A ring sling baby carrier is every parents go-to carrier when they want to keep baby close minus the hassle of wrapping.
This type of carrier is very useful for parents who want to keep their hands free to get things done at home, when running quick errands, when you want to enjoy a relaxing stroll, and more.
In addition to convenience, the ring sling baby carrier is helpful for baby’s tough days. Keeping baby close in a ring sling can help calm her down when she is fussy, tired, hurt, or in pain. Pro mommies even use this to breastfeed while on the run.
In this post, we will talk about what a ring sling is, its difference from wraps, and our top picks for moms every needs.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Ring Sling Baby Carrier?
- 2 Ring Sling Baby Carrier VS. Baby Wrap
- 3 How Do I Use a Ring Sling Baby Carrier?
- 4 How Do I Choose A Ring Sling Baby Carrier?
- 5 Are Ring Sling Baby Carriers Safe?
- 6 Ring Sling Baby Carrier: Different Sling for Different Needs
- 6.1 #1 Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Sling: Back Carry Partner
- 6.2 #2 WildBird Chickadee Ring Sling: Warm Weather Warrior
- 6.3 #3 Baby Slings by Ion & May: Runner Up for Summer
- 6.4 #4 Nalakai Slings: Most Eco-Friendly
- 6.5 #5 4 in 1 Baby Wrap Carrier and Ring Sling by Kids N’ Such: Most Multi-functional
- 6.6 #6 Moby Ring Sling: For Plus Sized Babywearers
- 6.7 #7 Vlokup Baby Water Ring Sling Carrier: Swimming Buddy
- 6.8 #8 Hip Baby Wrap Ring Sling Baby Carrier for Infants and Toddlers: Great for Toddlers
- 6.9 #9 Lite-On-Shoulder Baby Sling: Versatile Baby Hammock
- 7 Are You Ready To Buy?
- 8 Bottomline
What is a Ring Sling Baby Carrier?
Ever seen a long piece of cloth with two rings in it? That’s a ring sling. You create a safe space or pouch for your baby by spooling the cloth through the rings. The beauty of this is that you don’t need snaps, buckles, or ties to have a place for your child to sit in.
You wear the ring sling baby carrier across your upper body and is supported by one shoulder. Moms with newborn babies mostly benefit from this type of carrier. However, there are also toddler moms who still use this.
There are different fabrics to choose from. There’s cotton, silk, wool, and more. The only problem parents seem to be having with ring sling baby carrier is that clean up takes too much effort.
You can hand wash or machine wash on gentle cycle. But dryer is NOT allowed. You need to air dry to keep them from shrinking.
Wraps, soft structured carriers, babywearing shirts, and ring sling baby carrier are just a few of the many carrier options to pick from. If you want to keep baby close without having to go through the time-consuming wrapping, ring sling is the best option for you.
Ring Sling Baby Carrier VS. Baby Wrap
They are pretty much the same because they both use a lot of textile. They have a few differences though.
First, believe me when I say that baby wraps are more complicated to use. The wraps are supported by both shoulders and around the waist. This means that you can wear baby for a longer time since the weight is evenly distributed across your body. However, the wrapping makes it very difficult to wear and get off.
I practiced wraps on my baby which resulted to a lot of crying and tantrums. In the end, my baby refused to be worn in a wrap because he knows it causes him discomfort (because of my constant practice).
Ring slings, on the other hand, are for shorter period of wearing since only one shoulder supports the weight. The great thing is that they are easier to put on and remove compared to a wrap. This is especially useful for parents who need to use a baby carrier many times a day.
How Do I Use a Ring Sling Baby Carrier?
This one is easy haha. Just read the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your ring sling because they know best. They will also provide you with safety tips and tricks on how to keep your sling like new.
If you still have no idea what to do, you can also search for step-by-step guides or video tutorials online for good measure. After getting all the help that you need, the next logical thing to do is to practice…A LOT.
Here is a gist of the usual instruction. Just thread the fabric through the rings and hang it over your shoulder. Remember to hold your baby with one hand until you finish threading and shaping the textile. Only let go when you feel and know that your baby is secured inside the pouch.
Below are some key tips that you can follow:
- Make the pouch big enough so your baby fits well inside. Your baby might slip out if the seat is really small.
- The sling should just fit snugly – not too tight that it might crush the baby inside.
- Make sure that your baby’s head stays out so he can still breathe.
