Who knew?

Before I had Anneliese “on the outside” I knew I wanted to give babywearing a go. I’m not sure where I first heard of it… probably somewhere in all of my research into natural/evolutionary diet, breastfeeding, etc. I guess I got sucked into the natural parenting rabbit hole.

But you really don’t know what type of carrier will be “for you” until you try. And at first I thought I’d like a pouch sling. I thought wraps and ring slings looked too complicated.

Well, my older sister gave me a pouch sling, and I used it in the beginning. My girl seemed comfy enough in it and fell right to sleep if we were out and about and she was in it. But soon she got too big to comfortably be in cradle hold in it, and since the sling is not adjustable, I couldn’t wear her snugly enough in other positions yet. I’ve kept it around in case it works better when she gets bigger.

My other older sister gave me a stretchy wrap style carrier, which she swore by when my niece and nephew were younger. It was simple enough to put on, even if it did take a minute or two with all the wrapping, but it was HOT, and my girl hated it. Once she was in it, too, it was next to impossible to adjust, so nursing in it was pretty much out of the question as well.

Then I got the chance to review a Snuggy Baby ring sling. It was AWESOME. Even though I had a soft structured carrier that Anneliese and I both really enjoyed… the simplicity of ring slings attracted me. They are NOT complicated, even if it seems that way “from the outside.” It’s so quick to pop them on and off, and to put the baby in. They’re also adjustable while wearing them, so I can lower Anneliese or angle her differently without taking her out, so it’s simple to nurse with her in a ring sling. I can have her tummy-to-tummy with her legs tucked in, which is a position she loves to fall asleep in.

Or I can pop her legs out of the bottom, which lets her body be a little snugger against mine. I can scoot her over onto my hip, which is great for her being able to “see the world” while I’m wearing her. And I can face her outward on my front (she’s basically sitting cross-legged) if she is well rested and interested in what’s going on around her. Later on, when she’s a little bigger, she can actually ride on my back in the ring sling!

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I got the fever. For sure. I started making myself some ring slings — dupioni silk ones (strong, but VERY lightweight), with pockets on the tail (so I can throw my phone, keys, lip balm, burp cloth or whatever in there and truly be hands-free). First I made this brown one with a happy owl family embroidered on the tail.

In these pics, we were going to a friend’s Halloween pre-party party. Anneliese loved being close to eye level with all the big people, and listening to them chat and joke. She was really alert the whole time, looking from face to face.

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Then I made myself this pretty blue one, with a fox embroidered on the pocket.

I love the color of this one!

We’ve gone on walks with our new slings, run errands, and just puttered around the house. My baby girl, who always hated to be worn in the house really seems to like my silk slings, maybe because I can cinch them so tightly, so she is very close to me. Recently, we baked cookies together, and she got to see all the action while I explained each step to her.

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It’s pretty precious when she gets sleepy, and rests her head on my chest. She’ll grip the tail of the sling, or hold on to the rings. Sometimes she lets her hand dangle and scratches the fabric slowly. Since dupioni silk is slubby-textured, it makes a pleasant “scritch, scritch” sound when she does that. I think she finds it calming.

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I don’t know if it’s the same for formula-fed babies, but it’s pretty common knowledge that breastfed babies smell amazing. At least to their mothers. Sometimes I catch myself just breathing in my girl’s sweet smell… like warm buttery vanilla. The ring sling makes that just that more convenient! Also, kisses are always right there waiting for me.

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I’m so excited that we’ve found babywearing, and found a way for it to work for us. My girl is going to see so much of the world from up there, and I love the closeness we have together.

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I’d really LOVE to try out a lightweight woven wrap. Ouch! That babywearing bug has bitten me HARD.

23 Comments on More Ring Slings–I Love Babywearing!

  1. Do you have a pattern that you used or was it pretty simple? I’m interested in sewing one but would love some guidance!

  2. Sarah says:

    I just can’t get my ring sling tight enough to wear with my 1 mo old and feel he is safe. Moby makes me and him feel more secure. Any advice for making the ring sling work? It is made of cotton, strong but not stretchy.

    • I don’t know if you have tried the silk, but I just got mine in the mail and it sticks SO WELL. I have a 6 week old and it was leaps and bounds better than the linen one I tried. I have the Sakura Bloom one, but imagine that any silk sling would be similar.

