From the Field

How’d they do that: Make a back sling

Mothers around the world share many challenges, one of which is how to carry small children while doing other work. From the highlands of Peru and Bolivia to the grasslands of Zambia and Rwanda, moms use a single piece of fabric to create a hands-free baby carrier.

Here’s how to make a back sling:

Steps for making a back baby sling

1. Find a rectangular piece of material; the long edge should be about as wide as your arm span.

2. With the cloth behind you, hold it at your waist like you’re going to wrap it around to wear as a skirt.

3. Lean over so your torso is parallel to the ground. Place the baby face-down on your back and grab the ends of the cloth.

4. Slide the cloth up, covering the baby’s bottom and back. Leave the baby’s legs free.

5. Put the right side of the cloth over your right shoulder. The left side goes under your left arm

6. Tie the ends together across your chest.

You can use this method to carry more than babies. We’ve seen everything from bushels of wheat to sticks of firewood tied to people’s backs using the same technique.


Did you try your hand at making a back sling? We want to see your finished product! Send your photos to us at, or tag us @worldvisionusa on Instagram or Facebook.
How to make a baby sling - learn tips from moms around the world


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