Join Team Tula with #tulateaches as we answer your questions about babywearing in a warm, welcoming way! We have chat backs and 101 sessions on our Facebook page, will be providing answers to your frequently asked questions in our special Babywearing FAQs, and are excited to launch our new #tulateaches educational video tutorials, with our first video featuring our favorite carrier for a newborn, the Tula Ring Sling!
- General Ring Sling Questions
- Threading and Use
- Adjustment and Fit
- Wearing Newborns
- Wearing Bigger Children
GENERAL RING SLING QUESTIONS: What are your ring slings made from? Tula Ring Slings are made using babywearing-specific Sling Rings affixed securely to medium weight woven wrap fabric woven specifically for Tula.
How long can I use them for?
Tula Ring Slings are approved from use from 8 to 35 lbs.
Which size should I get?
The size that will work for most users is roughly based on t-shirt sizing. Both can be worn by most users, but the L/XL would result in a longer tail (which can be used to cover baby’s legs in sun, or to wrap around the rings for a polished, cosmetic faux knot look.
How long is the Tula Ring Sling?
S/M is around 77″ and L/XL is around 87″ unwashed (slight variation is intentional as we cut to allow for up to 20% shrinkage with our Tencel blend)
Is it easy to adjust between my toddler and small child?
A ring sling is versatile! You can wear a newborn and preschooler in the same woven wrap ring sling.
I’ve heard that ring slings are either right or left shouldered. What happens if you put a ‘right’ on your left should? Is it just for the pattern that shows outward or is it a structural thing?
Tula Ring slings have a gathered shoulder; therefore, you can wear it on the shoulder that you are more comfortable. We also pick designs that are not direction-specific.
Is there a prewash needed for the ring sling?
We recommend washing your Tula Ring Sling before using. It becomes very soft and moldable and much easier to wrap with. We recommend hand washing your ring sling with a soap/detergent that does not contain brighteners. If you do decide to use a washing machine, you may use a delicate cold cycle with similar detergent, and place a sock over your rings to avoid them from getting caught on something in your machine and air dry.
Do you offer a rental program for ring slings?
We don’t currently have a rental program for our Tula Ring Slings but we do offer a 30 day return policy on like new slings if you wanted to try it for a short time. Also, you may want to find out if their is a local babywearing group in your area. Many of them have Facebook groups and meet occasionally to allow for people to try on different types of carriers and trouble shoot. So much of getting comfortable with a carrier or ring sling is just a bit of time to get a comfortable adjustment.
Should I get a Tula Ring Sling or a Tula Carrier?
A ring sling has very a different look and structure than a soft structured carrier but they have some very similar qualities. Ring slings are quick to put on and adjust and can provide a nice ergonomic position for your child. They are great for babywearing while on the go because you can leave the sling on while you take your child in and out of it. Ring slings are a one-shoulder carrier so it is not designed to be worn as long as you can wear your SSC. Although alternating the shoulder you wear your ring sling can help make the ring sling work well for a longer period of time. Ring slings have a very versatile fit and can work with newborns up to preschoolers, where as SSCs are more size specific.
THREADING AND USE: What is the best way to thread my ring sling?
- Hold the sling with the rings/shoulder in one hand and the tail end in the other, and with the tag facing up. The fabric should not be twisted.
- Gather the fabric of the tail and pass the tail through both rings. The tag should be sandwiched in between the tail and the shoulder of the sling.
- Pass the tail back over the top ring and through the bottom ring. This is similar to threading a belt.
- Spread the fabric across the rings to ensure that it is not twisted by pulling the rails away from one another to flatten the fabric as much as possible.
Can I leave my ring sling threaded between uses? It is fine to leave your ring sling threaded between uses as long as you are actively using it on a regular basis. How do I avoid the sling bunching up in the rings?
The trick we’ve found is to have the sling pre-tightened to some extent so that you have fewer adjustments to make once baby is in the sling. It also really helps to make sure that you have your tail spread as much as possible before you start. When you put baby in the sling, tighten each section of the tail individually from inside to outside rather than pulling it all at once.
ADJUSTMENT AND FIT: How do I use and tighten the sling?
- Holding the rings in one hand, pass the loop over your head. Your rings should end up on one shoulder (your choice), with the tail end hanging down towards your feet in the front.
