Do you have a ring sling you’d like to learn to use? This post includes tutorials and resources that will help you love your ring sling from day one!
The first thing you need to learn to do is thread your ring sling. Getting the threading set is really key to being able to tighten and adjust your sling. This video shows how to thread your ring sling:
Once you have it threaded, you’re ready to put your baby in the sling.
If you have a newborn, this video would be helpful. This video shows how to put the baby in the sling, how to tighten, and how to nurse baby in the sling.
You can position an older baby in front or on the hip. The best time to start hip carries is when you find yourself naturally carrying baby on the hip. This video shows how to do a hip carry with an older baby:
With a cooperative older baby/toddler you can also do a back carry in a ring sling. This video shows how to do a back carry so that the rings land comfortably on the hollow of your shoulder:
After you get baby in the ring sling, you may still need to do a bit of troubleshooting.
If you have any shoulder discomfort or feel like the rings are pressing uncomfortably on your chest, you may want to adjust your ring positioning. Different caregivers prefer different ring positioning. I prefer placing my rings just below my collarbone, but everyone has different preferences! You might prefer your rings lower. It can help to try a few different ring placements and see what feels most comfortable to you.
This video helps with troubleshooting ring positioning:
Another area where caregivers sometimes need a little adjustment is with getting a comfortable “seat” for the baby. This video explains what a “seat” is and shows a few methods for getting a great seat.
Sometimes people come to me and say that they feel their baby is leaning a bit toward their armpit and they feel like they need to keep a hand on the baby to support them. There is a quick and easy adjustment that can solve this problem:
Positioning the Baby
This great graphic from Babywearing International shows how to position the baby in the sling at different ages:
You can use the Acronym TASK to check your carry.
T: Can you fit Two fingers under baby’s chin? This insures that baby’s chin is off of baby’s chest. If you can’t fit two fingers under the chin, you can lean forward slightly, while supporting baby and gently tip baby’s chin upward.
A: Always Visible: You should always be able to see your baby’s entire face, even while nursing. Never cover your baby’s whole head and face with anything (the ring sling tail, a blanket, etc).
S: Snug and well supported. Your baby should be held snugly against you. If you feel like you need to hold your baby with your arms while they are in the sling, you likely need to tighten.
K: Kissable. Your baby should be close enough to kiss easily.