This is one of several "All About" posts where each is about a particular type of commonly used baby carriers. I WANT HELP with pictures, comments and tricks to each brand you have experience with, how to use it properly, different carry options, and more! So please offer input to help supplement my information.
You can add homemade ring slings to this thread, but only if you share the pattern you used (or at least link to where you got it). I would appreciate only safely made rings sling be shared on here, so the best information is available.
We cover pouches (slings without rings) in another thread!
Ring slings (RS) are a length of fabric with two rings at one end. They are usually worn on one shoulder with the cloth wrapped around the parent and baby; the carrier is tightened and adjusted by using the two rings. Rings slings are great because most can be used with newborns and toddlers both! There are also several different ways to wear a baby in one. Depending on the length of the cloth used, one sling can be often used for both petite and fluffy parents. The main difference between rings slings are the length (which mainly affects the length of the tail), how the shoulder is gathered and sewn, and the type of fabric used to make it.
Ring Sling Brands/Types: (I will add to this list as people add info!)
Sleeping Baby Productions
P Sling (note these do follow some different "rules" than other ring slings! They're rather unique!)
SweetPea Ring Slings
Ring Sling Help:
Nursing in a ring sling - videos, picture of newborn nursing, pictures of toddler nursing
Tips for using a ring sling (and keeping the rings in the right position!)
Semi Reclining Postion for Newborns (great, SAFE carry!)
Pull baby UP from a RS (video)
A different way of getting toddlers and kids into a ring sling (video)
How to thread a ring sling (includes hip carry too) (video)
"Declan's Shoulder Carry" (very unique and includes nursing too!) (video)
Variations of Ring Sling Shoulders
Anatomy of a ring sling video
Tummy to tummy visual tips
Quick 1 minute video on the "fill your bra" method of getting a good seat
**Before buying or using any sling please check it first for safety! Ring slings should have at least 3 rows of stitching in the shoulder and be made with quality rings that are of the correct size for the fabric used. The vast majority of professional rings slings are made with SlingRings which are aluminum or nylon. They have been made specifically for babywearing and are weight tested to 250 pounds. Craft rings are not safe and will eventually break! Correctly sized rings should allow the sling to be easily adjusted but with tension will not slip at all.**
And of course - not all slings are created equal!
Last edited by alwayssmile; 05-04-2012 at 04:33 PM.
~Jackie, mommy to Aiden (11/2/10) and Zoe (VBAC 11/27/12)
Sleeping Baby Productions (SBP) is my personal favorite. Her style of shoulder is comfortable for me and she has a lot of options on her website.
Jan's website: http://www.sleepingbaby.net/
SBP slings are really economical compared to many US ring sling makers. Jan offers a lot of fabric choices and colors, including wrap conversions (a ring sling made from woven wrap carriers)! She's easily reached through her Facebook page too. She makes slings as they're ordered, but they're usually made the next day and shipped out the day after that - amazingly fast turn around time IMO! She has a lot of help on her website for using ring slings and how to choose the right one for you. She even shares instructions on how to sew your own ring sling using her shoulder style.
I currently own a wrap conversion made from a BBSlen Pineapple wrap. It's a size medium. I wear a 4/6 in clothes and I'm 5'8", so you can see how long a medium wrap conversion sling is (the length is measured by the center of the wrap)! I had an issue with the long tail at first, but now I love it. I've used the tail to keep me warm on a windy day and it's a great cover for nursing. If it does get in the way, I just tie it in a knot or throw it over my shoulder.
These slings have a shoulder sewn as an overlapping knife pleat.
It's hard to see the shoulder well with my sling due to the strips. There are better pictures on her website!
Jan also sews an "Eesti" shoulder, which is very different. I haven't tried this shoulder personally.
Last edited by alwayssmile; 12-30-2011 at 04:42 PM.
Comfy Joey is a great brand of ring slings. She releases new colors and fabrics each season and they always look amazing.
Comfy Joey website: http://www.comfyjoey.com/index.php
Comfy Joey is a well known, reliable ring sling company. They only make so many slings of each color that's released each season, so don't wait forever to buy a sling if you see one you love. Her slings are also available or several other websites. She does have an option for you to design your own ring sling including using different color fabrics for your tail.
I currently own a linen sling from her 2009 summer collection. It is a size medium. I really liked using this sling during hot weather (it was cool for both Aiden and I). I found it very comfortable until Aiden his 20 pounds. I can still wear Aiden in it at 14 months, but it becomes uncomfortable after a bit. I think that's due to the thin linen being used which doesn't offer as much "padding" in the shoulder as my wrap conversation SBP sling. Still don't hate it at all though!
Her shoulder is a gathered shoulder, not pleated like SBP.
Maya Wrap SAVED my babywearing life. I tried so many other kinds of carriers, but my DD just wouldn't be carried parent-facing, and when she was too small to hold her head up, front-facing upright carries weren't even an option. I never felt I could get her in a safe position in pouches, either (with space between chin and chest)
Then, when she was about a month old, I went to my local children's consignment shop, and they had a Maya Wrap complete with DVD for $20. I figured I had nothing to lose and gave it a try--after just a short period of adjustment and tweaking, we knew we finally had a winner. I did like to wear her "backward" in it--it was just so much more comfortable for me than the standard position. So, I had the rings on my right shoulder and the baby lying down in a cradle carry position with her head to my left. That way, my right arm was completely free, and my left could sort of help cradle her, but also be free when I needed it. Her face was out of the fabric, I could easily nurse, and she was always happy. Also, I constantly got compliments on how beautiful it was--like, I literally could not leave the house without someone stopping me to gush--and often people didn't even realize what it was and that there was a baby in it! I guess they just didn't really look and assumed it was a colorful scarf? When I was traveling, more than one gate attendant took our tickets, looked confused, and said "...where's the baby?" lol
DD lived in that thing until she was 6 months old, at which point she became too heavy for me in a one-shoulder carry. But by that time, she was big enough to be more content in things like soft structured carriers, since now she could see out and look around. My Maya has found new life with a toddler, though, as a hip-carry assist to give my arm a break/have two hands when she's feeling really clingy. I'll try to get some pics of that...
2 months--waking up from a nap in the Maya
DH wearing her at a wedding (2 months)
About two weeks later, in New Orleans (on the fountain where DH and I got married )
Great information Leigh! Love for you to add a picture sometime if you can.
I have found that I've needed a more supportive ring sling the older DS has gotten, which is why I got a wrap conversion. HUGE difference between the cotton Maya I tried on once, my CJ, and my wrap conversion. Though definitely not as cheap as $20! That was such a great deal.
I had some serious sling envy the first time I met Leigh and Addy (in person). She convinced me to go the ring sling route so I bought one off Etsy. Its not a pretty as the Maya wraps and the rings are much smaller. It still rescued BWing for us. My Moby wasn't working for us. DD would just scream and I couldn't nurse in it easily. My first attempt with the ring sling was a complete success. I took it out for a test ride while pumpkin picking. I was able to get my 4 week old DD into it and breastfeed her while walking across the parking lot. It was my first successful public BFing trial. I felt like super mom. Here's a pic from that day! You can tell I really didn't know what I was doing because the fabric is all bunched up on my shoulder.
And a few weeks later