Slightly OT: In praise of babywearing

24 posts / 0 new
Last post
cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658
Slightly OT: In praise of babywearing

I seriously do not know how people manage to raise babies without slings! My Maya Wrap is like my right hand these days. Not only is it incredibly helpful at home and about town while shopping, etc, it is the best travel tool I have ever known. We just took TWO long distance flights in a row (NYC last weekend, New Orleans this weekend--and for that one I was solo with her) and she was a perfect angel for every minute of the traveling and all of the events. And I credit it largely to the sling. She just curls up and sleeps in that thing--HOURS more than she would otherwise--and I am hands-free the entire time. I even ran through two airports nursing hands free, covered up, and pulling baggage at the same time and didn't lose a minute. Plus I get compliments on how pretty it is all the time--it almost just looks like an accessory.

For any new mom, it would be my Number One suggestion, hands down. Ring sling!! The other wraps are nice for when they're older, but being cradled in the ring sling is so womb-like, it's basically like having the ease of just being pregnant back again for both of you. With the bonus of being able to let others carry the weight sometimes, and being able to kiss on the baby Wink


At a wedding last weekend...dad power!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

You guys look great!

I have had Drew in my ring sling the past couple of days, as well. I put him in tummy to tummy and we are good to go (even if it's just so Mama can get a snack). I love the adjustability of the ring sling. I never got the hang of nursing hands-free with DS1, but I am hoping to with this little guy!

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

The three of you are just too cute and that sling is quite stylish! Do you prefer it over the Moby style wrap because of the heat factor? I bet I could make a ring sling pretty easily. Oooh, a task for next weekend!

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

I love our ring slings - and we (DH and I) make one for everyone we know who's having a baby.

We take a piece of fabric 2.25m long, and approximately 20" wide.
2 - 3.5" horse rings.
An iron
A sewing machine
thread an appropriate colour

1. put the fabric in the washer and dryer.
2. iron the long edges of the fabric - folded over twice to make a clean edge.
3. sew both long edges straight
4. (the hardest part) Lightly iron in half just to find the middle. Fold both sides so that the sides touch the middle of the fabric. Do the same again until the fabric if about 6-8" wide. Iron it.
5. Fold the end over once and iron.
6. Put the rings around the folded fabric, fold over the fabric about 10" with the rough edge inside. Sew three seams in any pattern you like.
7. Put the sling together and cut it the length you want it. DH and I find it usually the correct length if we start out at 2.25m of cloth.
8. Iron the bottom seam folded over twice, and sew.

I'll try to get some photos up to help visualize...

Allie01979's picture
Joined: 10/10/07
Posts: 4706

I loved my ring sling with Aidan (Emily made it, Emilys3guppies) even though I didn't start baby wearing until he was 5 months, it was amazing and great for travelling, I even used the carrier when he was 18 months on our trip to Florida Smile

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Erin, I prefer the ring sling at this age due to the ease of cradle-hold carrying (she gets crabby when I try to put her in an upright hold unless she is wide awake, and HATED it for the first month regardless). I made a bunch of other carriers but went out and bought this one (used) after I realized none of them would work yet. And I'm really glad, too, because the CD that came with it was super helpful in getting comfy with it. I had been starting to despair of being able to figure out babywearing, and it was so important to me! We're starting to be able to use the Moby some now but the sling is still our first choice most of the time. I also like how super quick and easy it is to take her in and out, put it on and take it off, etc.--I can even transfer her to another person without taking her out of the sling! And I have NO idea how you'd nurse in any other style of sling, but you can do it pretty easily in this, and even flip the tail up for a cover. AND mine has a pocket in the tail so I can throw my wallet and phone in there and not even need a purse...rave rave rave rave rave Smile

Sarah, that's great, thanks for sharing!! I want to make some now. Do you have any particulars on how you choose the fabric? I know if it's too thick it won't pass through the rings easily, and I guess you'd want some stretch but not too much...anything else to keep in mind that you've found?