- The best final placement for the rings should be just under your shoulder. It can be helpful to place them as high as possible when first learning to wear a ring sling, as the rings will move down as you adjust the sling.
- Check the length of the sling to ensure that it is suitable for your size. The lowest part of the sling pouch should be close to the same level as your belly button.
- Lift your baby up and hold her against your free shoulder. Continuing to support her weight, slide her into the sling pouch so that the fabric rests near her knees. You may wear her on your chest or on your hip.
- Place your baby’s legs in the natural seated M-position. Baby’s knees should be in line with their belly button, gently spread to the sides, with bottom and legs forming the letter M. Knees should be higher than your baby’s bottom.
- Use one hand to support the child while using the other to lift the panel up behind the child’s back.
- While supporting the child, ensure that there is plenty of fabric under her bottom and that the lower rail of the ring sling is reaching from one knee to the other. Continuing to support her weight with one hand, reach in between your body and baby’s and pull the bottom rail between your bodies to ensure that baby is in a deep, seated position.
- Still supporting baby’s weight, gather all excess fabric across baby’s back and bottom, moving it towards the rings.
- Tighten the top rail of the ring sling near baby’s neck by pulling the corresponding inside rail of the tail parallel to the top rail (horizontally/directly across).
- If necessary, tighten the bottom rail of the sling as well by pulling the corresponding outside rail of the tail parallel to the bottom rail (vertically/directly down). Be careful to maintain your baby’s deep seat by not tightening this portion too much. Her knees should still be higher than her bottom, and there should still be fabric between your bodies as well as knee to knee coverage.
- Spread the sling widely across your back to provide the most comfortable support.
- Spread the sling evenly over the top of your shoulder for more comfort. Optimal placement is away from your neck and closer to your shoulder/upper arm.
What is the most comfortable positioning?
We would recommend wearing the shoulder of the ring sling capping your shoulder so that it comes down over the top of your arm, if possible. It helps to spread the sling widely across your back to help distribute the weight as well. And keep your sling snug, as this will help support your baby better. Finally, make sure baby is nice and snug with a good supported seat in the hammock of the carrier.
How should my baby be sitting?
Physiologically, babies develop so that their placement looks different at different ages and stages. Generally, we would recommend wearing your baby in a deep squat with knees above bottom, and with baby’s weight resting in the hammock of the sling. Keep in mind that red lines on baby’s legs don’t always mean that baby is uncomfortable – they can be similar to the marks left on your face by your pillow. That said, pay close attention to ensuring that baby has adequate circulation, an open airway, and is always visible and kissable.
Why does my baby fall lower on my body while in the ring sling over time?
Your baby should be close enough to kiss. It sounds like you’re not getting it tight enough. Make sure the shoulder of the sling is also cupping your shoulder and that the sling is spread widely across your back. To tighten more easily, try tightening from under your arm and across baby’s back by bringing the slack in the sling to the rings before pulling it through, and always maintain a secure M-position for baby, who will be seated in the hammock of the carrier. I would recommend starting with your sling pre-adjusted so you don’t have make as many changes once baby is in the sling!
My child has a good seat, but the leg furthest from the rings always turns purple.
It sounds like your bottom rail might be a little bit snug. Keep in mind that the bottom rail is supposed to be tight enough to keep knees above bum, but not too tight.
Why does my baby end up crooked when I tighten her in the ring sling?
It would help to make sure that you are tightening the fabric evenly across baby’s back and bottom and that knees are higher than bottom to create the seat. If the bottom rail is too tight, it can sometimes pull baby off to an angle as well… but you do want it to be tight enough to maintain a secure M-position for baby. Try tightening from under your arm and across baby’s back by bringing the slack in the sling to the rings before pulling it through.
How can I get a deep seat? I try to pull as much fabric as I can between my body and my baby but I don’t know if it’s enough.
The trick is to have your baby’s weight resting in the hammock of the carrier. If baby’s bottom is in the sling, knees are higher than bottom (in an M position), and the sling is nice supportive from baby’s neck and through baby’s back, that is what is important. Your baby should be in a deep squatted position with knees higher than bottom, which means there will be fabric running securely from the inside of one knee to the other – this will help ensure that baby’s weight is safely secured in the hammock, which is most important.