- You can wear your baby on your hips or in front of you.
- You can also wear baby high like you are carrying them in your arms. Make sure that their bum does not reach your belly button and should be secured.
- Baby’s arms need to be tucked inside the sling.
- Adjust the top rail on baby’s back if you feel like baby is leaning too far away from you.
- Spread the textile across your shoulder and back to make your babywearing experience more pleasant. This also keeps the fabric from bunching up.
- Fold the bottom rail under tot’s knees so their legs don’t hang. This also stops marks from appearing on baby’s legs and cause pressure.
- Adjust and secure your ring sling baby carrier before putting baby inside.
- Keep the extra fabric out of the way by wrapping the tail around the rings.
- When washing, put the rings inside a sock secured with a hair tie. This will keep them from clashing inside the machine.
How Do I Choose A Ring Sling Baby Carrier?
Ring slings have pretty much the same features and uses (except for the multi-purpose ones). Honestly, picking the ring sling baby carrier depends on the design, pattern, or fabric.
Many others go the extra mile and carefully pick out based on the features below:
- Padding – ring slings with shoulder pads make it more comfortable for the wearer especially if they intend to wear baby for longer periods. There are slings with padded rails as well. This cushions baby’s legs and prevent pressure and marks.
- Weight allowance – manufacturers set minimum and maximum weight recommendation for the sling. This will help you determine if you can use the sling until toddlerhood or if it is only suited for infants.
- Fabric – most prefer sturdy materials like cotton, bamboo, and linen. Those fabrics are known to promote proper air flow yet comfortable.
- Ring – your ring needs to be strong so that it can secure your fabric. Examples of dependable rings are aluminum and metal.
- Size – most parents, mom especially, want long slings to give them enough coverage for breastfeeding. Others want shorter slings so they don’t step on them.
Are Ring Sling Baby Carriers Safe?
You may have heard reports concerning the risks of using ring slings. I understand your hesitation about using ring slings because I am aware of those risks as well. But let me tell you that baby products, no matter how harmless they may seem, can still pose danger on your little ones if not used correctly nor maintained well.
Unfortunately, baby can choke, suffocate, slide, or fall off if not correctly positioned or secured well. We don’t want to thing about misfortunes like these but they can happen. They happened.
The good thing is that those are avoidable. Take note of the tips below to minimize the risks:
- Follow the detailed instructions from the manufacturer. Ask for help or demo if you don’t know how. You can even look for videos to help you practice.
- When in lying position, make sure that baby’s chin does not rest on their chest. Lay baby flat with a straight back.
- Ensure that you see baby every single time. Do not cover her face.
- Make sure that their head/neck is supported.
- Be mindful. When baby is fussy, she might want to change her position or adjust the sling.
- Check the sling frequently especially if baby is still small to check if she is cosy.
- Take note of this acronym – TICKS:
- T (tight) – tight enough so you can hug baby close
- I (in view) – baby should be in view when you look down
- C (close) – close enough to kiss baby’s head or forehead any time
- K (keep chin off chest) – to clear baby’s airway
- S (support) – back should be well supported
Ring Sling Baby Carrier: Different Sling for Different Needs
Apart from our own experience and research, we asked other parents about the ring sling baby carrier that they love the most and what they love about it. Here is are the slings that made it to this list:
#1 Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Sling: Back Carry Partner
Wearing a toddler can take its toll on your back and shoulders as they are heavier. However, support such as padding can help you. Having said so, the Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling can be your best friend when it comes to carrying babies on your back.
As already mentioned, this breathable cotton ring sling has pads in the shoulder. With this, you can carry tots weighing up to 35 pounds sans the painful digging in. Aside from back carry, you can also do front and hip carry.
Keep in mind that this sling has three sizes – small to large with measurements 67, 73, and 79 inches. This is most useful for parents who are not that tall (like me lol) because you won’t end up tripping over the the extra fabric. Despite this, there is still adequate fabric to cover you up when you breastfeed.
What we love most about this ring sling baby carrier is that it has pocket that is large enough to carry a pacifier, diaper, and even a phone. Wow, right? You don’t need to bring your purse for a quick errand.
Just remember to machine wash in cold water and hang to dry.
There’s one teeny tiny complaint about this ring sling baby carrier though. Some parents say that its fabric is a bit thick for their preference. Not everyone has the same opinion though.
