We love ring slings because they are fast and easy to put on, and because they can be worn from birth to toddlerhood with ease! Learning how to get comfy in your ring sling can take a little practice, though! With that in mind, here are a few common ring sling troubleshooting complaints and how to solve them!
Ring Sling Troubleshooting Problem 1: the fabric gets bunched up or twisted in the rings when you are trying to tighten the sling
OR you are finding it difficult to pull the fabric through the rings.
Solution: follow the steps on our Adjusting Your Sling infographic! (scroll down for text instructions)
Step 1: make sure the fabric is well-spread through the rings and that both rails (hems) are visible and not twisted.
Step 2: Boost baby’s weight (lift your child under the bum) to support their weight with your arm to take a load off the fabric before tightening the sling
Step 3: Make sure you aren’t pulling on the entire tail at once – rather, pull each section of the tail across your body towards the baby.
a. the bottom section of the sling raises and lowers the baby’s knees.
b. the middle sections raises and lowers the baby’s bottom
c. the top section brings baby’s chest closer to your body.
*Be sure that you are not pulling on the entire tail all at once.
*Avoid pulling straight down or away from your body. This can “lock” the sling and make it difficult to move the tail.
Ring Sling Troubleshooting Problem 2: when you tighten your sling, the rings always seem to wind up at your stomach.
Solution: follow the steps on our A Simpler Way to Sling infographic! These steps help you get a good seat and keep those rings in place. (scroll down for text instructions)
Step 1. Place sling on body, in the position you like it be in when you are done (rings close to shoulder)
Step 2. Section by section, work most of the slack out sling (before adding the baby!). Taking the slack out first minimizes the need for big adjustments once baby is in the sling. The sling should be relatively snug when you are finished, with just enough room for baby.
Step 3. don’t forget to take the slack out in the back of the sling. Reach behind you to pull the fabric smoothly around to the front, then pull the excess around to the front and through the rings.
Step 4. Add baby. Use the bunched up sling to lift baby’s knees. While supporting baby, allow baby’s bottom to settle lower than the knees.
Step 5: Bring the top rail of the sling up and over baby’s body, to use the full width of the sling.
Step 6: Tighten the tail of the sling, once section at a time, to make final adjustments.
Ring Sling Troubleshooting Problem 3: after wearing your child for a relatively short time, your neck and shoulders are already achy and sore
Solution 1: go through our Ring Sling Checklist to ensure that your child’s weight is evenly distributed across your body by the sling.
The most important tips for solving this problem are written below:
Step 1. Make sure that your child is held “high and tight” on your body – in a similar position to how you would hold them in arms (and not too loosely)
Step 2. Make sure that your child has a good seat and that their bum is slightly lower than their knees – this ensures that their weight is distributed across your body and not just by the fabric of the sling at your neck. (if you are having trouble
Step 3. Make sure that your sling is centered on the ball of your shoulder and not riding up to your neck, then check to makes sure the fabric is smooth across your back.
Solution 2: If you have previously used the sling without discomfort but are finding it less comfortable as your child gets older and heavier, first follow the steps above- sometimes additional care is needed to support a bigger child. If you are doing a lot of wearing, you may also want to consider switching to a heavier-weight sling to help support your older child. We love Tula Ring Slings, Sakura Bloom Basic Linen (Double-Layer), Sakura Bloom Silk and Sakura Bloom Theory slings for heavier children.
If you found this article helpful, please also check out our article 8 Tips for Getting Comfy in Your Ring Sling
Photography and Infographic credits to Beth Secrist, babywearing educator.