Ring Slings are one of my favourite ways to carry my babies, especially squishy newborns or super busy older toddlers who get tired legs out and about. Like most of us, it took me a few practices to get the right fit with a ring sling but once I got the hang of it Baby and I didn't look back! So here are three tips that might just make all the difference for you so you can fall in love all over again.
Tip #1: Make a twist in the back. A simple adjustment to the carrier can make all the difference. If you are trying a ring sling with a newborn and can't quite get the right tension or take out enough slack then flip the back pass before you bring the fabric around to thread through the rings. If you have a stripy ring sling you will be able to easily identify the top rail at the back, or the purple stripe in my picture example, will become the bottom rail once threaded through the rings. From there, once you are set up and are adjusting the tension, you can follow the slack around from the back along the 'rails', bottom, middle and top.
Tip #2: Start out with your baby positioned in a hammock seat. Once you have threaded the rings and tightened the sling enough to slide baby in without needing to take up to much extra slack, just pop your baby over the fabric and adjust their legs and make that 'hammock seat' first. Then you can slide the fabric up and over their back and continue to adjust from there. At the 'seating in the hammock' point you can easily see that their bum and knees form the optimal M position and you won't need to try and achieve that with the fabric already up over their back.
Tip #3: Ring position on the shoulder. I find this is a personal preference and one you can play around with to find what suits you. I like to have the rings sit just over my shoulder, more on my collar bone than any lower. Some people find the rings slip lower as they are adjusting. If you don't like the rings sitting low, then try anchoring them on your shoulder while you adjust and hopefully having the majority of the slack taken out in the 'hammock' stage of positioning you will find they stay put much better. Also, try spreading the fabric over your shoulder once bub is in and settled. This tends to spread the weight distribution slightly differently and might be just what you need.
Don't forget, if you are wearing an older baby or toddler, you can have them sitting more on your hip. This position gives your curious little one a great vantage point to view all that is going on. Hip carrying in a ring sling also takes the pressure off your arms if you normally carry your child on your hip, so its a super helpful parenting item have handy when you need that support.
I wanted to write about my personal stash of woven wraps and other baby carriers. The ones that have been a part of my stash but have since been moved on... The ones I will never get rid of and what I intend to do with them once they are no longer carrying my babies... I wanted to tell you that its awesome to have more than one carrier, collect them, fall down a rabbit hole that is real and can be expensive...
But then I thought about what it was I really wanted to say... its actually ok if you have one baby carrier that works for you and your baby. I don't want to make you feel less for being happy with what you have!
What I want you to know is this - if you have one carrier and its NOT working or it doesn't suit all your baby wearing needs then its OK to go out and find another one (or two or three) that DO full fill all your babywearing hearts desires.
- If you started out with a base size woven wrap and you have mastered wrapping with it, but find now you feel confident to try a 'shorty wrap', then go for it!
- If you have been using a buckle carrier but find its not giving you the back support you need then step out there and look for a buckle carrier that gives you the required support.
- Perhaps you started out using a stretchy wrap when your baby was born but you are finding, as your baby gets heavier, the wrap starts to sag and you are not maintaining the optimal centre of gravity... its is time to upgrade!
- You love your ring sling for quick, convenient carrying at school pickup time but you are looking for something a bit more supportive with more even weight distribution and carrying options for wearing at home and for long walks along the beach...
- That carrier that was ok when baby was small but now seems to look unsafe for baby's hips, their legs dangling oddly and your back starts to ache after only a short time wearing...
DON'T GIVE UP... carrying your baby does not have to end when the carrier isn't doing a good enough job. There are options out there and the benefits of babywearing outweigh the guilt of wanting to have more than one baby carrier. Having the right tool for the job (just like any profession out there) is an important investment.
We are here to help, just ask x