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Ring Slings & Pouches

Sleeping Baby Productions Solarveil Ring Sling; Toddler Hip/Front Carry

Why Ring Slings?

Ring slings are great for quick carries or for someone who wants a simple carrier.  They are also the easiest to learn to nurse in as it is very easy to swing baby into a cradle nursing hold.  Ring slings are mainly used for cradle carries, tummy to tummy carries, or hip carries although experienced ring slingers do use them for back carries with older babies/toddlers.  Ring slings come in a wide variety of fabrics and shoulder styles (and price ranges!) – there is something for every slinger.

Ring slings are very adjustable and can generally be worn by different sized wearers.  Because they are a single shoulder carrier, they may not be as comfortable for long term wearing as some options.  They may not feel quite as hands free as a two shoulder carry.  However, ring slings are very compact and make a great diaper bag carrier.  They are perfect for both snuggling a newborn (where support isn’t as much an issue) and for toddlers who want to be up and down frequently.

Why Pouches?

Pouches share many characteristics of ring slings with a few important differences.  Unlike ring slings, they are not adjustable (with a few exceptions of adjustable pouches and those are not as adjustable as a ring sling); sizing is very important for a safe and comfortable carry.  The advantage of a pouch is that it is the simplest and most compact carrier available – very easy to toss in a diaper bag or keep in the car for quick carrying needs.

Slinglings Pouch; Cradle Carry (1 month old)

Choosing a Ring Sling

There are a few key things to consider when choosing a ring sling: the shoulder style you prefer, the size you will need, and the material that would work best for you.

Shoulder Style: This is the most variable feature of a ring sling; there is no one best shoulder style – it is a mostly a matter of personal preference.  Here is an excellent tutorial on shoulder styles from Jan Andrea at Sleeping Baby Productions.  There are many variations on these.  Most ring slings are designed to be worn on either shoulder.  One notable exception is the P-sling which is designed for a specific shoulder.

Tail: The part of the ring sling that extends beyond the rings is called the tail.  While you do want a fair amount of tail to extend beyond the rings in order to be safe, it is personal preference as to whether you want a waist length tail, knee length (or longer!) or somewhere in between.  Tails sometimes have pockets and may be tapered or blunt (again, just a style preference).  The tail is quite useful as a nursing cover or shield for sun or cold or a sleeping baby.

Sizing: One of the nice things about ring slings is that the sizing is generally quite flexible.  The same sling may fit one wearer as a knee length sling and another as waist length but both can use the sling safely and easily.  Here is an excellent explanation of sizing also from Jan at SBP.

Material: Ring slings come in a wide range of fabrics from very basic and affordable cottons to high end luxury silks.  Linen and solarveil are quite popular for summer and warm climates.   Materials vary in thickness and support so be sure and ask the vendor if you have particular needs in terms of coolness or support.  Some vendors also offer ring slings made from wraps or slings with appliques or accents.

Choosing a Pouch

The primary consideration when buying a pouch is sizing.  Most pouches are sized – and sizing can be tricky; make sure to carefully read the manufacturers size chart.  It may also be helpful to check out the size charts for different brands to see how the recommendations compare.   Some pouches offer slight padded on one rail – some find this more comfortable and others find it annoying!  Many pouches are reversible.

Ring Sling Brands

Toddler Callum in a linen Kalea sling

There are dozens of ring sling manufacturers including many WAHMs; this list in by no means exhaustive.  We have listed here brands we know and trust.  If you are interested in a brand not listed here, we recommend you check reviews at TheBabyWearer before purchasing.  Using proper rings and seams is essential to a safe and durable sling.

The links provided are for the manufacturers’ websites; some are available through retailers in addition to the manufacturer.

Pouch Brands

There are many pouches available on the market, including many made by WAHM; this list includes those we know and trust.  If you are interested in a brand not listed here, we recommend you check reviews at TheBabyWearer before purchasing.  It is important that a pouch have strong seams for a safe and durable carry.

The links provided are for the manufacturers’ websites; some are available through retailers in addition to the manufacturer.

Can I DIY?

If you know your way around a sewing machine, you can make your own ring sling or pouch.  Jan at SBP has excellent information on do-it-yourself projects.  Please be respectful of the fact that these designs are for personal use only!   Slingrings are the recommended brand for ring sling rings (this is not a place to compromise as the rings will need to be able to hold a lot of strain; craft rings you find in most fabric stores won’t be able to handle the weight).

Ring Sling and Pouch Carries

COMING SOON!

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