#2 WildBird Chickadee Ring Sling: Warm Weather Warrior
This ring sling baby carrier made in linen comes in different colorful patterns and prints to choose from. It’s not only cute, its comfortable even on hot, summer days.
The fabric is breathable and it softens after each use so keeping baby close will not cause discomfort. However, the fabric needs time to break in because it is originally stiff. Don’t worry because, as we have said, it will get softer after every use.
You can do three types of carry: hip, kangaroo, and front inward.
#3 Baby Slings by Ion & May: Runner Up for Summer
This breathable ring sling baby carrier is made of 70% natural bamboo and 30% cotton so it is soft and comfortable. Baby wearing during summer days will not be moist and sticky as the fabric can keep baby fresh and cool with its micro-gaps and three gauze-like layers. Bamboo does not irritate baby’s sensitive skin as well.
The machine washable sling reaches about 79 inches long so it can accommodate different baby types and sizes.
It comes with a cotton-line pouch so it makes a perfect baby shower gift for first-time parents.
There are just a few minor drawbacks to this sling though. For some reason, it is a bit challenging to slide the fabric through the rings. In addition to that, it does not provide ample neck support for babies so make sure that you only use it on babies with neck control.
#4 Nalakai Slings: Most Eco-Friendly
The blend of textile ensures that the baby is dry during warm days, and comfortable even when it is breezy. Despite the unusual combination, the fabric does not need breaking in. This machine washable ring sling is already soft to the touch and feels luxurious from the first use.
Apart from being eco-friendly, I can also say that this one is best for breastfeeding moms as it is seven feet long. Its extra tail can sufficiently cover you and your baby while you breastfeed on-the-go.
However, the fabric easily wrinkles. Furthermore, you need to tighten the sling every once in a while because it is soft.
#5 4 in 1 Baby Wrap Carrier and Ring Sling by Kids N’ Such: Most Multi-functional
You can use it as a wrap, a ring sling, a postpartum belly band, or a nursing cover. Just wow. First time moms are usually overwhelmed because of the many choices so this product is definitely a good buy and a game changer as well.
This ring sling baby carrier is made of 5% spandex and breathable cotton so the fabric gives you a little stretch. Apart from being a ring sling baby carrier, you can also use it to wrap your postpartum belly. When you feel like you can wear your baby, you can do so with the same carrier.
Its gray color makes it gender-neutral so both mom and dad can babywear (no more reason for dad to not wear).
This stretchy fabric can carry up to 35 pounds of load. BUT, we do not recommend it for back carry.
#6 Moby Ring Sling: For Plus Sized Babywearers
The popular Moby Wrap came up with an alternative to accommodate the ring sling-loving parents. They call it the Moby sling which is made from high quality soft woven cotton that is 78 inches long and 27.5 inches wide. This means that it can snugly fit every snug and curve while keeping baby safely tucked in.
Because of its size, there is a lot of space for parent and growing baby. It comes in muted colors so there is a big possibility that Dad might be pursued to wear it, too.
The sturdy yet lightweight aluminum rings can support up to 45 pounds of load. Thus, you can still even if baby is growing.
Like its wrap, this ring sling baby carrier counterpart still provides comfort even on prolonged use. Hip, kangaroo, and front carry positions are okay with this sling. Plus, it’s machine washable too.
What’s not to like? Others might say that the textile is too thick for their liking.
#7 Vlokup Baby Water Ring Sling Carrier: Swimming Buddy
Swimming with a squirmy little one can turn an enjoyable experience into a scary one. Or maybe you need to supervise your other swimming kiddos while taking care of the baby? Whatever your need is, the Vlokup Baby Water ring sling carrier is a great choice.
This ring sling baby carrier is made of 100% polyester jersey mesh so you can use it while in the water. It doesn’t get heavy, it dries fast, and it’s machine washable too. There are more than 10 colors to choose from so there’s a variant for every one.
The strong aluminum rings can support babies weighing up to 35 pounds. Those rings make the sling simple to use. We suggest though that you position your baby high up your chest so his head is far from the water.
Although this ring sling meets CPSC and CPSIA standards, it still needs regular readjustments to ensure that baby is safe while you are enjoying in the pool.
