Featured Carrier: Spotlight on Ring Slings

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Because there is only one pass of fabric to tighten, ring slings are relatively poppable (baby goes in, baby goes out).
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. All the usual safety principles apply – keep baby visible and kissable.
  2. Ring slings are suitable for newborns (centered on wearer’s chest) and beyond (centered or hip).
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Helpful Videos:

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.

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Featured Carry: Front Cross Carry (FCC)

The similar names mean this carry is often confused with last week’s Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC). However, unlike the FWCC, this carry doesn’t have a horizontal wrap pass.

This means:

  1. This carry should never be attempted with a stretchy wrap as it is secure only in a woven wrap or sturdy hybrid with minimal horizontal stretch.
  2. This carry is extremely “poppable” (meaning easy to take baby in and out) and easy to tighten on the go.
  3. The easy up way in which this carry loosens and tightens makes it an excellent carry for nursing a baby with trunk control (sitting assisted, about 4 months) in an upright position.
  4. This carry can be performed with your base size minus one (base -1), so if you usually use a size 6 for FWCC you could probably do FCC with a size 5. However, it also works with your base size, so don’t go running out to buy a new wrap!

Important Safety Considerations:

  1. All the usual safety principles apply – keep baby Visible and Kissable!
  2. This carry is theoretically suitable for a newborn if correctly executed and tightened. However, with no horizontal pass, it is more difficult to tighten precisely than some other carries – especially for a beginner. New wrappers should probably stick to other carries until baby has some trunk control.
  3. Exercise care in keeping the passes clear of baby’s face when sleeping. Flipping the wrap to cap your shoulder can help keep fabric from crowding baby’s face.
  4. If nursing in a wrap, 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 (especially!!!) if baby has fallen asleep.

A Helpful Photo Tutorial and Videos:

Here is a photo tutorial and some videos we find helpful for learning to do Front Cross Carry. If photo tutorials and/or 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.]

Here is a photo tutorial from BWI’s South Maryland chapter, using stills from Wrapping Rachel’s video tutorial.

This is Wrapping Rachel’s FCC video tutorial with a brief explanation at the end of how to use the FCC to nurse on the go. This can be particularly useful for busy babies between 4-8 months who just can’t focus on nursing when they are out and about without some extra help.

This video by Wrap You In Love demonstrates some useful modifications, flipping the wrap to allow you to spread the back pass further up your back and create a more comfortable weight distribution. It also demonstrates capping your shoulders, which can keep little faces clear of excess fabric.

How do you like the Front Cross Carry? Where and how to do use it?

For other posts in this series, see here.

Exploring Wrapping!

If you’re currently geeking out about wrapping and looking for some inspiration you might like to check out some of the instructional videos and inspirational photos from our “Featured Carry” threads.

Finding wrapping instruction online can be a daunting task : some of the advice represents best practices and some doesn’t, and as a caregiver new to baby carrying and/or wrapping it can be difficult to separate the safe from the risky! In this series on our Facebook group and now on our blog, we have attempted to identify individual videos and/or articles that describe good technique and best practices as we understand them.

We’ll be working our way through our “Carry of the Week” archive on the blog, and posting the links here – stay tuned for more!

A word about different kinds of wraps: Most of the carries we will be featuring require a woven wrap to execute safely (or a sturdy hybrid wrap with minimal horizontal stretch). Stretchy wraps are appropriate only for front and hip carries, and those carries must have 3 passes spread over baby for support and security. When it is suitable to attempt a particular carry with a stretchy wrap, we will mention that.

Woven wraps come in different sizes, and this can seem overwhelming to new caregivers. If you are of average body size, you would probably be best served by a size 6. If you are smaller you might prefer a size 5, and if you are larger you might prefer a size 7 or 8. Most stretchy wraps are size 7 and will fit most people. If you would like to read more, you can look here and here for more information.

Week 1: Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC)

Week 2: Front Cross Carry (FCC)

Featured Carry: Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC)

Baby in Front Wrap Cross Carry while parent plays with toddler

Introducing Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC)!

This is the usually the first carry we teach to a new wrapper. You can do this carry with a woven or stretchy wrap (with a stretchy wrap you need to spread all three passes across baby’s back for support). The passes are easy to tighten and when you master it you have gone a long way towards learning to manipulate and tighten your wrap!

This carry requires your “base size” which for a person of average size will be a size 6 – some people will use a size 5, 7, or 8. Most stretchy wraps are roughly a size 7, so most people should be able to use them to do the FWCC.

Important Safety Considerations in FWCC:

  1. All the usual safety principles apply – keep baby Visible and Kissable!
  2. Never fold or roll anything into the rails of your wrap. Doing so can push baby’s head forward and cause their chin to fall down onto their chest – putting baby’s airway at risk.
  3. When spreading a pass over the back of baby’s head, never pull it further than the back of baby’s ear and monitor carefully.
  4. Always spread 3 passes when doing FWCC in a stretchy wrap.

Helpful Videos:

We will share here some videos we find helpful for learning to do Front Wrap Cross Carry. 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 voiceless video by Britt Brown Marsh shows the FWCC with an older baby and a woven wrap.

This video by WrappingRachel shows how to spread the passes of the FWCC when using a stretchy wrap. She demonstrates with the Moby wrap and an older baby.

This video by Tooralei, Kathy Heffern,shows the FWCC with a newborn in a woven wrap.

Finally, this longer video by WrapYourBaby shows the FWCC with a newborn, with some tips for keeping the fabric away from baby’s face.

How do you like the Front Wrap Cross Carry? Where and how to do use it? Share a photo or a story in the comments!

For other posts in this series, see here.