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Baby Ring Slings
Baby ring slings sounds like a dangerous game to play with your baby, but actually, it’s a twenty first century term for the ancient practice of wearing your baby. Our ancestors instinctively knew that new babies needed more time to complete the transition to the outside world after spending nine months in the comfort of the womb. The natural response to these needs of the newborn was to tie the baby to the mother using a shawl.
Today we use slings of rectangular cloth threaded through two rings to anchor the baby close to mother’s chest. Baby ring slings act as a transitional womb, allowing the baby to have close contact with his mother, hear her breathing, and be lulled to sleep by the sound of her heart beating.
In emergencies the sling can double as a changing pad. Baby ring slings work well for newborn through toddler children. Newborns can be snuggled at elbow level as if they are being cradled in mom’s arms. Babies who can hold their heads up can be worn either facing Mom’s chest for easy breast feeding, or facing outward to see the world.
Advocates of baby wearing and attachment parenting say that keeping a baby in a sling on his mother’s chest or back helps the baby sleep better and longer, helps the baby regulate his breathing, and of course, deepens the mother/baby bond. Better sleeping and breathing patterns reduce the amount of crying a baby tends to do when it is time to be left alone in a crib.
Anyone can wear baby ring slings. Dads, older siblings, and grandparents alike can help with baby duties and utilize the baby ring sling. More and more dads are wearing baby ring slings. Some grandparents may be less receptive to wearing a sling due to existing medical conditions. However, if the sling is worn correctly, that is, over the shoulder in the corsage position (with the rings in the hollow of the wearer’s dominant shoulder and the fabric spread wide over the back), there should be minimal strain on the back.
If you are new to using baby ring slings, it is best to have an experienced ring sling user to show you how to put on the sling and how to position the baby inside it. If you don’t know anyone who regularly uses a baby ring sling, help can be found by contacting your local La Leche League.
Wearing your baby in a baby ring sling has benefits for the mother as well. The sling leaves the mother’s hands free so she can do chores and tend to other children. Wearing the sling also strengthens the mother’s balance coordination while helping baby learn balancing skills.
Becoming comfortable with baby ring slings takes practice, though. Take a break from the sling for an hour or two. When you put it back on, take a walk. Walking seems to help the adjustment period better than doing household chores or simply sitting.
Enjoy having your baby close and the adjustment will flow more naturally.
Learn more about the benefits and convenience of baby ring slings: http://www.bustlingbaby.com/baby-slings-carriers-baby-ring-slings.html David Cummings is General Manager of Bustling Baby, a business devoted to providing baby mobility, comfort, and convenience to active families.
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