#8 Hip Baby Wrap Ring Sling Baby Carrier for Infants and Toddlers: Great for Toddlers
The sling, on the other hand, is made with strong but breathable cotton. Even though the fabric is handwoven, it is durable and lightweight. The manufacturer is using non-toxic and eco-friendly dyes to produce the radiant and pastel hues that the slings have.
The sling measures 78 inches long so you have abundant space for you and your tot even when breastfeeding on-the-run.
Best part about this ring sling baby carrier is the cleanup. Just put the sling inside your washing machine and let it do its work.
#9 Lite-On-Shoulder Baby Sling: Versatile Baby Hammock
Babies who love to snooze will find this ring sling baby carrier very comfortable. The sling’s deep pouch cradles the baby in the correct position so he is secured as he sleeps. Thus, your hands are free to do anything you want.
The rings are made of cast copper and zinc alloy. Additionally, they are not welded so this means that there are no weak spots. Your rings can carry the whole weight of the baby for you.
The fabric is made from 100% cotton sateen which is high quality and light (only 10 ounces). Despite being featherweight, it can hold up to 35 pounds of load.
It also has padding in the shoulder area to keep you pain-free as your tot’s legs dangle. The fabric’s tail is sewn and shaped to make it easier to adjust the sling.
There are more than 20 patterns and colors to pick from so there’s one to match your every outfit.
My favorite thing about this ring sling baby carrier is that you can wear it in 10 different ways which is awesome in my book.
There’s the snuggle hold, hip carry, kangaroo hold, and cradle hold which are the most commonly preferred my moms. You can also try couch hold, bench carry, straddle hold, double up, back carry, and even works as a child leash. This ring sling baby carrier is best used for nursing, napping, and down to bed hold.
Are You Ready To Buy?
You can ask to try out the ring sling baby carrier before buying. This will give you an idea about the fabric material, lengths, and sizes.
Also, remember that we have different opinions about things. What might be the best for your best friend might not be the best for you.
There are institutions that check for the slings’ safety. If you want to be extra secured, look for products that are ASTM- and CPSC-certified. They have safety guidelines in place to assure parents/users that you are using the safest products.
If you ask me, babywearing is a necessity. Remember that baby cannot watch over themselves or walk around to keep themselves entertained. But with a ring sling baby carrier, you can do all that needs to be done while keeping baby close.
There are different types of baby carriers but many parents opt for the ring slings. They take up less space compared to structured carriers, and more user-friendly than wraps.
In addition to the convenience that the ring slings bring, they also help you create a special bond with your baby. They make breastfeeding in public easier as well.
If your kid is big enough for back carry, the Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Sling is best for you. It has padding for added comfort and pockets that can accommodate your cellphone, diaper, or wipes.
For the hot and humid weather, try the WildBird Chickadee Ring Sling as its linen fabric keeps mommy and baby cool even during the warmest days. If you are looking for an alternative, try the Baby Slings by Ion & May. Its bamboo-cotton fabric keeps mom and baby from overheating even when it is sweltering.
Parents who are strong advocates of nature preservation will love Nalakai Slings. They were known as Pura Vida Slings and changed their brand name to reflect the names of their kids. Their fabrics are made of bamboo and linen so they are luxuriously breezy yet environment-friendly.
Those who want a multi-purpose ring sling baby carrier will want to buy the 4 in 1 Baby Wrap Carrier and Ring Sling by Kids N’ Such. It functions as a ring sling baby carrier, a wrap, a belly band for those who just gave birth, and as nursing cover.
The Moby Ring Sling is great for plus-sized parents who want to keep baby close. Its soft cotton fabric measures 78 inches long and 27.5 inches wide so it hugs every curve and snugly fits parent and child without compromising safety.
Those who love to take a dip in the pool with baby will definitely love the Vlokup Baby Water Ring Sling Carrier. It dries really fast and lightweight even when wet so it is the perfect companion for your aquatic adventures with little one.
Parents who want to wear their tots even until toddlerhood will want to buy the Hip Baby Wrap Ring Sling Baby Carrier for Infants and Toddlers. It is specially made with sturdy materials to withstand even up to 35 pounds of cargo.
But if your baby likes to sleep a lot, the versatile baby hammock Lite-On-Shoulder Baby Sling is an awesome choice.
Whichever ring sling you opt for, wearing your baby will help you form a special bond while making life more convenient for you.
I hope you find the best ring sling baby carrier for your specific need. Good luck! But if you are eyeing to buy a stroller such as the Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience, you might want to check out our review.