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Ring Slings and Pouches

Ring Slings
Simple carrier that goes over one shoulder
Adjustable by adjusting the fabric through the rings
Suitable for newborn through to preschool
Good for summer as one layer of fabric can be cooler than other kinds of slings

Adjustable Pouches
Same positioning as a ring sling
Once set to right size for you, simple for popping child in and out

 

More Information:
A ring sling is a simple carrier that can be used from birth right up to and beyond 3 years of age. It helps you carry your baby or child to you in a natural position that you would hold him/her in, but with the added security and comfort of a soft fabric to allow you to go hands free.  The fabric goes across one shoulder, spreads out across your back and then creates a pouch at the side and/or front for your child. It can then be adjusted by pulling the fabric through the rings. By pulling the fabric in different ways, you can adjust either the whole pouch, or just the top and bottom of it (called the 'rails'). This enables you to create a pouch that is the right size for your child and the position they are in for their ages. Ring slings are sized for the adult, not the child. The size relates to the length of the sling, as all the brands we stock keep the same width for their different sizes. A nice wide fabric makes for a deeper, safer seat for your baby or toddler. Little babies tend to go in with their legs tucked up underneath them in a deep pouch on your front, although some people do find that their babies are insistent on having their legs out from a young age - but the sling can still be secured so that it is tight enough to support the babies back and head before they have strong head control.
What type of ring sling should I choose?
Ah yes - the many different fabrics, lengths, shoulders and ring types. Different people just do like different types of slings, however there are a few things to look out for.
Fabric: A ring sling needs to support weight of a baby and also be able to carry and support a toddler so a wrap style fabric designed for babywearing is an ideal choice. The weave of the fabric will then have some 'give' and a straightforward cotton or other similar off the shelf fabric can be unyielding and stiff in comparison. The wrap style fabrics will also become even softer with use but will maintain their strength as your baby gets heavier. Most are made of 100% cotton, or a cotton linen mix but some also have silk, wool or linen in with the cotton. Linen can make a sling cooler in summer and some people swear it is better for toddlers (I am yet to be truly convinced!). Linen can be a bit rougher to the touch when new, but should quickly soften into a lovely mouldable fabric for carrying.
Rings: The rings need to be strong, safety tested for use with babies and slippy enough to allow fabric to move through them easily when you want it to, and grip when you don't. We favour aluminium rings for the slings we stock as they are good in all these respects. Some brands also use coloured aluminium rings.
Shoulder styles
A ring sling should sit on your shoulder - not on your neck - although some styles will allow the fabric to extend as far as your neck. Choice of shoulder style is very much personal preference:
Padded:
This means that the part of the sling that sits on your shoulder has some light padding. This can be great for beginners as you can quickly see and feel where the sling should be and it stops fabric travelling up to your neck and down your arm. I still frequently use my 7 year old padded Maya sling so it is not only for beginners!

Gathered: This is the opposite to a padded sling - the fabric gathered and sewn close to the ring so it then fans out and spreads wide across your shoulder, allowing the wearer to adjust it in a way that suits them. People with narrow shoulders sometimes (but not always!) find these harder to use as they feel the fabric spreads too much across their shoulder. See Little Frog, Storchenwiege Kokadi
Pleated: A
pleated shoulder is usually sewn closer to the rings than a gathered shoulder and makes the change from the gathering at the rings and the spread across the back a little more gradual - i.e. the fabric is slightly more controlled across the shoulder. You can get straightforward pleats which create a narrower shoulder, or box pleats which spread the fabric a little wider. The Rockin' Baby has a pleat on one side and then spreads on the other - sounds crazy but it works!  See Neobulle and Rockin Baby 

Laying a
Baby Across Your Body in a Ring Sling
Some older instructions you see may show babies laying almost horizontally across the adult's body in a sling. This is now NOT advised due the increased possibility of a young baby's chin meeting his/her chest and blocking the airways which is very dangerous. Please see the Sling Safety page for more advice on slings and staying safe.