  3. Lindsay says:

    Your slings look beautiful and so comfy!! Do you make and sell them? Right now I’m using a hot sling but would be interested in trying a ring sling too!

  4. Faedras_Mask says:

    You made some really gorgeous slings!! I don’t have much experience with ring slings, I always used a pouch or a mei-tai with the tyke. Mei-tais look really complicated and inconvenient, but once you know how to do it they are convenient and ridiculously comfortable. My complaint with the pouch sling was that one side of my body would always get so sore, so I’d have to take it off and put it on the other side every so often. Not fun. With a good mei-tai, the weight is distributed so nicely on both shoulders that there is no soreness. I’ve done zoo trips, nature hikes, mall trips, and never had any trouble with soreness or difficulty getting him in or out of it. The biggest downside of the mei-tai for me was just that it took up so much space when it wasn’t in use. But it was totally worth lugging around.

    It sounds like your in-area friends have a few slings too. You guys should start a babywearers group! That way new moms/dads, or moms/dads new to babywearing can come and try out different varieties of slings to see which works best for them and their baby. The one in my area has meetings every other week where anyone can come, try out slings, and get help learning to use them properly. They chat about other parenting topics, and if you pay a one-time fee of $20, you can borrow a sling from their “sling library” (basically a collection of every type of sling imaginable) anytime, take it home, use it for a week or two (or more), and decide if it’s a style worth spending money to buy. It’s a great way for people to try different varieties, and to get support from other babywearing parents. Just something to think about, in the 30 seconds of spare time you probably get every day 😉

  5. Amber says:

    You are so beautiful, as is your little girl. 🙂 But I need to stop reading your baby posts (yeah, right…) You make me want another baby!!!!!!!!!!!! My youngest turns 1 in 3 days. Hes grown so much, I miss the days when all he did was nurse and cuddle up without any worries. Now hes so busy he doesnt want held AT ALL! All my babies are so grown, my oldest will be headed into double digits in the upcoming year! 9, 7, 2 and 1. I thought I would be done, but now I am questioning that….!!

  6. Aly says:

    I didn’t start baby wearing until I had my 3rd baby as I was advised not to as I have scoliosis.But as my 3rd was to be my last,I wanted to give it a go.We used a fleece pouch sling mostly when she was first born and a ring sling in the summer.Then when she was 1 we moved onto a mei thai.We both loved baby wearing and continued until she 18 months.By which time my back couldn’t take her weight any more and she preferred walking any way.I found baby wearing a much way to carry on doing every day things.Getting on the bus, the school run, and shopping was a lot hassle compared to having a pushchair.

  7. Beth Ritzman says:

    Awww! Love the photos!
    Yes, you can certainly make a lightweight wrap for yourself, and have one left over for a friend.

    I have a new and growing love for wrapping, but my first love is the superwide ringsling, and it is a love that will last forever. I’m typing right now as my 35lb 2yo sleeps in our red cotton sling 🙂

    The adjustability of ring slings makes them a great carrier from newborn till they’re bigger than you thought you could carry! 😀

  8. Jess says:

    I’m a mei tai girl myself. LOVE it. And now that my baby is long enough to put his legs out (You have to froggy their legs until they can bend at the knee when they are out), it’s even faster to get on. The only thing slowing me down before was trying to convince him to hold his legs still!

    I think you’ll like the pouch when she is able to hold herself up a little better. We just grew into it and it’s great for quick trips and he enjoys sitting on my hip with it.

    I think I might get a SSC though. It’s tough to decide which one. Definitely not an ergo because I think they’re ugly, but then between the beco, boba, and now an “angelpack” that I’ve seen at LLL meetings, ugh! Too many choices and they’re too pricey to buy them all.

  9. And don’t forget there are even many types of ring slings. variations of fabrics, rinngs size & type. And most importantly for most, the various shoulder styles.

    I am one who could not get a good fit on my shoulders and upper body using a sling that has a ‘gathered’ or loose ‘pleated’ shoulder. I preferred the less inhibiting feeling of a more narrow design of the shoulder like a Maya or zolowear. I just couldn’t do much with a gathered shoulder sliding down my arm. So I tweaked my pattern for 4 years to get it just right for Swanky Baby Gear ring slings.

    There is something for everyone out there. And the good part is all will bring you literally closer to your new sweet smelling babe!

