Ring Slings - How to Use Your Ring Sling Baby Carrier
Ring slings are a quick and easy to use baby carrier, but they do have a steep learning curve. The reason they are a little more tricky than some other baby carriers is because they are a one shouldered carry with one layer over baby which can make them more unforgiving for “sloppy” technique.
How to use a ring sling
Using a ring sling is essentially 3 steps so it is very important to take the time to perform each step properly.
- Threading the fabric through the rings
- Creating a “seat”
Threading your Ring Sling
|Through Both Rings||Back Through Bottom Ring Only||Fan the Fabric|
Threading a ring sling is the foundation that makes a ring sling work and is often an over looked step. If the fabric is twisted or bunched up it will make it much harder to adjust and tighten. You will need two hands to thread your ring sling. Ensure your baby is somewhere safe and secure while you prepare your ring sling.
- Position the rings on the opposite side to where you want to carry your baby. For example; I carry my baby on my right side which means the rings sit on my left shoulder. If you prefer baby to sit on the left side of your body then you would place the rings on your right shoulder.
- Position the rings over your chosen should and hold in position (rings on left shoulder, hold with left hand or vice versa) Using the opposite hand bring the fabric around to the front creating a diagonal on your back. Ensure that there are no twists in the fabric.
- Bring the fabric through both rings. Open the rings and thread the fabric through the bottom ring. “Fan” the fabric out to ensure that the top and bottom rails have not twisted.
- Loosen or tighten the sling as much as needed to ensure you have enough room to fit baby in the pouch, but not too loose that you will need to over adjust once baby is in the sling. To tighten – pull on the tail as much as needed, make sure you adjust the fabric through the rings to ensure there is no bunching. The loosen, separate the rings and pull away from your body. A good rule of thumb is to pop your opposite arm inside the pouch, bend your elbow and hold the top rail of the sling. This is usually a good guide to ensure that the pouch is big enough for your baby.
Now that we have prepared our ring sling it is time position your baby in the sling.
Handy Tip! To avoid the rings dropping too low start with the rings higher up on your shoulder.
Creating a seat
Hold baby in "burping
|Sit baby on sling in "M" position||Lift top rail up to shoulder height|
- Position baby in “burping” position on the shoulder opposite the rings. Use your “Ring” hand under the pouch to hold onto baby’s legs and guide them down so they are sitting with their knees over the sling in an M position (knees higher than bum – knees should be around belly button height)
- Find the top rail and pull up over baby’s back. The top rail should sit just above the top of the shoulders.
- Fit the seat if needed. Think of a hammock when creating the seat. If the fabric is bunched up and loose in between you and baby it is not providing adequate support and can result in baby “popping” the seat.
- Starting from towards the back, gently pull the lose fabric towards the rings and tighten strand by stand.
- When tightening your sling avoid pulling the tail in a downward direction. Instead, pull the fabric horizontally towards baby. Tightening towards baby prevents the rings from dropping and the fabric from bunching.
- It is important to tighten along the full width of the tail in order to get an even distribution of weight and prevent sagging.
- Try not to overtighten the bottom rail as this will increase the chances of the seat popping out and may put extra unnecessary pressure on baby’s legs.