You've got a lot of options when it comes to choosing a carrier. Even big-box retail stores now carry a variety of inexpensive front packs and structured carriers, and independent retailers have even more choices. So why choose a ring sling, and why one from sleeping baby productions?
Everyone's body is shaped differently, and everyone's body has a different history. Past injuries, weight distribution, bone structure, even height and proportions, all make a difference in the way a carrier fits and works
for an individual. I think the best way to find a carrier that works well for you is to go to a babywearing meet-up; many cities and areas have a group dedicated to trying out and learning to use baby carriers. Or you may
have a friend who has a few for you to borrow. While I don't believe that a ring sling will work for everyone, and I wouldn't claim that it's the best carrier for everybody, here are its strong points, and the reasons
I think a ring sling is a great addition to your caregiving toolbox:
With a little practice, most caregivers will find that a ring sling is simple to put on. There are no snaps, buckles, or adjusters aside from a pair of rings, and you can leave the sling adjusted to your body so that it's easy to put
on the next time. Toddlers in the "pick me up! now put me down!" phase can be easily accomodated by a ring sling.
The single pair of rings allows for a custom fit for a number of carrying styles, and it's quick to change for nursing or feeding, high carries or hip carries, and simple to take off if you need to put your baby down. You can switch shoulders without rethreading and with just a little readjustment, to keep your babywearing muscles balanced.
Because the only difference in ring sling sizes is the length of the tail fabric, multiple caregivers can share the same sling, even if they're different sizes. As long as there's at least 10" hanging down from the rings, you're good
to go; petite users can wrap the tail around the rings or tuck it into the body of the sling if it's on the longer side.
There's no need to buy an infant insert or size the carrier up as your baby gets older. A ring sling can easily take you from birth through toddlerhood, and because it's unstructured, you can adjust the carrying positions as your baby
grows. Babies of all ages are held in ergonomic positions just as you would hold them in-arms, whether it's high on your chest with a newborn or straddling your hip with a toddler.
Ring slings are wonderful around the house, where a structured carrier may just feel like too much. They fold up small, so you can fit one in your diaper bag or under the seat in your car for emergencies. Baby's awake and you're just
running into the store? Skip carrying the carseat and the baby, and just pop baby into your sling, and shop without worrying that the cart will tip over and injure your baby.
Car seats should never be placed on top of a shopping cart! Even if it feels like it clicks in, doing so can damage the locking mechanism, and hundreds of infants are injured every year when carts tip over with car seats balanced on
top. It's much, much safer to put your baby in a baby carrier while you shop. More about car seat safety