In her spare time, Breanna enjoys blogging, painting, running, and drinking an absurd amount of coffee.


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