Ring Slings: Why and How
Ring slings are a fantastic option from birth through toddlerhood and beyond. They're often thought of to be fantastic newborn carriers, which they are, but their flexibility for positioning on the body, as well as feeding on the go, makes them a carrier that adapts well through many stages of your child's life.
What I like about them:
If you deliver via cesarean, they hold baby nice and high on your body with nothing to interfere with your incision.
They are lightweight and perfect for hot weather.
Perfect for quick ups and downs!
For travel, they make it comfortable to sit in a plane seat with nothing around your waist.
Ring slings are one of the best carriers for breastfeeding because you can easily lower baby, either upright or into a checkmark position and give access to the breast, just make sure to pop baby back into position (high and tight on the body) when you are finished.
They work great for bottle feeding too!
They fit everyone - the wearer and the wearee! Various lengths make them ideal for fitting a large range of body styles and sizes, and baby's proportions too.
Other things you may want to consider when purchasing a ring sling include:
Fabric type. They come in various fabric styles, and you'll want it easy to care for, because babies. Single layer fabrics are likely to break in easier, and are easier to tighten or adjust properly. Double layer styles can be more difficult to adjust for a new ring sling user, and take longer to break in, however the double layers of fabric may make it more supportive for bigger or heavier babies.
Length. Some brands have one set length, and others have sizes. Make sure you know the length and take a look at any sizing charts the brand offers, to see if it would be a good fit.
Cost. Brands vary in price, however you do want to make sure it is a safe and compliant sling. Be cautious when buying from marketplace type sites, particularly etsy and ebay. Check reviews, and they do have to provide compliance information when asked.
Support. Local to you there's likely to be a babywearing group, consultant or retailer where you can get hands on help, and have a chance to try some ring slings on. This is invaluable if you end up needing help after receiving your sling as well. Don't feel bad if it doesn't come easily to you, we all learn differently and sometimes support is needed.
Photo Courtesy of PAXbaby