  10. Tristina says:

    I have the babywearing bug so bad too. I’m starting to collect carriers like someone would collect shoes!

    I highly, highly recommend getting a woven wrap. Actually, since you have a serger, buy about 5 yards of some lightweight woven gauze and then serge some fluffy nylon thread all around the entire perimeter. Boom, woven wrap. 🙂 The fluffy nylon is great on the edges because it’s soft against baby skin and the woven gauze breathes really easily.

    I’ve been wrapping Olivia on my back with a woven wrap since she was about 8 weeks old so don’t be afraid of it! I practiced on a teddy bear a whole bunch before I tried with her and I just knelt on the bed and wrapped her up over and over again until I had it down. She slept through the whole thing. Now I’m completely comfortable with putting her up on my back no matter where I am.

  11. Joni says:

    First: I have a maya which a woven type material. I also have a snuggy baby. While I love my snuggy baby because it’s a sure cute fabric, I rarely use it over the maya. In fact, this week the maya was hang drying and I had to use the snuggy and I was incapacitated. SO anyway, love the breathable fabric if the maya. Also is stretchy.

    Second I’m pretty sure we live in the same freakin neighborhood. Which is hilarious.

    • Joyful Abode says:

      Your Maya looked really comfy at the LLL meeting – I loved how lightweight it was, for sure!

      If you’re basing your “neighborhood” comment on the pics of me in the brown sling, that’s where our friend who was having the party lives, not where we live, but it’s pretty close! It WOULD be pretty insane if we were like, next door or something though!

      Are you going to the LLL meeting on Tuesday? I’ll be there with a friend or two (Rachel, whom you met last month, and Bree if she got off of work), and we are going to Chili’s afterward – you are welcome to join us!

      • Joni says:

        Ok yeah we are in the Vineyards. And you are standing literally across the street diagonal from my house. Clayton’s house. Hilarious. Lots of military families in this neighborhood.

        Yep. I’m coming this week. Looking forward to it and would love to join you. I’ve got diapers for Rachel if she’s using dispos 🙂

        • Joyful Abode says:

          How funny!

          And yay! 🙂 Rachel had her baby and she is sooooo adorable (both of them, really). She hasn’t mentioned anything to me about cloth so I’m assuming she uses sposies. I’m sure the family connection could find someone else who wants them if Rachel doesn’t though!

  12. Isfahel says:

    Try a wrap made out of gauze fabric, I can sell you one 🙂 Or you can just buy about 5 yds of gauze fabric and make one yourself.

  13. Rashell says:

    Nice job on those ring slings. You definitely have talent, that’s for sure. I have a Sakura Bloom ring sling that I’ve tried throughout the months, but it’s never been very comfortable for me or babe. I don’t know whether it’s the asymmetry or the bunching up of my clothes when I try to adjust it. But they look sooo cute which is why I keep going back to it every once in awhile hoping I can get the hang of it!
    Rashell

  14. marissa daniels says:

    i think they look awesome! i want one but my son is so long and heavy that i would never be able to carry him around like that lol.

    • Joyful Abode says:

      if you look on youtube for “toddler ring sling” you’ll find a lot of people carry their older/bigger/longer kids in them with no problem, especially in hip carry or on their backs. You might give it a try!!

  15. Balboa Baby Adjustable Sling by Dr. Sears-Black Signature says:

    […] More Ring Slings–I Love Babywearing! […]

  16. Janine says:

    I really want a ring sling! My Mei Tai is kind of a pain to use (although I love it once it’s on) and my Snugli is nice but too rigid for around the house and not very cute. Your pics are awesome and you are right, breastfed babies do smell amazing. I love when my guy smells like ‘milkies’!

    • Joyful Abode says:

      I was thinking about making or buying a mei tai to try, but they do seem like kind of… inconvenient to put on. hmmmm….

      • Isfahel says:

        I was just going to suggest a mei tai, I absolutely love them, they’re my favorite baby carrier, easier to put on than a wrap, just as comfortable if not more, and not near as hot. I made myself one out of fleece yesterday, I had a fall festival to go to and it was super cold so I figured that fleece would be super comfy for me and the little one. It is awesome! I’ve been wearing him in it all day today and my back isn’t hurting… A miracle as he is about 19# now at 4 months old. The fleece straps are much more comfortable than non stretchy fabric, I’m in love 🙂

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