I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite carrier but if I could only have one for the rest of my babywearing days I think ring slings would be a top contender. I also love teaching how to use a ring sling, the look of accomplishment when the directions click into place and a sweet little love can curl up snug as a bug on mom or dad is amazing! Ring slings are a one shouldered carrier made from a woven wrap or other type of sturdy fabric including linen, chambray, or silk. The long piece of fabric is threaded through two rings to make a pouch that the child sits in. They are great for newborns and can be used through toddlerhood and beyond. Ring slings do have a bit of a learning curve but once you’ve got a few tries under your belt it’s awesome for quick ups and to nurse in or give a bottle on the go when you need one hand free. A Neobulle ring sling was my first big babywearing purchase after I had little goose. I had been using a stretchy wrap (which I’ll touch on in another post because they are also awesome for newborns), and I was looking for something more supportive and easy to use. After struggling to find something that worked for both of us, I discovered ring slings on a babywearing Facebook page. The first time I tried one on we both hated it, the sling was uncomfortable and stiff and I could not get her in it correctly no matter what I did. I was so disappointed when I came home that I totally cried! Thankfully Papa Goose encouraged me to do more research and try again, which I did. Since the day I purchased my first sling, and washed it, (super important to always wash your new wraps and slings), I was able to find the ring sling love. It still took me a couple months to learn how to use the sling properly and get a good seat but the beauty of that carrier was that even with the little adjustments and tips I learned along the way I could still use the carrier from the first day I picked it up. I do have to credit my amazing local babywearing community for the education and advice which helped me to truly master using a sling. Below are some of my favorite tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the past two years that hopefully can help another wearer to find the sling love!
- Baby should always be close enough to kiss and visible to make sure airways are kept clear
- Rings can be worn on either shoulder and do not affect the usage of the sling
- Pre-tightening the ring sling before placing the child in it will help to keep the rings in place while making and adjusting the seat once baby is placed in the sling
- Baby should be supported by the sling from knee to knee and knees should be above the baby’s bum in a high M shape
- Treat the sling like it has three separate sections when tightening
- A top section or top rail which will run along the back of baby’s neck
- A middle section that will run along the middle of baby’s back down to the top of the diaper line
- A bottom section or bottom rail which is where the seat or hammock portion of the ring sling is created when flipped up and tightened
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are struggling with a ring sling or any other carrier. The most important thing about babywearing is to make sure both you and baby are comfortable and happy with whichever carrier you choose.