About Ring Slings
A ring sling is a one shouldered fabric baby sling. A long continuous piece of fabric wraps over one of the wearer's shoulder, across the front of the body and under the opposite arm, to form a loop. The fabric is secured by two rings and adjusted through pulling the fabric through the rings to tighten. It is a variation of a 'traditional sling' which utilises a slip knot to secure the two ends of the fabric instead of the two rings.
Ring slings allow for an optimal and secure carry due to the 'deep seat' baby sits in: baby should be in a deep squat, with knees higher than their bottom. The fabric sits tight from one knee to the other knee. This positioning is also optimal for baby's hip development and great for getting their bowels moving!
Baby sits upright, with their chest on your chest. Ensuring their chin remains off their chest means that baby's airway is open and eliminates any airway occlusion.
Baby's head should be high and 'close enough to kiss' making it easy for you to monitor and respond to baby whilst in your sling.
When made out of natural fabrics such as silk or linen, ring slings are suitable for use in both the heat and the cold as the natural fabrics are breathable and comfortable for both wearer and baby. Being a fabric sling, it is fully adjustable to wearer and baby, this is especially important as your baby grows to ensure their neck, back and hips are supported along every step of the way. Particularly when baby is tiny, having a simple one or two layers of fabric over their body (as is the case with a ring sling) makes for a more intuitive carry as there is no excess fabric around baby's face and airway. Ring slings can be adjusted to fit all body types.
Although having an initial learning curve to mastering the ring sling, they are one of the quickest ways to wear your baby and even quicker to take baby out. This makes the ring sling perfect for both newborn days, when you're needing to wear baby often, and for toddlerhood when they want to get down as soon as they've asked you for 'ups'.
Ring slings are genius in their simplicity yet strong enough to carry your toddler. You can wear and prepare your sling before baby is put in without the tail fabric dragging on the floor (great for carparks!) and leave it on in between carries if need be. They fold away super small, are lightweight and can fit into your handbag/baby bag/carry on luggage.
Travelling with your ring sling couldn't be easier. I've seen through many long flights with baby sleeping on me in my ring sling while I sat down, as there are no bulky buckles or straps along your back or waist, sitting is very comfortable in your sling.
Breastfeeding is also easily facilitated in a ring sling, especially handy when you need to feed on the go. Simply lift up the bottom ring to loosen the sling and bring baby to breast height. As the sling is not tightened completely while feeding you need to support baby with one hand as they breastfeed, although many people won't even realise you're breastfeeding! Sling can be then tightened for an optimal carry after the feed.
The versatility of the ring sling allows it to see you through from when baby is first born until preschool (depending on the child!), it really does become something you reach for every day. There are many different carries using a ring sling as baby grows: chest to chest, hip carry and back carry.
Chest to chest is ideal for a newborn and infant: it supports the natural form of their body and allows them to interact with their outside environment without becoming overstimulated as they can return to you, your chest and face, when they need a rest. For older babies it is also a great carry especially when baby is tired or needing to breastfeed.
Hip carries allow an older baby, one that can sit up unassisted, to engage more with their environment if they so desire. Many parents also find this to be a comfortable carry for them as it is so similar to carrying baby in arms on your hip.
Back carries are great for an older baby, they can see from your perspective. It is also a great carry for the wearer as some find back carries more comfortable as baby grows (due to using your abdominal muscles when baby is on your back) and also when safety is an issue and you're needing your full field of vision unobscured.
Once baby is older, these carries can all be used interchangeably, depending on the situation you are in.
Zarinah ring slings are independently safety tested to suit newborns to toddlers and the natural fabric silk is durable and strong making it comfortable for the wearer as baby grows. Silk is also lightweight so great for both travelling and day to day in both summer and winter. The luxurious silk means you can dress the sling down for the supermarket run or dress it up for any occasion including weddings. Due to the simplicity of the continuous piece of fabric and the quick drying properties of silk, I can machine wash my ring sling and have it dry in no time, even in colder winter months.
The versatility of your ring sling doesn't end there: I've used it as a change mat, a towel, a breastfeeding cover and a blanket!
As a new mother who felt the most confident and secure when baby was nestled close to me, babywearing was my saviour. After trying stretchy wraps, soft structured carriers and ring slings, I found myself continuously reaching for my ring sling. The stretchy wrap served me well in the early days but felt less supportive as my baby grew. It was also A LOT of fabric and slower to put on and remove during those moments baby was upset and I was, in turn, flustered.
I didn't initially resonate with the backpack-like feel of a soft structured carrier. I found most brands didn't conform to my frame in an optimal way, baby was almost lost in the bulky fabric pocket and it was not as adjustable as the fabric slings and wraps were.
Thus my love affair for ring slings was ignited and the flame burns bright to this day!