I must say I am a huge fan of Ring Slings! They are quick, compact, and simple.
Ring Slings are perfect for newborns and little babies, they are safest to use with baby in an upright position with their tummy on your tummy/chest), so that their little head is visible, and can be easily reached to kiss (and smell ;) ). Make sure their little chin is off their chest and enjoy all those newborn snuggles!! There are very few things more adorable than a newborn snuggled up asleep heart to heart with mummy/daddy in their ring sling :) A content baby means a content mummy! :)
Ring Slings are great because they really allow a close snug fit on baby, which means that they accomodate the natural curve in babies spine (like the shape of a C ). They also allow you to get the material right up where their knees bend creating a little seat so that baby is supported from one knee to the other (knee to knee) with their knees sitting higher then their bottom. This means that their weight is on their bottom and it supports healthy hip development. You will notice when baby sleeps or when you pick them up they often have a natural ‘resting position’ with their legs bent and out to the sides. They look like they are making the shape of an ‘M’ this is the position that you are after when you have them in a Ring Sling or any carrier. Some resources will advise to have babies feet inside the ring sling, however we now know that this can put pressure on babies ankles so it is best to have the ring sling up under babies knees with their feet out so they are 'sitting' in the sling rather than squatting on their ankles.
Ring Slings are very easy to breast feed in, as they are easy to slightly loosen and lower baby a little so they are level with the breast for an up-right feed and you can then easily take babies weight with your hand under their bottom lifting them up while you re-tighten the sling. It can also be very handy for babies with reflux that need to be held upright after a feed. After you have put the ring sling on there will be a length of material that hangs down (this is referred to as the ‘tail') and it can be quite handy as it can look great, but can also be used for more discreet breastfeeding as a cover, and also can be rolled under the part of the ring sling at the back of babies head, so that it provides a bit of extra ‘pillow’ support for babies neck for a snooze after a feed.
Ring Slings are compact and are generally made from a woven fabric, so they can be super soft and floppy depending on the fabric blend. For newborns great blends include cotton, cotton/bamboo and cotton/tencil blends. There are generally very soft and are great options for newborns. It is important that you wash your ring sling as soon as you get it and before you use it, so that the weave is ‘set’ in place. Read the instructions on washing for your ring sling.
And there is more benefits of rings slings… once your baby is bigger they are great for ‘quick ups’ if you are doing school drop offs, things around the house, at markets where your older baby wants to look at what your doing. You can wear them sitting on your hip so its more like the natural ‘hip hold’ position that you generally do (with no carrier) with your toddler. You will find that as your baby grows into a toddler, that ring slings are not as supportive for long periods of time but perfect for quick ups.
Hot tip - you can alternate the shoulder that you wear the ring sling on, so that it you are not always having weight on one side.
Let me know if you need any help selecting a Ring Sling, happy to help!
Enjoy all those snuggles :)