A ring sling is probably one of my most ustilised and favourite of all the carriers… There is a perception that because of the one shouldered nature they are only good for a certain timeframe or if used in a certain way.
I considered myself quite ‘practised’ with a ring sling before doing the Slingababy Consultant Training in Christchurch… I remember after having a somewhat ‘unsettling’ process trying to relearn my self taught wrapping technique for the first two days, I said to my husband on the third morning as I looked at the itinerary, “oh shit, its ring slings this morning… what the hell am I going to have to ‘unlearn’ here so I can better teach people?!”
I couldn’t help but instantly feel a bit defensive as I walked into that module. I have used a ring sling for a long time, unlike a woven wrap. I would even go so far to say I have been a bit obsessed! I have used a ring sling with Jai almost every day since he was born fifteen months ago, I just feed him to sleep in one before laying him in his bed and writing this…
In fact, I have used a ring sling on my parenting journey with Jai even before he was born! I got my first ring sling when Josh was about 15 months old, since then I have added an extra five to my stash. While I ‘may’ have used the excuse that they are for my library but if I am completely honest, I just like to have one in the entrance way, one in the car, one in the office.. And then also, there are so many beautiful options out there, I just wanted more of them! 😉
There are honestly so many occasions I can think of that a quick up in a ring sling has saved my backside in this juggle with two kids. So many times that chucking Jai up quickly has made things possible for me to balance life…
Turns out my hesitation wasn’t necessary though. I guess I felt validated the way I have been using it this whole time is essentially pretty close to the method I would use to show someone.. There where tips and tricks about making processes and understandings clearer for teaching (like “the price is right” and “sunrays”) and new ways to use one of my most prized parenting tools since my little dude was born.
I won’t reinvent the wheel here and write more about the various adaptions and approaches we were shown as some of the amazing prior Slingabay trainees have done that for me, so I will just share a great article to check out. It’s by Rosie Knowles (who is among other things a GP), she operates Sheffield Sling Surgery in the UK – http://www.sheffieldslingsurgery.co.uk/ring-slings-how-do-i-love-thee-let-me-count-the-ways/
I learnt many cool things at the training, about ring slings alone. For something I felt I already really had a grasp on, it was eye opening. I haven’t actually used a ring sling the same since we did this training module. The process also inspired me to view my ‘prior knowledge’ about carriers differently and to experiment outside the ‘rules’ more..
It is also commonly that I get asked if Jai is getting too heavy for the ring sling.. Short answer, he’s not. I still carry Josh in a ring sling occasionally at nearly four years old… When they are bigger and heavy, I find the aspects of positioning like ‘cupping your shoulder’ and ‘bringing your slack to the tightening system’ are more important to make the carry comfortable for me but I can still happily carry Josh in one at almost 20kgs and in size 4-5 clothes…
If you want to learn more about the various ways and techniques to use your ring sling, check out your local sling meet or contact me for a ‘skills development based’ workshop or Skype consultation. You could also come along to a workshop at MAMA Maternity, next one is this coming Monday, 26th September, 2016 at 1030am-12pm (https://www.facebook.com/events/664969533661104/).
Have you got a different way you use a ring sling than those in Rosie’s article? I would love it if you could share it with me! 🙂