Babywearing Basics Part II – Slings

 
There’s absolutely nothing, from a mother’s perspective, quite like popping a baby into a piece of cloth strapped to your body and quieten the little screamer by simultaneously breastfeeding, holding a cookbook, and mixing cake batter. I never thought that would be possible, until I discovered baby wearing. In the introduction to my Babywearing Basics Series, I covered exactly that – the basics of baby wearing. Now, we’re going to dive into each different type of baby carrier!

First up, we’re swinging our little ones around in slings!

Or not.

Slings are actually very, very secure. I doubted the comfort and security of a sling so much that I didn’t even bother trying them until Ninja was a year old! I wish I had used one when he was an newborn – the ease of breastfeeding in one of these babies is astounding!

So, here’s how a sling works: You put the sling over your head and put the ring on one shoulder while the sling itself is on the opposite hip – kind of like you would a hand bag with a really long strap. Then you simply put the baby in the sling, hold him/her in place, and pull on the tail of the sling, through the ring, until it tightens to the comfort of you and your baby. Voila! Done!

If you decide to try a sling and google ‘Sling Carriers’, you will quickly learn that there are dozens if not hundreds of different brands. Personally, I bought the Maya Wrap Ring Sling in ‘Bright Stripes’ for no other reason than I love the print.  I don’t suggest you buy for the same reason! Read reviews, ask around on babywearing boards, and do your research first!   Some of that research, I’ve done for you – here are some pics and reviews from my babywearing group:

This is a horrible pic of me, but it’s too cute not to post. This was Ninja’s
first time in his Maya Wrap Ring Sling – he fell asleep about four minutes later!

This mama is Abby, and she recently fell in love with a Wrap Conversion
by Sleeping Baby Productions. A ‘wrap conversion’ means they took a wrap (which I will post about later)
and converted it into a sling. Lots of mamas do this because there are so many comfortable, gorgeous wraps 
available! Abby loves the closeness and ease of a ring sling, and says that hers is ‘so ridiculously comfortable!’

This cute, snug little one is baby to Melissa. While she prefers wraps for general use, Melissa
keeps a ring sling in the car for errands due to their comfort and user-friendliness. 
Babywearer Rachel states that ‘If I’m just washing bottles or doing some quick job and the baby needs to be held, I’ll use my SBP ring sling’. 

Babywearer Heather also claims that her ‘go-to for quick trips is my wrap conversion ring sling because its so easy to use.’

When it comes to ring slings, they really are a nearly fool-proof form of baby-wearing that can last from birth all the way through toddlerhood. The consensus, which I actually agree with (that never happens!), is that they’re easy and comfortable…for shorter periods of time. Due to the design of a sling, all of the weight is on one shoulder, which can be quite burdensome after awhile unless you have a sling with a very thick/padded shoulder area.
Hope this helps you understand a little more about babywearing and ring slings! Stay tuned for Babywearing Basics Part III – Mei Tei’s. 

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10779078130089120844 Jenifer

    I am on my 3rd sling/carrier and my 3 month old just doesn’t seem to like it. I have a Balboa baby, a (chico or jeep-don’t remember)soft carrier , and a sling (http://www.sevenslings.com/). I would really like to do more babywearing but hesitate to spend any more money. Any suggestions?

    Also, what is a ‘SBP ring sling’?

    Thanks!
    Jenifer

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02283118179291569376 Shanda

      Sleepy Baby Productions is ‘SBP’. Not only do they make ring slings, but they do wrap conversions, which is what the bottom two pictures are in this particular post. Most sling mamas in my group have wrap conversions, which basically means that they bought a wrap that they loved, and then sent it to SBP to have it converted into a sling. SBP also sells Ellaroo (a wrap brand) conversions straight off of her site. http://www.sleepingbaby.net/slingified.php

      Some babies just really don’t like to be carried, and some wind up liking it more as they get older. Ninja has been carried since birth and still loves it at 14 months. Artist Child wouldn’t stand for it, at any point in time – she couldn’t stand to be touched or held, much less strapped to my body. lol.

      I do know that sevenslings doesn’t have the best reputation. Many, many babywearing mamas are huge fans of wraps (as am I – they’re my favorite), and you can find those pretty cheap. If I were you, I’d give wraps a shot. You can find great used wraps (which means they’re already broken in) on diaperswappers – I have two cheapy gauze wraps (my favorite) and a Wrapsody Bali Breeze (Ninja’s favorite), and then a WAHM no-name that I’m fairly sure is just fabric straight from the bolt.

      Hope that helps!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09218498742250493159 Meegs

    Nice. I love my wrap conversion because it was already so soft and snuggly and broken in from using it as a wrap first! Plus the poor wrap was getting no love (since I always reached for my Zara).

    I think my favorite though is my Mei Tai’s, so I look forward to that post. (Let me know if you need pictures!)

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02283118179291569376 Shanda

      I would LOVE pictures! Send them to thevagabondstudio at gmaildotcom – just make sure you include what kind of Mai Tai it is. I just entered the world of Mei Tai’s with a BabyHawk, and I’m in heaven!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17502005741803985564 Anna

    My “babies” are now 24 and 21, and I wore them constantly. My sling was just a long rectangular shawl from Guatemala that I tied into a knot. When my youngest was about 2, they started coming out with padded slings with adjustable D-rings, but my sling was the best! Throw it in my purse and away we go. It was particularly helpful with my son who weighed a whopping 26 lbs when he was 6 months old. He’s now 6’3″. :) I’m glad yall are keeping up the tradition.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10779078130089120844 Jenifer

    Thanks!!