Should I Choose a Ring Sling vs Wrap?

Should I Choose a Ring Sling vs Wrap?

Are you wondering what's better - a ring sling vs a woven wrap and which one is best for a newborn or toddler? Let's go through the benefits and drawbacks of each and compare what might be best for your needs.

Ring sling vs woven wrap comparison chart

ring sling vs wrap comparison chart

Ring Sling or Wrap

There are a few questions you want to ask yourself to help you decide whether to choose a wrap vs ring sling. Firstly here's a quick description of each so you know what you're looking at!

What is a Ring Sling

A ring sling is a length of fabric (usually around 2m long) with a set of 2 rings stitched into the end. You loop the fabric through the rings to create a pouch for your baby to sit in. 

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detail of how a ring sling is threaded Ring sling in use


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Benefits of a Ring Sling
  • Quick to put on 
  • Great for small babies
  • Good for quick up and downs for toddlers
  • Single layer of fabric - light and breathable
  • If not adjusted well can be uncomfortable
  • Not ideal for very long carries as one shouldered
What is a Woven Wrap?

A woven baby wrap is a long length of woven fabric that can be used to tie around yourself and your baby. They can be anywhere from 2.2m to 9m long. The most commonly used length is around 4.7m (a size 6) and the most common way of tying is a Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC).

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wrap opened out showing lengthall wrapped up in a FWCC
Benefits of a Wrap
  • Comfortable for long carries
  • Front, Hip & Back Carries
  • Myriad of ways to use - can be fun to experiment and learn
  • Good for all ages and stages
  • Steep learning curve at the very beginning
  • Long fabric can dangle on the ground
  • Some carries can take a little longer to put on

Deciding on a wrap vs ring sling 

Ring sling vs wrap newborn

Ring slings or woven wraps can both be good for newborn babies. They adjust to fit the contours of your baby's natural 'M' position and give optimal hip positioning. Both are generally recommended by the International Hip Displasia Institute. (Oscha's wraps and ring slings have been specifically approved).

If you're new to using a sling you might like the secure feeling you get when you tie a wrap as the longer length of fabric has more passes. However, a well adjusted ring sling can feel very snug.

 wrap and ring sling showing snug carries

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If you want quick up and downs then a ring sling is a good choice. For instance, ring slings are handy to have in the car so you don't have to lug the car seat around when you go to the shops. They are also good for supported breastfeeding and if you need a hand free for your other, older child.

Babies and toddlers can go through very 'clingy' phases, when they need constant reassurance - this is completely normal and natural and is known as 'separation anxiety'. Having a ring sling around the house can be valuable at this time as you will need to pick up your child often and using the sling avoids back pain. Basically any time you have to pop your baby on your hip is a good time to have a ring sling handy as it distributes the weight much better than carrying in arms and also leaves your hands free for other tasks.

If you think you will carry for long periods of time then consider a woven wrap over a ring sling as most carries will be two-shouldered, so offer more support. Also, you can layer the fabric more with the passes, which offers more comfort for long carries.

Woven wraps are incredibly versatile and mould to your body, so even though they may take a bit longer to work out and get your carry right, they are truly the most comfortable baby carriers out there.

Many people enjoy the experience of wrapping once they've got the hang of it and trying out new fun carries. Back carries are also more supportive and easier with a wrap rather than a ring sling.

woven wrap being used for a back carry with a ring finish

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Ring sling vs wrap toddler

If you have an active toddler who wants up and down a lot then a ring sling is a great choice, especially if you want something light to pack in your bag just in case your toddler needs carried on the way back from the park! On the other hand, if you're planning to go out on long hikes then a wrap would be a good option. 

Need more help deciding on the right ring sling - check out our guide to choosing shoulder styles and sides

ring sling vs wrap with back carry in a wrap

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