Babywearing is basically a necessity. After all, you have things to do and your newborn can’t watch (or walk around) themselves. Having your little one in a baby sling close to your chest helps comfort them and keeps your hands free. But the practice is also valuable even beyond the infant stages—which is why “toddlerwearing” is a thing. Sometimes it’s just more convenient to carry a tot than to make them trot on their own.
While there are multiple types of baby carriers (and toddler carriers at that), many moms opt for a comfy, sturdy ring sling to keep their child close. They’re less bulky than more structured carriers and easier to use than wraps, since they come with—you guessed it—rings that help them stay fastened.
There are other benefits to buying a good ring sling too. A baby sling can help you form a physical bond with your child, as your bodies will be cozily pressed together whenever you wear one. Plus, the ample fabric and placement of a ring sling makes discreet breastfeeding a breeze.
How to Use a Ring Sling
Worried you won’t be able to master wearing a baby sling comfortably? While ring sling baby carriers take some getting used to, they’re far less tricky than wraps, since they come with rings that make wrapping and securing a cinch. You simply thread the fabric through the ring and literally sling it over your shoulder. Once your child is inside (always hold them with one hand until the process is complete), the shape lets you spread, tighten and otherwise adjust the fabric until you feel confident it’s sturdy and won’t bother you or baby.
The best way to figure out how to wear a ring sling is of course by reading the instructions that come with yours—the maker of your specific baby sling is the ultimate authority on how to use it and will provide important safety tips. While those guidelines are your source of truth, you can also consult visual guides (like step-by-step photos and educational videos) for extra help. (Many sellers offer those on their websites and product pages.) Then practice, practice, practice—it might be helpful to try it out in front of a mirror.
A few pointers:
• Make sure the “seat” you make for baby is big enough to fit them and keep them safely enclosed—if it’s too small, they could tumble out.
• On the flipside, the baby sling shouldn’t be too tight—it should feel snug but not enough to squeeze and cause discomfort, and your child’s head should stay out.
• You can wear your ring sling in a couple different ways: either in front of you or on your hip for extra weight support.
Best Ring Slings
Ready to buy? We’ve rounded up some of the best ring slings on the market, from a soft, affordable baby sling carrier to an eco-friendly and charitable baby sling wrap, a versatile water ring sling and more. A couple things to consider while shopping:
• Feel free to shop around a little to try on different fabric lengths and sizes—you can always return what you don’t like. After all, what feels best on your body might be different than what feels best on your friend’s, especially if you two (and your kids) are shaped differently.
• The best (aka safest) baby slings are not only parent-approved but also have institutional approval. Turn to ASTM- and CPSC-certified products for an extra confidence boost. Both parties have put out ring sling safety guidelines.
Moby Ring Sling Baby Carrier
This ring sling starts at under $50, which means it falls on the more affordable end of the price spectrum. It supports children 8 through 33 pounds and promises to distribute weight comfortably with proper use.
Buy it: Starting from $47, Amazon.com
Baby Tula Cotton Ring Sling
Looking for a baby sling carrier with a fun print? Baby Tula sells ringed wraps in a whole bunch of cool patterns. They’re made for babies weighing anywhere from 8 to 35 pounds.
Buy it: $79, BabyTula.com
Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling Baby Carrier
This brand lets you choose from different sizes and patterns too. Its ASTM- and CPSC-compliant ring slings fit newborns and toddlers alike (8 pounds to 35) and boast lightly padded shoulders for extra comfort.
Buy it: $80, Amazon.com
Wildbird Roller Solid and Minis Ring Slings
Wildbird offers adorable mommy and me (or daddy, or grandparent, or whoever and me!) ring slings. That makes them ideal for parents with another child jealous of all the attention baby’s getting. (They’ll be too distracted acting like a grownup and toting around their favorite stuffed animal to care.) Like others on this list, the adult version works as a newborn ring sling but also holds up to 35 pounds. A final bonus? They’re all handmade by working moms in the United States.
