Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ring Slings- My Favorite carrier.

I love ring slings.  Out of all the carriers I own, I reach for the ring slings the most.  They are simple, supportive, easy and versatile.  When I had Mr J (the youngest) I found that I needed to streamline the amount of time it took for me to get out and about with the Three boys.  I found that the buckle carriers were swamping him in summer, and that the stretchy wrap was too hot for me, and was taking too long to put on.  I needed something that i would use quickly, adjusted easily.  It was important that i could use for a long time, from both birth to toddler, and from 15 min to 3 hours. It had to comfortable for me and baby and the ring sling was the answer.  
I took a risk and bought a ring sling of a forum trading room (the green Kleinsmekker below).  The risk wasn’t that I bought a carrier on line, but that I was going out of my comfort zone and trying a carrier I had not seen or tried in real like.  Well it paid off big time and i have not looked back.  Mr J spent many hours in that sling, and still does.  I carried him in it when we were delayed 8 hours at the airport, and he was comfortable, I was comfortable, he could feed discreetly and it meant that the older kids could sit in the pram rather than the floor.  

Here are some pics of me enjoying some Ring sling time with by son.

There are a few different ways to carry a baby in a ring sling (and you tube has some great instructional videos such as- Obimama and Sakura ).  For a little bub I prefer the front upright carry where he is supported chest to chest.  Now he is older I wear him on my hip because he gets a great view.  Although there are some vidoes for a back carry from my experience don’t feel that it is comfortable or secure enough for me or him.

There are also lots of different types of materials used to make ring slings, cotton, mesh, woven wrap, silk, raw silk, hemp, linen.  Some have two layers, pockets, feature panels and colored rings, the options are endless.

Some features I look for in a sling are, 

Length- I prefer a long tail on my slings, it gives me versatility and I also like the security.
Width- make sure that the material is wide enough to create a really good pouch for the baby to sit in and that there is enough material to go up their back to their ears.
Shoulder Style- There are a few different ways of sewing the shoulder (the end of the material that is sewn at the rings, and that part that sits at you shoulder) I prefer a pleated shoulder, but it is really up to the wearer to try and see what they like.
Quality- always buy from a reputable and recommended seller or manufacturer.  Make sure that all of the stitching is secure and that there are no faults in the material.
Style- there are lots of different colors and prints used to make ring slings so have a good look around for a look that suites you and your baby, I find makes wearing my children a little bit more fun when I can wear a carrier that reflects my mood or style.

My personal favorites are Kleinsmekker and Obimama, but there are lots of really fabulous ring slings out there, so let your fingers do the walking, or you can start at online stores such as Tinoki, Karri tree lane, Brindabella baby.

Safe and enjoyable baby wearing,

**Please note, ring slings are not to be confused, compared too or associated with bag carriers or pouch slings.  Always practice at home in front of a mirror before attempting to use a new carrier out and about.  Always keep babies face uncovered and their chin off their chest to prevent restricted airflow.  Use carriers safely, they can wear out and deteriorate so check carriers over from time to time, and don’t partake in any activities while baby wearing that you wouldn’t do while holding you baby.  Baby carriers are not a safety device and should not be used in place of a restraint or while riding bikes, animals, or in any vehicle.

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