With DS1, I loved using the Moby wrap until he was big enough for the Ergo, which I used daily until late in my second pregnancy. Now, with DS2, I'm finding the wrap a bit too time consuming to put on and off, with a toddler bouncing all over the place. I've borrowed a ring sling and want to give it a try, as it seems versatile and easy to get on and off. However, baby feels so scrunched up and insecure in there! Am I doing something wrong, or is this just the way slings feel compared to a wrap or soft buckle carrier?
Thanks for any insight!
I've been using a ring sling for about 5 weeks with my lil dude who just turned 8 weeks old. I had a hellacious time getting used to the thing, but I learned a few "tips" that really helped.
When putting him in the sling, loosen the sling almost all the way, and then put your LO on your chest where you want them to end up (head within kissing distance). If your LO is really young, you can frog their legs under them or, like I do with mine, put him in sort of a squat position. Pull about 2/3 of the fabric up to the top of LO's head, then use the bottom 1/3 to tuck under their bum - all while holding LO in place. Then you can scrunch down the top part to LO's shoulders. Then pull the bottom part (seat part) of the fabric through the ring, then the top, alternating until you have things nice and tight. That part takes some getting used to!
For me, I feel most secure when the fabric is thickest across LO's shoulder blades. It's all still pulled taut, but it's sort of more bunched up there if that makes sense. Another cool tip I learned is to take a baby washcloth, roll it up and put it behind LO's head, then fold the excess sling fabric over it to create a bolster pillow behind LO's neck. This helps give little babies more support until they can hold up their heads on their own.
Mostly, I felt it was just trial and error... and a few YouTube videos! Good luck!
Watching youtube videos helped me immensely, try looking at PAXmommy Jillian videos, shes awesome!
It needs to be a pocket, tighter at the rails, looser in the middle, knees above bum with the bottom rail knee to knee. If you get that done, it will be perfectly secure.
Sleeping Baby Productions has some great videos on adjustment and other basics. Jan is the Ring Sling Guru.
If you have a local babywearing group, it might be worth going to a meeting and getting some hands on help, too.
Thanks for the replies ladies! I haven't given the sling another go, unfortunately. It's hard to practice with the toddler being all over the place! I've been relying on the wrap. Maybe I'll give it another go during DS1's nap.
I try to set up the sling before putting baby in - inner rail where I want baby to end up, outer rail just loose enough to put baby in, fabric spread across my back, rings slightly high, fabric spread out in the rings (not bunched and twisted). Then I lift baby up to my shoulder with one hand, put my other hand up in between me and the sling, and lower baby in. I usually keep baby's legs straight at first, positioning them so that the inner rail is behind their knees, then help them sit down into the sling as if they were sitting in a hammock. Then I support their weight with one hand while pulling on the outer rail with the other hand to tighten it.
All of this is easier with a baby with some weight, who knows how to sit, and who doesn't have a floppy head to worry about. Once you have a feel for it you will be able to do the same with the newborn, just making the fabric goes high enough behind baby's neck to provide support.
Paula, mama to DS M (7/2010) and Watson (1998) and welcoming baby Penny (8/1/2013)