for the love of dollywearing

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I love watching the mothering instinct bud in my girls. There’s something so precious about watching them snuggle a baby doll for the very first time. Seeing them gently kiss a baby sibling’s head. Tucking their stuffed animals in bed.

My little ones mirror my actions so often it’s quite humbling. And sometimes, in the thick of motherhood, I wonder if they really understand how much I love them. It’s rewarding, then, to watch them nurture their dollies and “stuffies”, and even their baby sister. I can’t help but smile as my oldest tucks a blanket into her shirt as a nursing cover and proceeds to “feed”so her baby. And I’m proud to see my son’s protective side come out around his baby sister (even as he whispers to her, “I love you because you’re chubby, and fat, and cute.”).

It follows, then, that since babywearing is such a precious part of parenting for me, I love to see my children mimicking my actions there, too. It started with them swinging bags or purses over their shoulders and tucking their dollies inside. Then they began asking me for help. First, I broke out the sewing machine to create a mini mei tai for my girls out of the same print I was carrying their brother in. Several years later, as I researched the latest in wraps for the baby sister that came this spring, all three big siblings requested wraps in which to wear their dollies.

for the love of #dollywearing

These days, it’s a common occurrence for one of the girls to tie their dolly in a wrap before they help me hang out the laundry. It absolutely delights my girls when all three of us are wearing our babies in our wraps. And it thrills my heart with joy to watch these budding “little mommies” following in my footsteps with their “dollywearing”.

Mini Mei Tai by Rachel Zupke, ReprezentCreations on Etsy

Rachel Zupke is offering my readers a special discount on a mini mei tai
available through her Etsy Shop, Reprezent Creations!

Use the code “gretchen” for $5 off this dolly mei tai now through November.

Mini Mei Tai by Rachel Zupke, ReprezentCreations on Etsy

Mini Mei Tai by Rachel Zupke, ReprezentCreations on Etsy

Mini Mei Tai by Rachel Zupke, ReprezentCreations on Etsy

DIY No Sew Moby Wrap Style Dolly Carrier

I had a set of Jersey knit queen size sheets in the rag bag, and three little ones who wanted their own baby wraps. Equipped with the energy of the second trimester, I folded the sheet in half diagonally, and cut three wraps from 12 to 18 inches wide. The wider wrap I cut from the folded middle section was the longest (about 12 feet), perfect for my oldest. The next two were shorter (about 10 feet), but fit my 6-year-old and 4-year-old well. We even used permanent markers to mark the center of each wrap with a colored heart, so they could easily identify their own wrap, and, of course, find center for the perfect wrap job.

I always tell people that if my kiddoes can learn how to tie a wrap by watching the Solly Baby wrap tutorial videos, anyone can!

dolly wrap

for the love of dollywearing...

DIY Mini Mei Tai or Ring Sling

If you have a bit of skill with a sewing machine, a mini mei tai or ring sling is sure to delight your little ones! If DIY isn’t your thing, check out Etsy shops like ReprezentCreations. (Don’t forget that Rachel is offering $5 off her mini mei tais for my readers, using coupon code “gretchen”!)

mini DIY mei tai

Super Simple Swaddle Blanket Dolly Wrap

Jessica Telian says, “I make my kids a dolly wrap by folding a blanket into a triangle and place the dolly in the middle like I’m going to swaddle it. Then I draw up the bottom point between the dolly’s legs and then tie it onto the kid’s back using the side points, usually going over one shoulder.”

Super Simple Dolly Wrap from Jessica Telian

More Dolly Carriers for Your Toddler’s Wishlist

dollywearing duo


Have fun wearing all the dollies!

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  1. I remembered you had Babywearing posts- found this one and made my little girl a mini mei tai to carry her “son” in, so she carry her baby while I wrap our newborn. Followed the tutorial by the Art of Simple- only took an hour! Thanks for sharing!! I figured a mei tei would be easier for me to help get on with one of my arms is tied up nursing 😉

  2. Hi Gretchen,

    I read this post a few months back, but haven’t been able to comment until now. I absolutely love the fact that your girls and Daniel are requesting wraps for their dollies and stuffies! I especially love that Daniel is asking for wraps he can wrap his stuffed animals in. He doesn’t know it, but Daniel is in “training” to be a good Dad someday. My oldest brother not too long ago said, “I would rather see my sons pretending to take care of their stuffed animals than pretending to be Super Heroes. Not that Super Heroes are wrong in any way, but I want to see my sons exhibiting traits that will make them good Dads someday” Ruth and Mary will be great Mamas and Daniel will be a great Dad. I love the picture of Sara with her “baby” dolly in a wrap. Too cute!
    God Bless!

  3. That is just to very much cuteness 🙂

    Our boys walk around in scarves with my old dolls – which were my mom’s before me. Love it 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing these adorable pictures and ideas! I especially love how many babies are in your son’s carrier in the picture of all three children together. He has lots of love to go around!