Use Of A Ring Sling
the definitive guide on ring sling positions and how to execute them
Do you get tense just thinking about figuring out how to utilize a baby sling? Baby slings are a fun and useful way to carry your baby, but many women find them intimidating since mastering the methods takes effort.
It was a disaster the first time I used a ring sling. I couldn’t seem to get my newborn in the correct position, and I was afraid I’d injure her. Fortunately, I had a friend who was ready to demonstrate the appropriate procedure. She was my rock, and now it’s my turn to pay it forward.
This essay will go over all there is to know about ring slings. We’ll go through why you should use a ring sling and why you might choose something else instead. We’ll go over safety issues, frequent queries, and babywearing recommendations, as well as show you how to do many different types of carriers step by step.
Ring Slings Explained
First and foremost, what exactly is a ring sling? A ring sling is a long strip of cloth that resembles a baby wrap. Ring slings come in a range of designs and colors and are attached to your shoulder with a series of rings. This produces a sling or pouch that allows you to securely carry your infant while relieving pressure on your arms and back (1).
The benefits of a ring sling extend well beyond its fabric possibilities. It allows you to have skin-to-skin contact with your child while carrying and communicating with him or her.
It also allows for hands-free carrying. You don’t have to utilize a stroller, which allows you to use the stairs instead of looking for a ramp or elevator when you’re out and about.
That is not to say that a ring sling is without drawbacks. Ring slings may be difficult for you and your infant in hot weather, and if you have a lot to carry, they might become an impractical alternative.
Important Safety Considerations
No matter how you chose to transport your infant, safety should be your main priority. You must take a few precautions to keep your infant secure in a ring sling.
Before you put your infant in a ring sling, be sure the sling is safe. Bring your kid with you while shopping for a sling, and ask for a demonstration on how to use it. Avoid slings promoted with terminology like “womb-like” and “cocoon,” since they may hold your baby in an unhealthy manner.
Check the sling every time you place your kid in it to make sure it’s in good shape. Keep an eye out for tears or snags that might jeopardize its capacity to hold your infant.
Your baby should be high and tight on your chest. If your infant is little, has a cold, or was delivered prematurely, consult with your doctor before using the sling.
When wearing your kid, use prudence and your intuition. When holding hot liquids or carrying something heavy, use caution, and frequently check to ensure your infant is safe and secure in the sling.
How Do I Get My Sling Ready?
My aunt once told me that any successful dish takes some planning. The same can be said for the majority of things in life, including your ring sling. While you may be tempted to put your baby in your ring sling right away, there are a few things you should do before.
Make Certain You Have the Correct Size
Every parent does not wear the same shirt size, and every parent does not wear the same sling size. Make sure you have the correct sling size so that it can carry your infant snugly, safely, and securely.
The size of each kind of ring sling will vary somewhat. A small/medium Tula ring sling, for example, is approximately 77 inches long. A small Bijou sling, on the other hand, is 70 inches long, while a medium is 75 inches long.
Threading a Ring Sling
Threading is the procedure of threading the cloth through the rings to attach the wrap to carry your baby. This is how you thread your sling:
- Begin by determining which side of your body you wish to carry your kid on. If you intend to carry your baby on your right side, position the rings slightly in front of your left shoulder.
- Hold your sling by the rings, with the long fabric tail hanging behind your back.
- Wrap the tail around your back, over your opposite hip, and collect at the front rings.
- Bring the whole tail up through the rings.
- Allow the tail to fall forward such that the top hem falls toward your midline and the bottom hem falls toward the outside of your body.
- Lift the top ring, fold the tail end over it, and draw it under the bottom ring as if you were attaching a belt with rings. Slowly weave the cloth through the bottom ring.
- Check sure the top hem of your tail is still toward your midline and the bottom hem is on the outside of your body.
- Put both of your thumbs into the area of the tail that is braided between the rings and pull it wide to loosen it up.
- Begin at the top hem and gradually collect the cloth between the rings strand by strand. If you have a striped sling, you’ll see that you can simply fan out and gather it stripe by stripe.
- Pull the top and bottom hems of your tail out to tighten the sling. Repeat with the inner pieces of the sling to ensure the entire sling is snug.
The Fundamentals of Sling Handling
You may use your ring sling for a variety of various grips and carries. But, before we get into the more advanced parts of babywearing in a ring sling, let’s go over some fundamentals.
Putting on Your Sling Correctly
If you put your sling on correctly, it will be safe and secure to hold your infant. To correctly put on your sling, follow these steps:
- To begin, thread your sling. You may accomplish this by first threading the sling over your shoulder. Alternatively, you may weave it through your hands first and then drape it over your shoulder.
- When you initially begin, place the rings as high on your shoulder as possible. This is due to the rings shifting down a little as you adjust the sling.
- Before you place your infant in the sling, adjust the position. The bottom rail should be level with your belly button. You may do this by holding the pouch out slightly as you tighten the sling and gradually adjusting it until it is in the proper position.
- When you’re finished, put your infant in the sling.
Putting the Ring in Place
If you do not arrange the metal or plastic sling rings appropriately, they might cause irritation. I once damaged my collarbone because the rings sat on it for too long beneath my baby’s weight. It is not something I recommend.
Instead, for maximum comfort and support, place your rings just below your shoulder.