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

I have not used a ring sling, but I want one. I made a pouch sling when DD was about 5 months old or so, but the way it turned out, it is good for hip carries, but not cradles. I love my wrap, and DS tends to prefer tio be upright unless he is eating (he is always needing to burp) I occasionally use my wrap for nursing when we are out, but it doesn't work very well for that--there doesn't seem to be a way to make it not awkward. I will probably get a ring sling for baby #3.

Your sling is beautiful, Leigh!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Since we're talking about carriers, I just thought I'd include a link about positioning newborns properly so they can breathe. I hope it's helpful

http://www.thebabywearer.com/articles/HowTo/Positioning.pdf

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

Good link!
Love the pic of you guys Leigh!
I totally agree about the sling (and carriers in general). I just got out my good old friend that I had made for me with DS, love it so much. I carried him in that thing until he was like 18 months old!

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

Thanks for the link, Erin!

SaucyVidel's picture
Joined: 07/20/06
Posts: 634

I can't deal with ring slings (I purchased one with my first baby) because the unequal weight distribution hurt my neck. My boob also tended to be in the way of the baby and result in some strange positioning neither of us liked. So for me, I am all about front and back wrapping, no hip carries. Babywearing DOES rock and it is so nice that there is something for everyone and every situation.

The Babywearer is an awesome site and great resource, I love the link on newborn positioning, Erin!

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

Leigh- 1st of all, LOVE the picture of you guys!!! I have been going back and forth about getting a ring sling, but I think you just sold me. I have a wrap and I do love it, but it seemed I couldn't find a really comfy way to nurse DS in it until he was a little older.

Now that my new sewing machine is on it's way (gonna teach myself to sew) I'm definitely going to try to sew my own. Thanks for the step by step instructions, Sara!!!

Woo Hoo!! This sounds like an easy enough sewing project for me to learn on Smile Never thought I'd be so excited about sewing (and neither did DH).

Mom2ThreeKiddos's picture
Joined: 09/15/09
Posts: 1380

I have that same sling. You guys look great!

faeriecurls's picture
Joined: 06/04/08
Posts: 790

I love my Maya! We are still learning and Lily has only been in it twice, but so far it's great.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Yes, thanks for the link! I read so much and got so paranoid about positioning that it almost made me too scared to wear her...soooo glad I persevered and figured it out in the end, though. There is a very helpful babywearing safety group on FB, as well, if anyone's interested. The most basic rule of thumb is a finger's width under their chin (no touching to chest), and no fabric touching their nose. That's another reason I like the ring sling so much...it's so adjustable. I could never get the pouch style right.

Taryl--very true, there is no one style that is best for everyone, but I almost didn't try the ring sling at all, thinking I didn't like the idea of a one-shouldered carry, and it ended up being by far the best thing for us, so I just wanted to share my experience! It's wonderful indeed that there is so much inventiveness out there these days, and so many options to make keeping your baby close so easy.

http://shop.mothering.com/product-p/digreprint-bwearing2.htm

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

sorry, double post!

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

"SaucyVidel" wrote:

I can't deal with ring slings (I purchased one with my first baby) because the unequal weight distribution hurt my neck. My boob also tended to be in the way of the baby and result in some strange positioning neither of us liked. So for me, I am all about front and back wrapping, no hip carries. Babywearing DOES rock and it is so nice that there is something for everyone and every situation.

The Babywearer is an awesome site and great resource, I love the link on newborn positioning, Erin!

I also don't like ring slings because I have back issues. I do love baby wearing though! I have the Moby and then an Olives & Applesauce buckle carrier for older babies. My profile pic is the olives & applesauce carrier!

Great photo by the way!

Kally_Ann's picture
Joined: 12/15/06
Posts: 237

What an awesome picture! You guys are adorable!!

We are huge baby wearers here as well. We haven't used a stroller in forever! My 3 year old still gets worn most of the time!

I LOVED our Maya wrap ring sling too...but my chubby little guy is too heave for one shoulder carries now! Sad We love our Babyhawk and woven wrap though!

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

"cactuswren" wrote:

Sarah, that's great, thanks for sharing!! I want to make some now. Do you have any particulars on how you choose the fabric? I know if it's too thick it won't pass through the rings easily, and I guess you'd want some stretch but not too much...anything else to keep in mind that you've found?

