White caregiver carries her white baby on her chest in a black mesh water ring sling. Text reads, "How to wear a Newborn in a Ring Sling"

How to Wear Your Newborn in a Ring Sling

White caregiver carries her white baby on her chest in a black mesh water ring sling. Text reads, "How to wear a Newborn in a Ring Sling"

Caregiver wears her baby in a black water ring sling.


Wear your newborn in a ring sling like a pro!

Mama & Roo's founder and babywearing educator Alexandra gives you her best tips and tricks for wearing your tiny baby in a ring sling.

Watch here now! Read instructions below the video. 



First, make sure that you leave the ring sling just loose enough to fit your baby. A good place to start is leaving enough room for your elbow to go in the sling, but not much more. Newborn babies are small!


If you have to do a lot of tightening once baby is in, it will make it harder to get a comfortable fit, so tighten as much as you reasonably can before you pick baby up.


The rings should be on the opposite shoulder of where you want to put baby. Lift baby up, supporting them. Imagine you are wrapping your baby around your newborn's natural curved shape-- you want to help them maintain that C-curve and froggy leg shape.


Bunch the fabric and let baby settle onto the bunched fabric. Find the top rail and pull the fabric up to the base of baby's earlobe (but no higher). Reach between you and baby to find the bottom rail, then pull it up between you to about the diaper line to help support baby's curved position. Check to make sure the carrier fabric is supporting baby knee to knee and adjust as needed.


Now tighten! Tighten the top rail by pulling the tail horizontally across your body. Tighten the middle rails by pulling diagonally down across your body. Tighten the bottom rail by pulling straight down. Make sure you are only pulling the rails you're trying to tighten! If your ring sling has stripes or gradients this can help you match rail to rail as you tighten. You can also feed slack from behind your body to the front and into the rings.


If you over tighten, simply lift the top ring up and gently pull on the fabric to loosen if needed.


Common mistakes / tips:

-Avoid pulling the whole tail straight down as one bunch of fabric

-Avoid starting the rings too low--as you tighten the rings will move down, so starting as tighten as you can and starting the rings higher will allow the rings to settle comfortably.

-Top rail too loose: This is especially common with tiny babies. One easy way to fix this is to twist the tail and use it as a neck support for baby

-Baby too low: Make sure you're setting the sling up for minimal tightening so you don't have too much moving around to do. Then set up baby in the right position to tighten.

-Other ways to use extra tail: leave it hanging down, wrap it around the rings, use it as a second pass

-Sometimes it's easier to tighten if you lift baby's bottom up first to take pressure off the fabric =)


How to nurse or bottle feed your baby in a ring sling:

-Lift the top ring to loosen the sling and lower your baby into position. Wiggling can help =) . Upright is okay, even for newborns!

-Once baby is done nursing/bottle feeding or asleep, lift them back into a safe, close-enough-to-kiss position and re-tighten


Ready for a ring sling of your own? Check out our beautiful, ethically made carriers here:

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