Ring Sling

How Did I Get It? I bought it from a baby shop. (They are widely available from many different sources.)

Where, when and how often do I use it? I used it when the kids were under about six/seven months old. Then I switched to the ergo.

Good points: Inexpensive. Comfortable to wear, chiefly (I think) because I could shift the weight of the child around my body, instead of having it always stuck in one place. Versatile – baby can recline or sit up, hip carry, back carry, can even face forwards (search youtube for videos showing positions and techniques).

It allowed me to breastfeed easily, even whilst walking around. I could tuck a few bits and pieces in next to the baby, which was especially handy going through airports. The best thing was the number of alternative uses I was able to find for it on the road. Here are some of the things I have used my ring sling for, apart from carrying a baby:

  • Towel
  • Sheet/mattress cover
  • Swaddle wrap for young baby
  • Insect-and-light-proof cover over the top of a portacot
  • Window shade for cars/minivans
  • Makeshift beach tent
  • Picnic rug
  • Tablecloth
  • Shawl for breastfeeding (in and out of the sling) or for warmth/protection from sun
  • Hanging basket for keeping valuable, breakable and dangerous items out of reach of baby in the hotel room
  • Makeshift backpack

Drawbacks: I found it hard to use as a hands-free carrier (although I managed it briefly in certain positions). Update: there are also safety concerns with incorrect use. I think it would be easier to go hands-free with an older baby, but I prefer the ergo beyond a certain weight as the ergo brings the weight onto the hips better (the ring sling puts the weight on the shoulders and upper back). Also, it requires practice. A non-ring design will require less practice but you will loose versatility.

Do I recommend it (to whom)? Yes, but with qualifications. My husband prefers the baby bjorn for this age group because he finds it much simpler to use (and his back held up to the baby bjorn much better than mine – mine couldn’t cope past 7-8kg, which for our eldest happened around 3-4 months). I recommend it to those who would like to travel with a very young baby and are willing to spend time practising with it before hitting the road (especially if your husband is willing to practice, too).

Disclosure: I haven’t been paid or in any other way given an incentive to write this.

The ring sling being used as a makeshift backpack, beside its chief competitor in our household, the baby bjorn - at Lamington National Park (Binna Burra).

The ring sling being used as a makeshift backpack, beside its chief competitor in our household, the baby bjorn – at Lamington National Park (Binna Burra).

And in its more orthodox position as a baby carrier - Penang.

And in its more orthodox position as a baby carrier – Penang.

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