5 Ring Sling Tips and Tricks
Congratulations, mama! You’re the proud owner of a new ring sling. You’ve watched a few demo videos online and bonus points if you’ve read through the product manual :). You’ve tried your sling a few times but maybe it’s still a struggle to get you and your little one comfy? I hear you! That was my experience when I first started.
Here are my 5 simple tricks to take you from novice slinger to pro babywearing mama:
- Start with the rings high on your shoulder - The number one mistake I see in ring sling wearing is rings that are sitting too low. Rings naturally drift lower as you gently tug and tighten the fabric around baby. Start with the rings higher than you want them to be. By the end of your adjusting you’ll be much more comfortable with the rings positioned correctly and the fabric capped over your shoulder.
- Lift baby’s weight as you pull the extra fabric through the rings - Once you have baby in the sling you’ll want to tighten the fabric so that baby is held close to you and their back is straight. The easiest way to do this is to put one hand under baby’s bum and gently lift baby’s weight as you pull the extra fabric through the rings with the other hand.
- Sling with a clean, fed baby - When you are first getting started I always recommend trying the sling shortly after baby is fed. This helps ensure baby will be happy and content in the sling. Sometimes they will lull off to sleep in the sling and that’s the best feeling! It’s also good to check the diaper first before putting on the sling. We all know how often little one’s go, especially in the early days, so it’s always better to check the diaper first just in case.
- Start in short stretches of time - For some babywearing clicks instantly and babies love to be held for long stretches of time. For others baby’s resist at first or seem to be unhappy being worn. I always recommend to start in short stretches of time, maybe just 5 minutes, and slowly build up to longer. If baby gets upset in the sling then take them out and try again later. Just because baby gets upset early on in the sling doesn’t mean they won’t love it once they are used to it or when they are a little older. Movement and singing can make a big difference too so you can always try singing your little one's favorite song as you get them comfy.
- Practice, practice, practice - This one is obvious but the more you practice getting baby situated in the sling the easier it will be next time. It’s really helpful to practice in front of a mirror. Before long you’ll be able to get baby situated in the sling in less than a minute. That’s the best part about a ring sling is how easy and quick it is to put on. I tend to leave the rings threaded hanging on a peg easily accessible near my kitchen and it is ready anytime.
Once your little one is used to the sling it will be your go-to for those fussy or overtired times. And that trip on an airplane or family gathering will be so much less stressful with your baby on your chest.
What has been your experience using a ring sling? Did it click for your little one right away or did you have to start in short stretches of time? Have you found any useful tips you’d want to share with the Cadence babywearing community? Come share with us on Instagram @cadencebabyco!