Ring Slings - 7 Things You Need to Know
Thinking about using a ring sling with your baby or toddler? That's great! Ring slings are an incredible and versatile baby carrier option and have been around for generations! While they may seem intimidating (like maybe too good to be true?), once you learn how to use them, they are the fastest and easiest way to carry your kiddo. So let’s jump into the seven things you need to know about ring slings, including what they are and when you can start using them.
1. What is a ring sling?
Let's start with the basics! A ring sling is a long piece of woven fabric that has two rings sewn in at one end. The material is then threaded through the rings to create a hammock/pouch for your baby to sit in (don't you wish you could hang out in a hammock all day?). The fabric sits on one shoulder and the weight of the child is then distributed across your back.
The concept of ring slings is NOT new! The concept of ring slings was derived from the ancient cultural practice of tying cloths around the body with a knot at one shoulder.
2. Can ring slings be used with newborns?
Absolutely! One thing we really love about ring slings is how they can be used with newborns and toddlers. Most ring slings, including ours, have a weight range of 8 to 35 pounds, so you can absolutely use them with newborns!
You can also ask your pediatrician for approval to use your ring sling before your babe is 8 pounds too. We talk more about how to use a ring sling with a newborn here!
3. What are the different ring sling carry positions?
We love this question because we really get to highlight just how versatile ring slings are! The different ring sling carries you can do include: front, hip, and back carries, giving you various options for wearing your baby. You can even allow your baby to face outward in what is known as a "kangaroo carry" around 4 to 6 months when your baby has strong head control!
These different positions allow you to change how you use your ring sling as your baby grows in a way that is most comfortable for you during certain stages of your child’s development! This versatility is not common in other style baby carriers and makes ring slings truly something you can use for years with your child(ren).
4. Do you have to practice with a ring sling?
Remember when you were first learning how to tie your shoe? While it can take some time to get used to using a ring sling, don't be discouraged if it feels awkward at first! Practice and patience will help you get comfortable and confident using your ring sling.
Plus, if you get a hope&plum, you’ll get a free one-on-one consultation that will leave you feeling like a pro at the end (for sure something to take advantage of)!
5. Can you adjust a ring sling?
Absolutely! The mechanics of a ring sling allow you to easily and quickly adjust the tightness of the fabric, as well as the size of the pocket, making it easy to get a secure and comfortable fit for you and your baby.
Not only can you get a great fit, but given the ease of adjusting, you can have other caregivers use the same ring sling without a lot of fuss! Not only that, but the convenience of ring slings is unmatched. They are easy to pack and take with you when you are on the go, making them a great option for parents who want to keep their baby close while not having to lug around a bulky style carrier!
Are you convinced yet that ring slings are one of the best baby carriers? Because we still aren’t done with all the benefits!
6. Can you nurse or bottle feed your baby in a ring sling?
Whenever someone asks us which baby carrier is the best for nursing/feeding your babe on the go, our answer is always ring slings, hands down. As we have already mentioned, the quick adjustability of ring slings is one of its greatest benefits. As part of that, you’re able to easily adjust them when you want to feed your babe and when you’re done, you can quickly adjust them back into a more comfortable position. This is a huge benefit when your baby is in a stage of life where they mostly eat, sleep, and poop (also this is why we suggest a second ring sling on hand for all those inevitable blow outs).
7. Are ring slings comfortable to use?
We can’t really speak for other brands, but! Our ring slings are all made from woven, natural fibers that come soft right out of the box and only get softer with use!
Combine that softness with strength and support, and you’ve got a baby carrier that both your baby’s skin and your back will be thankful for.
Speaking of your back, remember those book bags in elementary school with the two narrow shoulder straps that pulled you down under the weight? Yea, we do too. But with ring slings, you are distributing that weight across a greater surface area on your back, so you’re not reliving your school book bag days. Yay for physics!
Alright so, after all that you now know why ring slings are a popular and versatile baby carrier option. They offer such an incredible range of benefits for both you and your baby (all babywearing does, which you can learn more about here on our blog post about the benefits of babywearing). So, with some practice and patience, you can enjoy the convenience, comfort, and bonding experience that a ring sling can provide. And lucky for you, you’ve already found the best ring slings out there right here at hope&plum.