Guest post by Brandy Nichols
The very first way I learned to carry my child (other than my arms) was in a ring sling. My husband’s mother gave me one in those very early days with my first baby. I think I must have gone around for a year or more, wearing my sling or mei tai much of the time. Many folks love using ring slings for getting their child up and down quickly and praise them even in the toddler years.
A ring sling is a length of cloth where one end is threaded with sling rings, folded over and sewn (very well). The other end, the tail, is free. It’s threaded through the rings, too, to make an adjustable pocket for the baby. Ring slings are not the same as those infamous bag slings from a few years ago. I like ring slings for carrying very small babies most of all. There’s not lots of fabric to wrap around them and no special inserts or adjustments required, such as for soft-structured carriers. Babies are only very little for a short time, anyway.
I prefer to use a ring sling for the first year–just what I like. I have a short torso and the baby consumes me after that point. When I’m able to do back carries, I do them almost exclusively so that I can see where I’m going. I don’t do hip carries with the ring sling (never have) but many people love to. All the hip carrying I did with my first child actually prompted lingering hip pain, so I do carries that are two-shouldered when at all possible, once the baby starts to develop some heft.
Carry Me Away sent Stacy a Maya ring sling for me to review. I’d never had a commercially-made one before and this one is somewhat different from the homemade one I used. It still has the same sling rings and padded shoulder. Some are unpadded, just personal preference for the wearer. The Maya Wrap sling has the added feature of a tail that has a zippered pocket. There were times in the old days when I wished for a place to stash my wallet. Some women do mommy purses – I ditch mine all together. 😉 The Maya Wrap sling is also sized, while my old one was not. I chose a large, because I like a long tail to tuck in around the baby when it’s cooler or raining lightly.
The sling also came with an instructional DVD. This would have been wonderful with my first sling. It never occurred to me to look up videos on YouTube, so it took a while for me to figure out how to use my sling with only printed directions. The Maya Wrap video is great. It covers many situations that most parents would encounter when using their ring sling–nursing, younger babies, older babies, carrying twins, nursing in the sling. Maya Wrap suggests alternating shoulders for the ring sling, which might have saved me some hassle (and discomfort!) if I’d known that when I started. Live and learn.
My own baby is two now and there’s another one coming this autumn, so I borrowed Stacy’s little boy to test out the sling and make the video. Andy is still small, so he hung out on the front just fine. I think he would give the Maya Wrap sling a great review. He seemed to love being carried around in it and was happy to comply with the multiple video attempts. The fabric molds to the baby’s body well, it stays in place once tightened and is just the right weight for year-round comfort.
You can get 10% off your Maya Wrap purchase from Carry Me Away using code STACY when checking out. Code good until May 31st, 2013.
Carry Me Away is going to dive a ring sling to one of you! You’ll win a Maya Wrap in the above color (lemon-lime) – the same one Brandy has. You’ll be able to chose between small and large for your size.
To enter, use the rafflecopter widget below (if you don’t see the widget, try using a different internet browser). This giveaway will end on Friday, May 24th at midnight EST.
**This giveaway is only open to US residents.**
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Brandy and her growing family live on a little homestead in town where they do their best with what comes their way, often with someone strapped to the back.