I want a ring sling for when my baby (due in July) is small. I haven't found one I really like in stores, so I'm thinking about ordering a handmade one on Etsy. Most of the slings on there are dupioni silk, which are supposed to be lightweight, breathable, and strong. Same thing for linen, of which there are several options. I have only ever used a cotton one before (with a baby I nannied for), but it doesn't seem to be as popular on Etsy, although there are a few options. What are the pros and cons of these fabrics? I would just get cotton, but I am concerned about fading because I want a black one. So maybe silk? But is the dupioni silk soft enough?
I like linen for Summer because it is a nice, breathable weave. It is still very supportive but seems, to me, to have more give than silk.
Cottons may well fade in black. I've never had one, though, so I don't know. As I said above, though, slings are not something that do or should be washed frequently, so it may not be *that* big of a deal.
One big thing to pay attention to when shopping for slings is the shoulder style. It's the biggest factor in comfort for a sling. I love the shoulders by Sleeping Baby Productions and Kalea Baby. Both are very popular and for good reason! SBP will do custom orders while Kalea's are typically stocked and you have to snag one before they're gone. (Though it's been a while since I've shopped for them!) I just checked Kalea and she has a black linen-like blend in stock right now. I also highly recommend Maya Wrap Lightly Padded slings. Super comfy, easy to use, great for all wearers from novices to experienced. (The link is to a retailer. They seem to not be making new slings so stock may be limited, but there are a number of other retailers out there.)
Hope that helps!
(And now I'm off to look for more ring slings... )
HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys: 03/02; 09/04; 09/07 - and Eliana, 11/13/10!
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.
Thanks, HeatherB. I was looking at the Maya Wrap before, but they seem to be out of stock in the styles/colors I like, which is why I started looking on Etsy.
What about this jersey fabric for newborns? It seems like something soft would be best for a small infant, even if it is a little less supportive.
Jersey is great for a newborn, but anything past 15lbs, and you get way too much give. Or at least that is my experience with the Moby wrap--and my last 2 babes have been 15lbs before they were 2 months old!
Ring slings actually can be pretty hard to master in the early days of the floppy head. And a Moby would be way, way too hot for a summer babe. If I were you, I'd probably look at linen or linen blend wraps for early.
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8g, 7g, 4b, 2g
When buying from Ebay, Etsy or other source, make sure that the manufacturer has a good reputation, look for vendor reviews. Uses rings made for slings and quality fabrics that are supportive and appropriate for wearing a baby in.
Thebabywearer.com offers vendor and product reviews.
If you not sure what kind of carrier will work for you google for a local babywearing group to visit before baby arrives.
We have a double linen sakura bloom and love the thing. We had a July Baby and I really wished we had went with the single layer linen. While the double is still breathable and not as hot as a non linen fabric I would have loved something even lighter you know? Just a thought.
Have you checked out www.sleepingbaby.net? My favorite ring slings ever!
Anyway. I would avoid silk if this is going to be a daily use sling. There were some issues that were discussed on thebabywearer at great length about how silk slings aren't really daily use slings. They can't hold up to the wear and tear, and especially washing(even though many say they're machine washable). I had a close friend/fellow babywearing instructor have her double silk ring sling(a high end name brand one) rip completely through in a weight bearing area. And she wasn't the only one.
IMO, they're 'special occasion' slings. If you want something for every day, linen or cotton.
After doing some more reading, I decided to order a lightweight natural-colored tencel sling from Sleeping Baby Productions. That seems to be the best of both worlds for softness and breathability in the summer months. So hopefully that will work out well!