Do I need a Left or Right Shoulder Ring Sling?

Do I need a Left or Right Shoulder Ring Sling?

So you've decided to go for a Ring Sling, a great choice - they are simple to use and great for quick ups and downs and having handy in the car instead of lugging a car seat around. But now you're wondering which shoulder side you will need. Rest assured this is an easy one to sort, read on and we'll show you what it all means!

Ring slings are made from a length of intricately woven fabric, secured on the shoulder through a set of rings. Quick to use, they are perfect for carrying your child on short trips and for children who like to be up and down often. Learn more about ring slings.

As ring slings are worn on one shoulder, sometimes you will see an option for a left or right shoulder sling, but how do you know which to choose?

Looking for information on Pleated vs. Gathered ring slings?
Learn which one is right for you.

What is a Left Shoulder or Right Shoulder Ring Sling?

Our fades of colour and some of our patterns are directional, meaning the slings have a top and a bottom. If this is the case, you will be given a 'left shoulder' or 'right shoulder' option to keep the pattern the right way up and/or the fade of colours the same way as pictured in the product listing.

'Left or right shoulder' refers to the position of the rings on your shoulder, if you choose a left shoulder sling the rings will sit on your left side with the baby in the centre or on your right hip.


Sekai Sail Pleated Ring Sling - this is directional pattern on a fade.
Pictured is a left shoulder ring sling.

Not all of our slings will have this option. If you don't see it listed this means the sling is not 'directional' and can be worn on either shoulder.

Do I Want a Left or a Right Shoulder Ring Sling?

The first thing to consider is where would you like your baby positioned? Newborns need to carried centrally and upright on your body, and this can be achieved with either left or right handed styles.

Rei Harbour Right Shoulder Gathered Ring Sling used with a newborn positioned centrally.

For older babies and toddlers, a hip carry is often the favourite position used with a ring sling. Imagine which side you carry your baby on, and the rings will sit on the opposite side. Most wearers will prefer to carry their little one on the hip which they natural pop them onto when not wearing a sling. This means if you want to carry your baby on your right hip, you would need to choose a left-handed ring sling.

Don't have a little one to try with? Give it a go with a heavier teddy or doll and see which hip you find comfortable.

This toddler is carried on the left hip, so a right shoulder ring sling is being used.

Can I Choose the Wrong Shoulder?

Choosing the 'wrong' shoulder does not have an effect on the use, or safety, of the sling, it simply means the pattern may be upside down or the bottom of the fade of colours will be at the top.

Sometimes you might want to choose the wrong shoulder to have a different colour at the top of the sling when in use.

Starry Night Ocean left shoulder ring sling - you could wear it on either shoulder and would just have a different colour at the top.

Now that you know which shoulder you want to carry on, you might want to find out more about the difference between the Highland Pleat shoulder and the Gathered shoulder. Learn which shoulder type is right for you.

We hope this has helped you to understand the options you have to choose from when purchasing a ring sling. If you have any further questions please email us on and we would be happy to discuss your options.

Shop for your Oscha ring sling here.

Written by Jess Hippey

Jess is a mum to two boys and a Baby Carrying Consultant based in Aberdeen, Scotland.

For more info about the work that she does