As I have mentioned what feels like about a million times at this point, I love babywearing. I don't know how I would make it through a day without babywearing. So, I am always on board to try a new carrier.
Somehow despite my love for babywearing, I've never tried out a ring sling. Many of my friends in the babywearing community swear by them, but since we spent our money on SSCs, I've only recently been able to branch out to other carriers. My stash only includes SSCs, mei tais, and a toddler pouch sling which was an impulse purchase as it was so pretty. I wanted to try a sling for quick ups like running into a convenience store when I need to hit up the ladies room or make a quick purchase since people swear slings are awesome for quick ups. Unfortunately, my daughter despite her age isn't quite big enough for a toddler size anything yet. In steps this opportunity to try out a ring sling, and I jumped on it.
I was smitten with some of the color options Mamaway offers. Personally, I'm a huge fan of orange which they offer both as a solid and in stripes. However, they sent me a lovely and non drab grey sling. The day after I ordered, I was surprised by an email from Mamaway including a pdf of the instructions as well as a link to their blog which includes links to videos with on how to thread your sling as well as several videos on positions you can use your sling. After reading through their site, I discovered that the company also sells maternity and nursing clothes, so they really emphasize the ease of nursing in the sling. Sadly, our breastfeeding journey is over for medical reasons. However, I can certainly see after using the sling how much easier it would be to breastfeed even with some privacy in a ring sling than my SSCs. I thought the emailed instructions were a nice touch as well since I hate having to search for paper instructions for things I've purchased anymore and prefer to have them in a digital format where I won't lose them.
I also appreciated the emphasis on toddler wearing in their ring sling not just infant wearing. In the states, we seem to be more critical of babywearing once children can walk. Personally, I think I wear my daughter even more so now that she can walk. My daughter began walking at 8 months when she was only 14 lbs and 24 inches tall. Letting her loose in a crowd or store seemed like a recipe for her to get hurt. She still hasn't fully grasped danger yet and is quite fast. I feel safer having her on me. When I'm home, I find the only way to prevent running after my little one while cooking is to just strap her on me.
I've harped on safety with carriers before, so I had to do my due diligence with this one as well. The rings are nylon which is one of the two types of materials considered safe for rings for babywearing. The material is a cotton which they state has been tested up to 110 lbs. I had babywearing educators look at the cotton as well and felt it was durable enough for use for a carrier.
When the sling arrived, the box it came in had a qr code you can scan with your smart phone for instructions as well. The sling was folded into the pocket sewn on the sling for easy storage. Folded, the sling is about the size of a pack of baby wipes making it easy to fit in your diaper bag while out and about.
Even though I am part of a local babywearing group, I decided to use the video to learn to use the sling as if I was any other purchaser of the product. I found the videos quite easy to follow. I got my sling threaded without any twists on the first try. Since I have a toddler, I was not able to try either of the infant carries. I did try the koala or hip carry. My little one was quite wiggly the first few times I used the ring sling making adjusting the sling a bit more difficult. She is used to my other carriers and knows what they are. The more she has seen me use it, the easier it is to get her in it.
One of the few issues I had with this ring sling is that it has a box pleat for the shoulder which limits its ability to spread across the shoulder in the way that a gathered or even pleated should would. I, actually, have broad shoulders; so I found it difficult to get the shoulder spread across my shoulder as you can see below. Without a good spread, the rings tended to come down more easily as well as not providing as much support and comfort as if it could have spread over my shoulder fully. This is probably not as much of a problem for women with less broad shoulders.
I was impressed with the length of the sling. Many ring slings are sized. When I saw this one wasn't, I worried that it might be small since I am fluffier than usual these days. However, as you can see below, we had plenty of tail left.
Additionally, the sling has a slightly padded area to support baby's neck which I've never seen on a ring sling before.
Since the sling is cotton as opposed to many of the specialty materials many ring slings are made from, you can use your regular detergent which is certainly easier than having to purchase a special detergent for your carrier.
I have since received a follow up email from the company asking how the sling is working for me as well as some helpful reminders. Mamaway's customer service has blown me away. I've rarely dealt with a company so interested in making sure their product is working for me.
You can purchase the Mamaway Ring Sling from Amazon here.
I received this product for free in exchange for a review, but all opinions are honest, genuine, and my own.