After buying my first woven wrap, I decided I had to try a ring sling, too. Before I had even learned about wraps, several friends had recommended ring slings as a great way to carry your baby, and I wanted to know what they were all about.
I began searching the Babywearing on a Budget Facebook page. There were so many options and I had no clue what I needed or wanted. I saw slings with a pleated shoulder”, “gathered shoulder”, or “padded shoulder”, but I wasn’t sure which I should get. I decided that since I wanted to carry my baby for as long as she would let me, a padded shoulder sounded like a good idea. I figured she would eventually get heavy and the padding might help offset the padding.
So I found a Maya Wrap Ring Sling on the swap in the pattern Bright Stripes. As their name says, the colors are bright and they’re cheerful, and I thought they would be fun to wear. I bought a used sling and started watching YouTube videos, hoping to learn how to use it.
It was just as bright and cheerful in person as it was online, and several Youtube channels had videos on how to front and hip carry. The little one was already too big for the infant carry, but I practiced front and hip carries and it didn’t take long to get them down well. In fact, I think it took me longer to learn how to thread the rings than it did to learn how to get the little one into the sling.
Maya Ring Slings are a pretty economical ring sling. You can get them new for about $80 plus shipping, and you can find them used for less. There are a lot of used Maya Ring Slings available, and I think that’s a good sign that they last through some decent babywearing.
In addition to being economical, they’re pretty easy to use. You can get overwhelmed with the options in a woven wrap – there are many carries and some of them are very difficult. It can be hard to learn to hold your baby and wrap her. With the ring sling, you put it on, adjust it a bit, put the baby in, and then adjust more. I think they’re pretty easy to tighten up, too, and my little one always felt secure in hers.
I think the best thing about the ring sling is how quick they are. My wonderful husband sometimes gets impatient when we get somewhere and it takes me several minutes to get wrapped and adjusted. In April, we took a ten hour car trip. That meant several stops for gas, food, nursing, etc. He was going to be frustrated waiting for me to wrap each time. So instead I took the ring sling. I had the little one in it in less than a minute, and we were off walking around for a break from the car before my husband knew what happened!
Another nice perk of the Maya Ring Sling is that it includes a zippered pocket on the tail. This gives you a place to store keys, diapers, your wallet!
The only downside to the ring slings, that I can see, if that there are fewer options for carries (I know, I had said that was a benefit!). For me, I love the artistry and beauty of all the different carries I can do with my woven wrap. The ring sling leaves me wanting there. But not everyone has the patience for wrapping, and if you are running a bunch of errands where your baby will be in and out of the wrap several times through the day, a ring sling is really useful and quick.
I would love to get to try some of the more expensive ring slings to see how they compare to the Maya Ring Sling. I would definitely recommend a Maya Ring Sling, especially if you are starting out and want to see if you like a ring sling or if you don’t have the patience for wrapping.