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Really struggling with my sling

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So I have a chicken scratch unpadded ring sling and I've been having the hardest time figuring out how to use it correctly.  My daughter is 3 weeks old so I've only attempted the cradle carry, which was a complete disaster, her head seems to dip down below the rest of he body and i feel like if i walked at a normal to brisk pace she'd definitely go flying out the front of the sling. And then I tried the upright carry facing me which almost worked but i can't seem to get her head supported, do i just need to tighten the sling

more?  Or i was thinking of putting a blanket or something behind her?  I guess my goal is to get the upright carry at least, since i'm closer with that one. Any ideas would be very much appreciated.  My family is very mainstream when it comes to baby stuff and my mom thought I was "using my imagination a little" when I told her how a sling worked.  She just thinks i should put the baby in a swing when i'm doing things around the house and a stroller for walks like she did.  So that makes me even more determined to figure this out!

post #2 of 8

Congrats on your new babe! 

 

My one suggestion would be to look on youtube for "ring sling newborn" videos. I really like the videos done by the Zolowear slings creator. Her babywearing tutorials are really well done. Here is a link to a newborn tummy to tummy hold.  Explore around youtube and I'm sure you'll find lots of other helpful videos.

 

My second suggestion would be to see if there is a local Babywearing International chapter in your area. They are a wealth of information and can offer you hands-on help. 

 

post #3 of 8

A friend of mine was giving some of us ring sling tips at mother's group last week. I'll see if I can explain what she showed us. I'll use right and left sides for the way I do it but, obviously, swap it around if you need to.

 

Put the sling on with the rings in the hollow of your right shoulder, where you would place a corsage. Spread the fabric out over your shoulder, make a nice deep pocket etc. Basically get it all ready before you pick up the babe.

 

Put the baby in and make sure she has a nice deep seat ie there is plenty of fabric between you and her. Then use your left forearm to hold her in place while you use your right hand to pull the top rail up to her shoulders. She will be kind of sitting on your forearm. With her still sitting there, use your right hand to pull the fabric tightly towards your right side. Hold it there with your left hand (forearm still holding babe). Then use your right hand to pull the tail of the sling to take up the slack you're holding in your left hand. Do the top and bottom rails separately though, don't just pull the whole tail. Keep adjusting like this until everything is nice and tight. Carefully take your forearm away and let the sling take her weight. If it still feels a bit insecure keep adjusting the top and bottom rails until it's tight enough.

 

You shouldn't need to put a blanket behind her, it sounds like it just needs tightening more and pulling up higher. You can pull it up behind her head if she'll tolerate it.

 

Then make sure the sling is well spread out over your shoulder and hasn't ridden up against your neck and you should be good to go.

 

You can do the cradle hold the same way. If she feels like she's falling out the front then I'd say you probably have too much fabric between you and her and you need to pull some more through to the front.

 

If you feel comfortable posting pictures then I am happy to try and troubleshoot more for you.

 

Cheers

Kate

 

post #4 of 8

I personally am not a fan of the cradle hold.  

 

When doing tummy-to-tummy, you definitely need to tighten, tighten, tighten.  The easiest way to to this is to lift baby with your "free" hand (the one without the sling on the shoulder) and tighten the top and bottom rails separately with the other hand.  One thing that I have found that works well with a teeny-tiny is to angle them slightly.  So if you wear the sling over your left shoulder like me, baby's bottom is slightly toward the left with her head near the hollow of your shoulder opposite the rings.  As you tighten, you can pull the fabric coming out from under your arm upward to support the back of her head.  Also, baby's body tends to open up a bit toward the rings, and that's okay.

 

Above all, though, there should be very little jiggle--just keep tightening.  And it's easier to tighten more before putting baby...just give yourself enough room to get baby in and slightly cinch it up!

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

thanks so much for the suggestions and congratulations:) unfortunately i've been really sick this past week and haven't had time to mess around with the sling much, but I'm definitely going to keep trying now, thanks again.

post #6 of 8

I LOVE ring slings, I haven't even tried other carriers.  I am on baby number two with them. 

 

And I think learning to carry the newborn with them can be tough sometimes.  I agree with the others that tightening is the key with the itty bitties.  I prefer a tummy to tummy and have always had a hard time with a cradle hold.  Though, occasionaly, I have had a tummy to tummy morph to a cradle, as she would slide sideways and I would tighten and adjust and before I knew it, cradle hold lol

 

This is almost exactly how I get little ones settled into the sling:

 

 

Quote:
 

Put the sling on with the rings in the hollow of your right shoulder, where you would place a corsage. Spread the fabric out over your shoulder, make a nice deep pocket etc. Basically get it all ready before you pick up the babe.

 

Put the baby in and make sure she has a nice deep seat ie there is plenty of fabric between you and her. Then use your left forearm to hold her in place while you use your right hand to pull the top rail up to her shoulders. She will be kind of sitting on your forearm. With her still sitting there, use your right hand to pull the fabric tightly towards your right side. Hold it there with your left hand (forearm still holding babe). Then use your right hand to pull the tail of the sling to take up the slack you're holding in your left hand. Do the top and bottom rails separately though, don't just pull the whole tail. Keep adjusting like this until everything is nice and tight. Carefully take your forearm away and let the sling take her weight. If it still feels a bit insecure keep adjusting the top and bottom rails until it's tight enough.

 The only thing I do different is that if it's a sling that isn't already prethreaded for me, I pull the whole tail first to get that genearal adjustment, then I adjust the top and bottom rails (and the middle sometimes, I don't like a pocket that is too deep compared to the rails) seperately as needed. 

 

One other tip, I try to keep the top rail sitting along the little one's head along the ear, with her face turned sideways, so that her head is supported well and her nose isn't smooshed into my chest.  It's tough though because they are so tiny and it's so easy for that rail to slip down. 

 

Basically, I find newborn wearing does require regular adjustments, and they slip, slide, wiggle and flop around some. 

post #7 of 8

I have my instruction pages if you would like them.  They're just illustrated instructions, probably not as cool as the vids, but I'm happy to share them if you'd like.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

One other tip, I try to keep the top rail sitting along the little one's head along the ear, with her face turned sideways, so that her head is supported well and her nose isn't smooshed into my chest.  It's tough though because they are so tiny and it's so easy for that rail to slip down. 

 

This is great advice.

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