This week I thought we would take a little deviation from our woven wraps and venture into ring slings. Ring slings are a great introduction into the babywearing world as they seem less intimidating than a woven wrap to a lot of beginners. I love keeping a RS around for quick up and down carries or for when my baby is little. The uneven weight distribution makes it impractical for long carries for me but I expect we will be using it more as my LO gets bigger and can help “grab” my hip more in a hip carry.
It is best to prepare your rings before you start a carry so you know everything is smoothed out and will adjust easily. Here is a great picture tutorial of how to do this: http://www.wearababy.com/instructions/ringsling?start=1 and here is a great video of ring sling basics and how to thread your rings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7v0ZbGwPKM
Your baby should always be at or above your waist for a secure fit and you should be able to easily tighten the rails (make sure the fabric is not bunched up around the rings). You want to start with your rings in the “corsage” position (right in the hollow beneath your shoulder). When you put your baby in the RS you want to make sure there is a pocket you can slip baby into and bring the bottom rail of the RS up between baby's legs to get a nice deep seat. A lot of people then lean over, allowing baby to gently rest on the fabric (while holding with one hand) and pull the bottom rail up between you and baby - this is called the “filling your bra” technique - Which is basically just like it sounds: Bend over and adjust the weight in the fabric and stand back up! :) Here’s a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laq3dbSFAds
It is recommended that all babies, even newborns, go in a “legs out” position when being worn and that the fabric runs knee to knee. My number one tip when using a RS is: It can always be tighter! Always. This will be the most comfortable for you. The baby will literally be pressed right up against your body. make sure when you are finished, the rings are out on your shoulder, not up by your neck. They should also still be in the corsage position. If you find they lower a lot during tightening, try to start with them in a higher position so as they work down they are still high enough to be comfortable for you.
Tummy to Tummy Carry - T2T
1- Start by getting your RS on with the rings in the corsage (or higher) position on your preferred shoulder (usually your non-dominant, so if you are right-handed you want it on your left shoulder);
2- Adjust the main body of your RS so that the pouch is about even with your belly button and make sure there are no twists in the RS fabric;
4 - Leave the top rail loose enough to get baby into the sling;
5 - Hold baby on opposite shoulder as the rings (in the “burp” position) and ease baby into the pouch you have created bringing any excess fabric towards the rings so it can easily be tightened;
6 - Lean over and reach between you and baby pulling fabric up between you two and spreading baby’s legs into a more seated M shaped position (knees higher than bum);
7 - Pull the bottom rail up and away from the rings to tighten and continue to tighten the entire RS all the way up to the top rail.
Picture Tutorial: http://www.slingbabies.co.nz/Site/Instructions/RING_SLING_-_Tummy_to_Tummy_Carry.ashx
Video Tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqyczzWUnas
And here is Solomon and I in our Oscha Triskele RS conversion:
Tiffany Johnson is a breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping, attachment parenting mama to three beautiful children. She is currently taking a leave of absence from her busy career as an estate planning attorney to focus on her home and family. In her spare time she loves crafting, reading a good book, red wine, all things geeky, and loving on her babies.