Today’s post is the second installment in my “Babywearing Basics” series. You can find the rest of the series here.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a carrier to use for baby wearing. Each mother has different priorities: some value comfort over all else, others ease of use, still others value security of the child. Fortunately, there are so many different types of carriers, everyone can find one to suit their needs! I’m beginning this series with my new favorite, the RING SLING.
I have to admit, I was a little intimidated by ring slings at first. It’s my newest addition to my baby wearing collection, and I think it took the most getting used to, but boy is it worth it! The ring sling is basically one long and wide piece of fabric that is threaded between two rings and worn over one shoulder. The fabric creates a kind of “pocket seat” for the babe’s bum, and the fabric holds them snugly to you when you adjust the fit through the rings.
- Very comfortable for short durations.
- Easy and comfortable to wear while seated- great for smaller babies in restaurants, church, etc
- With practice, very easy to use. Baby can come in and out quickly and without help from someone else.
- Stylish. Come in a variety of fabrics and prints and just generally look cool, being one shouldered and all.
- Baby is snug and secure to mama.
- Baby can be discreetly breastfed while in carrier- extra fabric can act as cover.
- Takes practice to get a good fit for you and baby that is both comfortable and secure.
- Can become uncomfortable when worn for long periods because all weight is on one shoulder
- Dads don’t love it to use for themselves, at least not mine- the one shouldered look tends to be a bit girly.
Probably my favorite thing about my ring sling is the amazing company that makes them. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that one of my favorite things to do is introduce you to companies that provide a socially generous and responsible choice for items you might want to purchase, and this company is no exception! I have fallen in love not only with their products, but with their mission as well.
Today, I want to introduce you to UMI SLING, the labor of love of the wonderful Megan Kimmelshue of The Boho Mama. Umi Sling operates under a ‘one-for-one’ program- whenever you buy a sling for yourself or a loved one, another sling is sewn and sent to Papua New Guinea, where many of the children are malnourished because they are left at home during the day while their mothers work. When the mothers are provided with a sling, they can then carry their children (and, thus, feed them) while they work, which is significantly changing the health of the community!
Megan’s friend, Adriel, works with women in a community development project in Papua New Guinea. Adriel writes, “Athough leaving a supply of baby slings will not “solve” the problems in Bamio, it’s a practical, achievable part of the approach we can take in educating and equipping these dear women (and their husbands) in regards to the importance of maternal availability during the newborn and infant stages.” I love this honest approach to their work- aware that they may not be solving a long-term problem, but they can provide a short-term solution in the meantime. You can also read Adriel’s blog here.
Umi Slings are well-made, durable, single-layer ring slings made with the highest quality fabrics. I have their bestselling organic cotton chevron sling, and if I leave the house with the baby, this sling comes with me! The slings come in a variety of patterns and fabrics, including a lovely line of handprinted batiks made with fabric sourced from a women’s vocational training center in Ghana. Umi Sling also just introduced a beautiful limited edition sling made with fair trade cotton from Guatemala!
On the whole, the ring sling is my absolute favorite carrier for everyday use- it looks pretty, it’s comfortable for myself and the baby, it’s easy to use, and the baby is secure. But I think what I like best is knowing that the sling is not only making my life easier, but it’s impacting the life of another baby in Papua New Guinea, too!