I go to the discount section, 100% cotton fabrics. I try to find something colourful and busy that fits the person, but I always give it the "breathe" test. I put my mouth right up to the fabric and make sure I won't suffocate by breathing through it. No, you usually can't breathe freely, but if I can breathe through it for 5-6 breaths without feeling lightheaded then I figure it's OK.

DH still carries Ivy around in his sling when we go out. We're a pair of baby-wearers now!

I've never got the knack of nursing in the ring sling, let alone hands free... Any suggestions of a web page that could help? It would be mighty handy!

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Thanks, that's a good tip Wink

I think nursing might be easier for me because I wear her backward from how a lot of people do (according to moms I know and the instructional video that came with the Maya Wrap, anyway). I generally have her in a cradle hold with her head AWAY from the rings. Then it's easy to just pull down the inner rail and nurse on that side. I just hold her in nursing position with my arm and adjust the sling around her to keep her there. I guess sometimes I do support her head in the crook of my elbow a little while nursing, especially if I was in too much of a hurry to really mess much with the sling adjustment when I latched her on, but it's mostly hands-free even then. Then you just flip the tail up over your opposite shoulder and you're even covered up with no drama.

I found that putting her head toward the rings was a lot harder for me to feel comfortable with her position, since it makes a big pouch on that side that her head kept getting sucked way down into. I like her head on the side with the most adjustability Smile And the tent created where it pulls up on the ring side makes excellent leg space for a cradle hold, too.

I'd be happy to share resources, but I never found anything online--I got all my tips from the Maya Wrap DVD and a couple of really helpful experienced babywearers in my Mom & Baby group. But I hope at least that description is helpful...

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

I really love carriers in general, but I have to say, I was almost put off in the begining too. I tried my Moby once in late April, and I was so hot, and it felt so wrong that I never tried it again. Sad Then I used my Maya ring sling a lot, only in the newborn hold though. Now that Beni is bigger and can hold her head and upper body pretty well, I love to use the ring sling to aid in a hip carry. That said, we mostly use mei tais and the Ergo now.

My issue with the ring sling is that the fabric of the tail would always get all scrunched up in the rings- flipped and what not. And then I couldn't really adjust it well. I don't know what I was doing wrong- anyone else have this issue? I plan on using my Maya again on the plane in October (it was the BEST for the 15 hour flight we did in August, she slept in there the whole time, and I could sleep too!), but I would like to figure out the stupid fabric-scrunching issue!

AmberC727's picture
Joined: 06/05/06
Posts: 226

"Marite13" wrote:

I really love carriers in general, but I have to say, I was almost put off in the begining too. I tried my Moby once in late April, and I was so hot, and it felt so wrong that I never tried it again. Sad Then I used my Maya ring sling a lot, only in the newborn hold though. Now that Beni is bigger and can hold her head and upper body pretty well, I love to use the ring sling to aid in a hip carry. That said, we mostly use mei tais and the Ergo now.

My issue with the ring sling is that the fabric of the tail would always get all scrunched up in the rings- flipped and what not. And then I couldn't really adjust it well. I don't know what I was doing wrong- anyone else have this issue? I plan on using my Maya again on the plane in October (it was the BEST for the 15 hour flight we did in August, she slept in there the whole time, and I could sleep too!), but I would like to figure out the stupid fabric-scrunching issue!

I have this same problem, and I don't know why it occurs or how to fix it! So frustrating!

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

I find the best way to deal with it is to fluff out the part going through the rings each time as a part of putting it on. That's what the mom in my group who showed me how to use a ring sling said to do, and it works well. When I get lazy about it, mine gets all messed up in there too, but when I remember to straighten it out every time, it never gets too bad.

I like the Buddha carry when she's awake now that we have head control, too Smile

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

"cactuswren" wrote:

I like the Buddha carry when she's awake now that we have head control, too Smile

That's how DS1 liked to be carried for a long, long time! He loved to flirt with all the people we'd see from his little perch.

Log in or register to post comments