Carrier of the Month; January: Ring Sling

Carry of the Month is an ongoing feature for the BWIP blog and Facebook group. Each month one of the VBEs will choose a wrap carry or carrier to showcase and write a blog post with instructions or videos. At our monthly meetings throughout the valley, we will designate time to demonstrate the carry or carrier in person and answer your questions. Feel free to join in on the fun! Post pictures of you trying out the COTM in the comments here or on the Facebook group. Check out the bottom of this post for the prize raffled off for participation this month! 

This month we are featuring a ring sling for Carrier of the Month. Ring slings are wonderful for a range of ages, newborn baby through toddler. Jessica is one of our lovely VBE and she is demonstrating this month with daughter who is about a month old in these pictures.

 Begin by threading your ring sling making sure that the fabric flows in one continuous loop and then through the rings like a D-ring belt. If you need a video tutorial of that, check out the video further down the page.

 Most ring slings can be worn on either shoulder. Try each and see which works best for you.
Pass one arm and shoulder through the sling and over your head to rest on the opposite shoulder.

 Place the rings high on your shoulder. When you place baby in the sling, they should settle down to around "corsage" height.
 Spread the full width of the fabric across your back. The edges of the sling are called "rails"  and the part which hangs down from the rings is called the "tail".

A nice way to pre-tighten the sling is to place you elbow down in the sling and tighten around it.

This forms a pouch to place baby in.

 Pick up baby and place her high up on your shoulder.

Slide baby down into the pouch you made in the previous step, her feet and legs will come between your body and the sling.

A newborn baby's leg can be worn out of the sling to have her sitting in the sling like you would a hammock. Or you can place baby into the sling with her knees bent into her body like a tree frog, her weight will be resting on her bottom. This demonstration is showing "legs out" and will show "froggied" further down.

 Pull the top rail up to baby's neck and tuck the bottom rail under baby's bottom, in between her legs and between the two of you to form a seat.

 Bring the excess fabric from around the sling so that it is taunt against you and baby.

 Pull the excess material through the rings to tighten. As you pull the fabric through the rings, you'll notice that the rail closest to baby will tighten the top rail and the rail furthest from baby with tighten the bottom rail.

Spread the material above the rings so that it cups your shoulder in a way that is comfortable to you.

Legs In (Froggied)
Here is a variation for newborns with their legs in the sling or "froggied"
 First make a pouch like the example earlier in this post. Bend baby's legs into a squatting position and place baby into the pouch.

 Pull the top rail up to baby's neck and settle her down so that her weight it resting on her bum and not on her feet.
Tighten and enjoy!

Forward Facing Out (Kangaroo)
Similarly, you can place your in your sling forward facing out or in a "kangaroo" position. This carry is best if baby has good head control.

 After making the pouch, cross baby's legs in front of her.

 Place baby, bottom first, into the pouch.

Pull the top rail up to baby's chin and tighten all around. 

 Be sure to watch for signs of over stimulation, especially in young babies.

This is a great video by WrappingRachel showing how to use a ring sling with a newborn:

This is a video by Wrapyouinlove showing how to thread the sling and use it with an older baby:

January's COTM is being sponsored by Sling Rings. Not only is Sling Rings the biggest manufacturer of safe babywearing rings, they are also local to us here in the valley!  This company has been a great supporter of our group since it's beginning. Stop by and pick up a pair or two to make your own DIY ring sling or to use for in woven wrap ring finishes.

Sling Rings generously donated a sampler set of rings to one lucky winner this month.

To enter to win, simply post a photo of you trying out  a ring sling in the comments below or on the COTM thread in our facebook group. At the end of the month we'll draw a winner. To earn additional entries, you can post a new picture of you trying it out everyday.
(Valid only for Arizona residents, Winner is responsible for pick up or shipping cost.)

As always, let us know if you are having problems or just have questions. Carry on! 
Rachael Bender
Volunteer Babywearing Educator, Babywearing International of Phoenix

Disclaimer: Any tutorials or advice given on this blog by Babywearing International of Phoenix or representatives of BWI of Phoenix are to be used at your own risk. Please use caution when attempting any of the carries highlighted on this blog and using any of the carriers discussed on this blog.
Some of the information or advice may put some users of this site at risk due to health issues, physical limitations, or misuse. If you or your child have health issues or physical limitations, please discuss the appropriateness of the carry or carrier with your health care practitioner. BWI of Phoenix cannot be held accountable for any injuries sustained by the reader when attempting these carries or using these carriers.


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About BWI of Phoenix

The Phoenix, AZ chapter of Babywearing International meets several times a month at various locations throughout the Valley. There is a lending library from which members can check out different styles and brands of carriers. Visitors to the meeting are welcome to try on and receive instruction on those carriers from our Volunteer Babywearing Educators. BWI Phoenix strives to educate and encourage parents and caregivers in carrying their babies and children. Each of the volunteers believes that babywearing promotes bonding, learning and growing together. You can join BWIP at any meeting for just $30/year (tax-deductible) and take advantage of member benefits, which include being able to borrow any carrier in our library for up to a month at a time.

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