Wednesday, October 9, 2013

All About Ring Slings

12 Day Old Canon in a
Rockin' Baby Ring Sling*
The ring sling is a basic, versatile baby carrier that can be used from newborn to preschooler. It is constructed of sturdy fabric and two rings (typically either nylon or aluminum rings manufactured specifically for this purpose) that are used to adjust and secure the sling. The most common way to wear a ring sling is over one shoulder, carrying the baby in tummy-to-tummy in front or on the hip. Ring slings can also be used for back carries, however these should only be attempted by those who are very experienced with back wrapping and back carries. The fabric is threaded through the rings similar to threading a D-Ring belt, like so.

While there is a slight learning curve in figuring out how to thread and adjust a ring sling, with practice, it is one of the fastest and simplest carriers to use. I often keep mine in the car so it's handy for quick errands when I want to wear the baby so I have my hands free, but don't want to put in the time and effort to wrap him.

I also love ring slings as a nursing-friendly carrier. With some practice, it is quick and easy to adjust the sling and lower the baby to nursing level, then tighten it back up when the baby is done eating. The tail of the sling can be used to cover the baby or the top of the breast if privacy is preferred.

5 Month old Canon in a Wrap Conversion Ring Sling
made from Didymos Anthracite Hemp Indio
Newborns should be carried upright and tummy-to-tummy in the sling. To avoid the risk of suffocation"Cradle" positions should only be used while nursing. Toddlers, preschoolers, and older babies who are able to sit unassisted can also be carried on the hip. Always be sure to follow basic babywearing safety protocol.

This video demonstrates wearing a newborn in a ring sling:

And this shows hip carry with an older baby:

Ring slings are available in a wide a variety of colors, patterns, and fabric blends. Some popular brands include Maya Wrap*, Babyette, Sakura Bloom*, and Zolowear*.

Check out this collection of Riveting Ring Sling photos from Julia at A Little Bit of All of It for a sampling of the different styles available!

*Amazon links are Affiliate Links


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