Ring Slings
Simple carrier that goes over one shoulder
Adjustable by adjusting the fabric through the rings
Suitable for newborn through to preschool
Good for summer as one layer of fabric can be cooler than other kinds of slings

Adjustable Pouches
Same positioning as a ring sling
Once set to right size for you, simple for popping child in and out

 

More Information:
A ring sling is a simple carrier that can be used from birth right up to and beyond 3 years of age. It helps you carry your baby or child to you in a natural position that you would hold him/her in, but with the added security and comfort of a soft fabric to allow you to go hands free.  The fabric goes across one shoulder, spreads out across your back and then creates a pouch at the side and/or front for your child. It can then be adjusted by pulling the fabric through the rings. By pulling the fabric in different ways, you can adjust either the whole pouch, or just the top and bottom of it (called the 'rails'). This enables you to create a pouch that is the right size for your child and the position they are in for their ages. Ring slings are sized for the adult, not the child. The size relates to the length of the sling, as all the brands we stock keep the same width for their different sizes. A nice wide fabric makes for a deeper, safer seat for your baby or toddler. Little babies tend to go in with their legs tucked up underneath them in a deep pouch on your front, although some people do find that their babies are insistent on having their legs out from a young age - but the sling can still be secured so that it is tight enough to support the babies back and head before they have strong head control.
What type of ring sling should I choose?
Ah yes - the many different fabrics, lengths, shoulders and ring types. Different people just do like different types of slings, however there are a few things to look out for.
Fabric: A ring sling needs to support weight of a baby and also be able to carry and support a toddler so a wrap style fabric designed for babywearing is an ideal choice. The weave of the fabric will then have some 'give' and a straightforward cotton or other similar off the shelf fabric can be unyielding and stiff in comparison. The wrap style fabrics will also become even softer with use but will maintain their strength as your baby gets heavier. Most are made of 100% cotton, or a cotton linen mix but some also have silk, wool or linen in with the cotton. Linen can make a sling cooler in summer and some people swear it is better for toddlers (I am yet to be truly convinced!). Linen can be a bit rougher to the touch when new, but should quickly soften into a lovely mouldable fabric for carrying.
Rings: The rings need to be strong, safety tested for use with babies and slippy enough to allow fabric to move through them easily when you want it to, and grip when you don't. We favour aluminium rings for the slings we stock as they are good in all these respects. Some brands also use coloured aluminium rings.
Shoulder styles
A ring sling should sit on your shoulder - not on your neck - although some styles will allow the fabric to extend as far as your neck. Choice of shoulder style is very much personal preference:
Padded:
This means that the part of the sling that sits on your shoulder has some light padding. This can be great for beginners as you can quickly see and feel where the sling should be and it stops fabric travelling up to your neck and down your arm. I still frequently use my 7 year old padded Maya sling so it is not only for beginners!

Gathered: This is the opposite to a padded sling - the fabric gathered and sewn close to the ring so it then fans out and spreads wide across your shoulder, allowing the wearer to adjust it in a way that suits them. People with narrow shoulders sometimes (but not always!) find these harder to use as they feel the fabric spreads too much across their shoulder. See Little Frog, Storchenwiege Kokadi
Pleated: A
pleated shoulder is usually sewn closer to the rings than a gathered shoulder and makes the change from the gathering at the rings and the spread across the back a little more gradual - i.e. the fabric is slightly more controlled across the shoulder. You can get straightforward pleats which create a narrower shoulder, or box pleats which spread the fabric a little wider. The Rockin' Baby has a pleat on one side and then spreads on the other - sounds crazy but it works!  See Neobulle and Rockin Baby 

Laying a
Baby Across Your Body in a Ring Sling
Some older instructions you see may show babies laying almost horizontally across the adult's body in a sling. This is now NOT advised due the increased possibility of a young baby's chin meeting his/her chest and blocking the airways which is very dangerous. Please see the Sling Safety page for more advice on slings and staying safe.