Ring slings are a great option for newborns to toddlers and beyond but can be a little tricky to get the hang of at first.
Things to consider:
- Because you carry the weight on one shoulder and across your back, many people will prefer to use a ring sling for shorter periods of time after baby is 15lbs.
- Because there is only one pass of fabric to tighten, ring slings are relatively poppable (baby goes in, baby goes out).
- Depending on the fabric, many ring slings fold down quite small, making them an excellent carrier to have on hand while following a toddler-on-the-go.
- A ring sling carry is slightly dynamic and may need to be tightened periodically as you carry.
Ring slings are a style of carrier, not a brand. Many different brands are available with different fabrics and different shoulder styles (gathered vs. pleated shoulders is the most common dilemma for new buyers).
Important Safety Considerations:
- All the usual safety principles apply – keep baby visible and kissable.
- Ring slings are suitable for newborns (centered on wearer’s chest) and beyond (centered or hip).
- All the excess fabric should be under baby’s bum. No rolling things into the top rail – it is easy to force baby’s head forward and into a risky position.
- If nursing in a ring sling, monitor baby throughout the feed, especially a young baby. Before wrapping and nursing, wait until nursing is well established and you are confident in your wrapping skills. Keep baby in an upright position to nurse and make sure to re-position baby high on your chest with face visible and kissable once nursing is finished, even if baby has fallen asleep
Here are some videos we find helpful for learning to use a ring sling. If videos are not sufficient to meet your needs, please do not hesitate to seek out one of our events for help.
[When we share photo and video tutorials, we believe they represent good technique and relevant tips. We cannot vouch for every tutorial shared by the educators we feature. When in doubt, use your own judgement about whether a particular practice is safe – or ask a question in our Facebook group for clarification.]
This video from Babywearing Faith shows how to use a ring sling with a newborn. If you also need a video on how to thread a ring sling, there is one available here.
And this second video demonstrates a hip carry in a ring sling using an older child.