Securing Your Sling
You may discover that your sling is too loose, causing your infant to sit too low in the sling. Fortunately, tightening your sling is a simple operation, and your baby may remain in the sling the entire time. Tighten the sling as follows:
- Lift the top ring slightly while holding your infant with one hand. This will lead your sling to become even looser.
- Lift your infant to the desired position and tighten the top hem over your body until it is as snug as you like.
- To keep the wrap snug and secure, repeat the process with the bottom hem and the center portion.
Toddlers vs. Newborns
Ring slings can be used to carry your child from newborn to toddler, making them an excellent choice for moms who only want to buy one baby carrier. Both babies and toddlers should be held upright with their back, shoulders, and hips well supported.
Positioning Your Child in the Car Seat
Your infant should sit wide in the seat, with one-third of the cloth tucked beneath them. Their legs should be set up such that their knees are higher than their hip sockets. This placement aids in the prevention of future hip issues.
Your Sling Positions Mastery Guide
A ring sling, like a wrap, is adaptable. You can carry your kid on your chest, hip, or even back. Here are some detailed instructions for a variety of carriers.
The cradle hold is ideal for tiny newborns, typically newborns to 3 months. You will need to use one arm to keep your infant in place with this grip.
The cradle hold is performed as follows:
- Place the sling on the opposite shoulder from where you hold your infant.
- Make a bag with enough slack to fit your infant into the sling.
- Grab your baby and place them in the bottom of the sling first, with their head towards the rings and their chest facing up. Your baby should be in a checkbox posture, semi-reclined.
- Adjust any slack via the rings after working all the slack from your back up toward the front. Begin with the top hem, then the bottom
- hem, and then the center part. To keep the tail from bunching, pull it in the same direction it is resting on your infant.
- Ascertain that your baby’s legs are in a secure posture, with their knees over their hip sockets.
When you glance down, be sure you can see your baby’s shoulders and chest.
The semi-reclining cradle hold, also known as the reverse cradle hold, holds your baby’s head towards the rings rather than opposite them. This puts your infant in a semi-reclined position without requiring you to perform any more effort with your hands.
The semi-reclining cradle hold is performed as follows:
- Begin by placing your sling over your shoulder.
- Pull on the top rail with your finger between the two rings to open it up and form the pouch for your baby to sit in. The central material should also pass through the rings.
- Pull the bottom hem piece of your tail to tighten the bottom hem. As you tighten the sling, you want the bottom hem to rest over your chest. Hold onto the rings with your fingers while you pull to keep them in place.
- Make sure the bottom hem is flat on your chest, then pull the piece that sits against your tummy down until it rests at mid-breast.
- Tighten the bottom hem once more.
- Gather the top hem and center of the cloth, locating the location where your baby’s bottom will sit.
- As the rings, place your infant in a burping posture and guide their feet into the far opposite side of the sling.
- Pull the top hem of the carrier up over your baby’s back and gently assist them to lie down.
- Hold your kid in your arm as if the sling were not present. Check your child’s leg alignment at this point; you don’t want them straight or stuck together. Instead, fold them in an M shape with your baby facing up, making sure their mouth and nose do not rub on you or the cloth.
- Tighten the top hem of your sling using your free hand or the hand on the opposite side of you as the rings.
- Tighten the central area of your sling by gently lifting your baby’s head.
- Your infant should be sitting up rather than lying down. However, you do not want them to sit upright. Place two fingers beneath your baby’s chin to determine the amount of space between your baby’s chin and chest.
The snuggling hold, also known as the tummy-to-tummy hold, involves resting your baby on your chest while leaving their legs free at the bottom. This grip keeps your baby upright and their legs in the best posture for hip socket protection.
A cuddle hold is performed as follows:
- Place the sling over your shoulder, ensuring that the cloth is evenly distributed across your shoulder and back.
- To prevent bunching, fan the material through the rings.
- Tighten the bottom hem to leave about two inches between it and your body.
- Make a pouch for your infant by loosening the top hem.
- Guide your baby’s feet through the sling while they are in the burping position.
- Lower your infant into a sitting posture, making sure their legs form an M and their knees are higher than their hip sockets.
- Pull the hem of the shirt up over your baby’s back.
- With one hand supporting your baby, use the opposite hand to take a seat by tucking the bottom third of the fabric up and under your baby’s bottom. Check that your infant is supported from knee to knee in the seat.
- Moving the slack from the back of the sling to the front while still holding your infant with one hand. Then, strand by strand, tighten the sling to ensure your baby is snug against you.
- You may use the tail to construct a headrest by tucking it over the back of your baby’s neck.
Breastfeeding while using a Ring Sling
You can nurse your kid while wearing a ring sling, but it takes some effort.
First and foremost, don’t expect a hands-free nursing experience. There is no such thing as a hands-free nursing session. Mama, I apologize!
However, you do not have to take your baby outside to feed them, which is a plus.
When nursing your infant in a ring sling, relax the panel gradually to gently drop your baby to your nipple. Feed them while they are in this position.
Return your baby to the snug and upright posture they were in before they started nursing. This keeps them secure while you continue to wear them.
Ring Sling Troubleshooting
So you’ve begun using your sling, but you’re having trouble in a few locations. You are not alone yourself. Everyone has questions when they first start wearing a sling, and we are pleased to answer them.
Here are some pointers to help you succeed with your ring sling.