Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How to wear a ring sling

When we're out and about, I see sooooo many Mommies wearing their babies in ring slings the wrong way. I was fortunate to have a friend who was really familiar with how to correctly wear a ring sling show me how it was done. It seems a little daunting at first to get used to the sling and "juggling" the baby, but wearing the baby properly is a completely different, safer, & more comfortable experience than when it's not done right. It's definitely worth the time it takes to practice and learn how to do it properly. If you're not lucky enough to have a friend who is a baby wearing pro, you are lucky enough to "know" a blogger who is... me :) I've put together this list of resources so you can do a bit of homework. You'll be surprised at how quickly you get the hang of it!

I wrote these instructions that I give out with the ring slings I sell. They cover how to get started and each of the carries. It's a good place to start, and if you're giving a sling as a gift, you'll definitely want to print them to include in the package.

Watching someone put on a sling is the next best thing to having someone actually put one on you. The best place to watch... YouTube! I've listed my favorites below. They are really great instructional videos, but I'm considering making some of my own, not because I would do the instructions any better, but because there are some differences if you use an Elle Belle sling instead of the ones shown in the videos. My slings have a lot less fabric than these so threading the sling isn't quite as important/involved as they make it seem in the video. Also, the pleated shoulder on an Elle Belle sling helps it spread across your shoulder, so you don't have to "mess with" the shoulder part to spread it out like she does in the video.

How to thread the sling:

Putting it on:

The tummy to tummy carry - my favorite for infants!:

The kangaroo carry - babies love this one as soon as they have good head control:

The hip carry - as soon as they're old enough to carry on your hip you can use this really comfortable and quick carry. You can use a sling for as long as you're going to carry your child. If your child wants to be carried (even when they're 2 or older) using a sling makes it easier on your back and more comfortable, and this is the carry to use then:

So those are the easiest and the carries I used the most. There are others though, like the back, cradle, and nursing carries that you may want to try out once you get the basic ones down.

Now for the most common mistakes Mommies make. If you're uncomfortable wearing your sling, there's likely something a little off in the way you're wearing it, so check these videos out to see if you can make an adjustment.

The baby is too loose:

Sling is uncomfortable because fabric is bunched across the back:

Sling is uncomfortable because it's against your neck:

Babies legs are straight:

There you have it. I hope that helps you and your baby be comfortable safe and happy with your slings! Leave me a comment if you have any questions or need any help wearing your little.
Happy babywearing!


Michele said...

I don't have a ring sling...but I do have a wrap. It was terribly awkward at first because I was just trying to look at the pictures and directions that came with the product. Then, I decided to watch some videos on You Tube and it made a HUGE difference! I also highly recommend watching videos if someone can't actually show you.

I think it would be great if you did a video just for your slings, it would be so helpful to those who purchase them.

Wearing your baby is fun (and a need when you have two other little ones like me). It's important for the little one to be placed in the sling or wrap correctly...it is safer for the baby and for the mommy. Thanks for the tutorial (and I probably would have bought your cute wrap if I didn't have one already).

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