Mebien Baby Wrap Carrier Ring Sling
The five-star reviews really speak for themselves, but we’ll make a few points of our own. First, this baby ring sling carrier is made from luxe Turkish cotton that gets softer with each wear. Second, it fits the standard 8 to 35 pounds. And third, how chic is that neutral color palette?
Buy it: $50, Amazon.com
Sakura Bloom Ring Sling
Want a ring sling that’s simple and stylish? Look no further than Sakura Bloom’s line of baby slings for newborns and toddlers (8 to 35 pounds). This one is made from soft, breathable linen—buh-bye snuggle time sweat. The brand lets you pick between plenty of solid colors and, bonus, ring colors too. Oh, and its products undergo ASTM testing and comply with CSPC safety standards.
Buy it: $88, SakuraBloom.com
LÍLLÉbaby Ring Sling
This baby sling carrier is also made from linen. Better yet, it comes with a detachable zippered pocket you can store small belongings in. It holds between 7 and 35 pounds, so it’s suitable for newborns and toddlers.
Buy it: $97, Nordstrom.com
Soul Jacquard Cotton Ring Sling
Soul’s baby sling wraps come in four different lengths as well as lots of unique designs. We like this bright, textured jacquard style, but there are plenty more where that came from. It holds up to 33 pounds.
Buy it: Starting from $59, SoulSlings.com
Pura Vida Slings Luxury Ring Sling Baby Carrier
When a product has a near-perfect rating after hundreds of reviews, you know it must be good. We’re guessing moms and dads love this ring sling for its eco-friendly bamboo-linen fabric and trendy color options. Or the fact that five percent of the company’s profits go to a Costa Rica charity helping low-income families.
Buy it: Starting from $65, Amazon.com
Kyte Baby Ring Sling
This ring sling carrier has not one but two pockets to store essentials (from house keys to nipple cream). The fabric is made from 100 percent linen (which the brand deems environmentally friendly) and holds 8- to 35-pound children.
Buy it: $60, KyteBaby.com
Beachfront Baby Water and Warm Weather Ring Sling Baby Carrier
Shopping for a water ring sling? You can bring this mesh one to the pool or beach without worrying about H20 weighing it down. It fits 8 to 30 pounds and comes in multiple colors. It’s also made right here in the US by moms. Last but not least, it meets ASTM sling carrier safety standards, which is something to always consider when buying a baby sling.
Buy it: $50, Amazon.com
Bibetts Pure Linen Ring Sling Baby Carrier
Bibetts ring slings are both ASTM and CPSC compliant. Choose from the available sizes or order a custom fit on Etsy. Plus, its linen fabric is breathable, strong and easily foldable, so it won’t take up too much space in your diaper bag. This product’s weight carrying guidelines are 8 to 35 pounds.
Buy it: Starting from $40, Etsy.com
ION & MAY Natural Collection Baby Sling
Here’s a super-soft ring sling made from 100 percent bamboo, which provides warmth when needed without feeling stuffy when it isn’t. But despite the fancy fabric, it’s still conveniently machine-washable. It also comes with its own storage bag. Use the sling for babies and toddlers 8 to 25 pounds.
Buy it: $55, Amazon.com
Balboa Baby Dr. Sears Adjustable Sling
This special ring sling was designed with the help of a famous pediatrician, Dr. William Sears. Use it in four different ways, get added comfort from the padded strap and use the outside storage pocket to your advantage. It holds up to 35 pounds.
Buy it: Starting from $56, Target.com
Mamaway Ring Sling Baby Wrap Carrier
We like this ring sling for its pattern options, including a fall- and winter-ready plaid. It’s made for newborns and toddlers, boasts ergonomical benefits and has a patented fold-up pocket design that makes it super-portable.
Buy it: $60, Amazon.com
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, some of which may be sponsored by paying vendors.
Published May 2019
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