Looking for tips for a comfortable ring sling carry? Finding your ring sling is digging in and want to make your ring sling stop hurting? Many parents consider Ring Slings the fastest method of carrying their baby in a sling, and they can be an absolute lifesaver for school runs. We at Oscha Slings adore them, but we often hear people struggling to get the knack for a comfy Ring Sling carry. How can you get a comfortable carry with your baby ring sling?
Tip 1 for the Comfiest Ring Sling Carry - Set Up Your Ring Sling Properly
The key to a comfortable ring sling carry is in the preparation. Taking the time to set up the ring sling perfectly for you and your baby can resolve many of the common comfort issues associated with ring slings. The best bit? After taking the time to do this, minimal adjustments will be required the next time.
Not sure what a Ring Sling is? Check out our information page. Here you can also find help choosing a ring sling style, and the left or right shoulder guide.
Not sure how to use a ring sling yet? Scroll to the end of this blog post and you'll find a full video tutorial.
To set up your ring sling well to seat your baby follow these tips:
- Ensure the fabric isn't twisted
- Fan out the fabric well through the rings, again, ensure it isn't twisted
- The fabric should sit around the top of your hip bone for the right height
- Tighten the bottom rail a bit to help create a good seat
Watch our top tips video to see all the best tweaks in action and read on for more detailed explanations!
Tip No.2 How to Stop Ring Sling Shoulder Hurting Your Neck & Shoulder
A common problem is that the ring sling shoulder sits too close to your neck, causing discomfort. You can easily solve this by adjusting the ring sling before fully placing your baby in it; it becomes trickier to adjust once their weight is fully on the fabric. Before you pick up your baby - spread the shoulder nice and wide ensuring it's well away from your neck. You can even cup your shoulder. Below you can see an image with the ring sling too close to the neck and one where its well spread and pulled away for comfort.
If you're someone who moves their arms up a lot, and would feel restricted with a fully cupped shoulder, try our exclusive pleated shoulder.
Not sure if a capped shoulder will bother you? Try it out by tying a scarf around your shoulder for an hour or so and see if it bothers you.
Tip No. 3 - How to Get the Rings on Your Ring Sling to Stay at the Right Height
Sometimes the rings on your sling can sit lower than you'd like and can make adjusting the sling difficult as the rings can end up sitting near your baby's body or face. Often this happens if you begin by putting the ring sling on with the rings slightly too low. People can then find the rings seem to slip down when they put their baby in and tighten the fabric. So how can you stop the rings on your ring sling slipping down?
The trick for this is positioning the rings before your wee one is fully in the sling. First, place the rings slightly higher up on your shoulder than you want them to end up being. Then, once your baby is seated on the gathered 'rope' or the sling (as the picture shows, i.e. before you have spread the fabric up baby's back), if you feel the rings have slipped down, this is the time to adjust them. Lift your baby's weight off the fabric, and gently slide the sling around, moving the rings towards your shoulder to the position that will create the most comfort for both of you.
Ring sling worn with rings a more comfortable position. Sling rings are too low down in this picture. Slightly lift baby off the fabric and pull the rings up towards your shoulder before spreading the sling over baby's back.
Tip No. 4 - How do I Stop My Baby Seat Popping in a Ring Sling
Some children seem to have a knack for managing to 'pop the seat'. Seat popping occurs when baby straightens their legs in the sling, this action shifts the fabric, causing it to no longer provide support from knee to knee.
Tightening the ring sling appropriately at the start can remedy this.
In particular, ensure that the lower section of the sling (the 'bottom rail', or bottom third) is tighter than the middle section. This slight differentiation allows baby's weight to sink down into the sling and creates the optimum 'M position'. The weight will then be distributed at baby's bottom rather than their knees. Here is an article illustrated with pictures that shows this really well.
Lower rail has been tighetened enough to create a deep seat, giving the 'M' position where knees are higher than bum
Tip No. 5 - How to Prevent Back Pain when Using a Ring Sling
Wondering why your ring sling is causing you back pain and how to prevent this? While the design of ring slings is intended for one-shoulder use, it doesn't imply that all the weight has to concentrate on one side. In fact, you can spread out ring slings widely. As shown in this picture, the sling extends and is taut across the wearer's entire back. This means that each contact point is taking some of the weight.
Top Tips for Avoiding Back Pain with a Baby RIng Sling
- Ensure the fabric sin't twisted when you first put on the sling
- Create a deep seat for baby by tightening the bottom rail
- Ensure that, once the baby is seated, you tighten the top third (top rail) of the wrap well. If there is gapping between you and the baby, they may lean away from you, causing strain on your back.
- Make sure the fabric is spread well across your back. Reach behind you and pull it down towards your waist
- Make sure the fabric is moved away from your neck and is spread across your shoulder
We'd recommend you also regularly change which side you're carrying your baby on. However, if you do have any medical back issues we'd suggest you ask your healthcare provider if a two shouldered option like a woven wrap would be a better solution for you.
Fabric well spread out all the way over the back and shoulder
Can I Back Carry in a Ring Sling?
Ring Slings can be worn for a back carry, although this is a very advanced carry and we recommend you always do this with a spotter present. You could also visit your local sling consultant to learn the technique. See a list of sling consultants. It is however lovely when we see pictures of this with your beautiful little one's faces smiling at us over your shoulder and we love seeing pictures of this.
We'd love to see your ring sling photographs! Join us in our supportive parenting community Clan Oscha and share your #babywearingwins with us.
For more tips on how to use a ring sling with a newborn see the video below:
Here is a detailed Ring Sling Tutorial if you want to review how to use it and get a number of tips:
Written by Jess Hippey:
Jess is an experienced Baby Carrying Consultant, and mum to two boys based in Aberdeen, Scotland.
For more info about the work that she does see: www.closeandcalm.co.uk