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ABOUT: Ring Sling Baby Carrier

A ring sling is one of the most recommended baby carriers by babywearing groups and this is because you can use it from newborn to toddler, once mastered it is easy to use and it is a quick option.  Here is everything you need to know about ring slings 💖

What is a ring sling?
A ring sling is a piece of material with two rings sewn into one of the ends.  You wear a ring sling over one shoulder with the material going across your back around to your front and is threaded through the rings on your chest.

   

What is it made from?
Ring Slings can be made from a cotton material (similar to a piece of clothing) or from woven wrap material which can come in a variety of blends (see more about blends HERE).  I always recommend a ring sling made from woven wrap material as it molds to both your bodies better, has optimal stretch and is far more comfortable and easier to adjust.

How long is it?
Most ring slings are between 1.75m – 2m and is measured from the shortest end to the ring slings.  Ring slings are usually 60cm or more wide.  Some babywearing companies also offer longer ring slings to fit more body types.

Are there different types of ring slings?
Yes, the difference is in how the material is gathered around the slings.  There are two main types (with numerous sub types within), gathered and pleated.
Gathered Shoulder: the fabric is gently gathered around the rings.  It is easy to spread over your shoulder and across your back which increases your comfort.
Pleated Shoulder: the fabric is first sewn into pleats and then arranged around the slings.  This means that it is often narrower across your shoulder and can be more uncomfortable but is a great option if you have narrow shoulders!

 Gathered Ring Sling     Pleated Ring Sling

What carries can I do?
You can wear your baby on your front (for newborns and little babies) or on your hip.  You can wear your older baby on your back in a ring sling however this is an advanced carry.

 Front Carry  Hip Carry

How old is my baby when I can start using it?
With ring slings made from cotton material – manufacture instructions usually recommend 3.5kg.  Whereas a ring sling made from woven wrap material can be worn from birth due to it’s optimal stretch and ability to support a baby’s body exactly.  If you have a premature baby or low weight baby, a ring sling (made from woven wrap fabric) is a great carrier option however I would recommend seeking advice from your medical team and a babywearing consultant.

How long can I wear my baby/toddler in it?
Until you feel uncomfortable!  Most ring slings go to 15kg and often people stop wearing when they can’t get a good fit for their toddler/preschooler or they feel too heavy.

Is it hard to learn?
Yes there is a learning curve with ring slings as you have to position your baby yourself and tighten so it is secure and safe.  Not everyone loves the learning stage but once you have mastered it, it is a quick option!

Will it suit my body type?
Yes!  Depending on your and your baby’s size, I would choose a ring sling based off the length you would need eg petit wearers go for the 1.75m and plus size wearers a ring sling that’s 2m will fit better.

Is it good for multiple wearers?
Absolutely!  As you put it on and tighten it to you and your baby each time, there is no readjusting straps between wearers which makes it a great family carrier.

What does ‘flipping’ the ring sling mean?
Flipping the ring sling is a term used to describe a method of putting on the baby carrier.  When you bring the material around your back, you flip it so the top rail becomes the bottom rail.  The advantage of this is there is no digging under your armpit, the ‘new’ top rail goes horizontally around your body and the ‘new’ bottom rail naturally creates a U shape providing a nice deep seat for your baby which helps achieve an optimal position.

  No Flip  Flipped

Can I breastfeed in it?
Yes however usually only from one breast as the rings get in the way.  It does take some practice but completely achievable!

Advantages

  • Quick to use
  • You can leave it set up on your body and take your baby in and out easily.  With a simple re-tighten, you are good to go.
  • Suitable from newborn to toddler
  • It’s a wonderful family baby carrier (or multiple wearers)
  • Your baby has a great view of the world as there are no straps going near their face
  • Can front and hip carry
  • Optimal positioning is easily achievable

Disadvantages

  • There is a learning curve
  • The arm that the rings is on can feel restricted and you don’t get the same range of movement
  • Most of the weight is on one shoulder so it can feel comfortable and potentially isn’t suitable for people that have neck/back issues

Ring Sling Brands

There are so many brands that make ring slings including Yaro, Soul Slings, Didymos, Ankalia, Chekoh, Hug-A-Bub, Lenny Lamb, Fidella, Tula, Kokadi to name a few.  Again there is no right or wrong answer with purchasing a ring sling – it depends on the budget, length, blend and design that suits your family the best.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me either by Facebook PM or at info@babywearingandyou.com.au

To see our full range of ring slings, please head HERE

Enjoy those babywearing snuggles,

Kylie xx
Certified Babywearing Consultant
Kangatraining Instructor