Why does the shoulder slide when I lift my arm?
Since the ring sling is designed to cup your shoulder, you won’t have as much range of motion with that side. For that reason, some users wear the sling on their non-dominant shoulder so that they still have full range of motion with their dominant hand!
How do I keep my rings higher instead of moving downward?
The trick is to have the sling mostly pre-adjusted when you put baby in, and to adjust the tail rails individually. It really helps to pull the inside rail of the tail toward the horizontal edge of the sling to tighten it and the outside rail of the tail toward the vertical edge of the body of the sling. This helps to have less migration in your rings. You can also start with your rings higher on your shoulder.
In the majority of pictures I see with ring slings, most babies are arms in. Is this a requirement or is it okay for babies with good head control to be arms out?
We personally prefer arms in because it is cozy, but it is safe for a baby to be arms out when larger, as long as there is adequate coverage all the way up to the armpits, as long as baby has appropriate torso and head control, and as long as baby is securely attached.
How do I get the bottom rail so that it is tight across my back? When I tighten it at the ring it just seems to get too tight under baby’s legs.
Try tightening from under your arm and across baby’s back by bringing the slack in the sling to the rings before pulling it through.
When can I begin using my ring sling?
You can wear a baby in a ring sling beginning at around 8 lbs. You want to remember the ABCs – airway (clear, chin off of chest), body positioning (neck and trunk control, knees higher than bottom, and a seated M-position), and comfort (get help if this isn’t there!). Small babies in particular need to have extra attention paid to their airway as well as their positioning.
What’s the best position for placing a newborn in a ring sling?
The best position for a newborn is to be worn high and snug on your chest. Always make sure she is visible and kissable, and keep an eye on her airway to ensure that it is clear. Make sure her chin is at least two adult fingers above her chest. We recommend turning her head to one side so that she can rest her cheek on your chest. For additional support, you can twist your tail to create a long “cushioned” rail, bring the twisted tail up against your baby and flip the top edge over the twisted tail to create a cushioned top edge to support baby’s head.
Can I nurse in the cradle position in a ring sling?
You can absolutely nurse your newborn in a ring sling in the cradle position. Make sure that baby is secure while nursing and that his or her knees are still higher than bottom (you will probably need to carefully loosen the top rail and tighten the bottom rail once moving baby to the cradle position). BE ALERT. You must always conscious of your newborn while nursing and that his or her chin is not on her chest. Bring your baby back up to the upright position as soon as you are finished, tightening up the rails and making sure baby is visible, and their airways are clear.
Should I wear my newborn with legs in or legs out in a ring sling?
Wearing your newborn legs in or legs out is a matter of comfort for your newborn. Some newborns prefer to be worn with their legs out and that is fine. If your newborn is more comfortable being worn with his/her legs in, just make sure that baby’s weight is resting on his or her bottom, not their feet or legs.
What do I do to help support my newborn’s neck until he or she has more neck control? Our slings are wide enough to support to the base of baby’s head easily. That said, it can be helpful to roll a piece of cloth (a prefold diaper or a small dishtowel, or even the tail of the sling!) into the top rail of the ring sling to support a small baby’s neck when they fall asleep.
Why does my baby cry and straighten her legs while in the sling?
If she is straigtening her legs, that may be a sign that she’s uncomfortable. You might try taking her out and makes sure she isn’t hungry or needing a diaper change. I always find that makes a difference. You might also try wrapping the tail around the rings to make sure the rings aren’t bothering her.
WEARING BIGGER CHILDREN:
What are ways to tell that your baby is ready to move from a newborn position to an older baby position?
A good rule of thumb is to not wear your little one in a hip carry until you find that you “default” to carrying your kiddo on your hip ordinarily.
Are wiggling tots able to be safely worn?
If your toddler is wiggling around, it might be a good idea to let them down to play and try again later.
What is the best position for my toddler to be in?
Many toddlers really enjoy the hip carry, but tummy to tummy is still okay as long as caregiver and child are both comfortable.
More questions? Check out our video tutorial or send us an email at [email protected] and we would be happy to help you get the best use out of your Tula Ring Sling! Happy Babywearing!