Ode to the ring sling
I am in totally, completely and head over heels in love with my ring sling. Seriously. If I met a crazy minimalist who wanted to buy only one item for their newborn baby, I would tell them to get a ring sling. It is that awesome.
Here's why Ringo and I were made for each other:
He is not really that difficult to use. I was put off by the many comments and articles telling me a ring sling is tricky to put on at first. Yes, learning how to adjust the sling perfectly takes time and there are some hits and misses but nothing that would actually prevent me from using it.
He is so easy to slip on and off. This is a major point with my active, wide-awake and fidgety baby. Sometimes my baby just doesn't feel like the sling. No problem. I simply slip it off again. With the structured carrier and wrap you have to wrestle yourself out of the straps or folds of material.
He is small enough to put in my bag. The wrap unwinds into an unwieldy, ugly bundle of material that takes up most of the space in your bag; ditto for the structured carrier.
He is so amazingly versatile. There are just so many ways you can tie the sling for all kinds of occasions: cuddled into mummy for a walk on the beach, forward facing for doing chores around the house or lying down for a nap. I've even managed to nurse in the sling while walking on the beach.
He provides only minimal support for the baby. This video and article made me aware of how important movement is for baby and mummy. In a wrap or structured carrier, the baby is held very securely, but has very little wiggle room. The ring sling provides much more scope for movement from both parties: very often I will use a hand to support the baby and when he wiggles we can quickly change position.
Even my husband, who eyed the hippy dippy ring sling with suspicion, is sold and uses the sling around the house. I use it every single day, around the house, on the beach and around town...half this post was typed with one hand while baby nursed in the sling!
I love the ring sling so much, I might (minimalist shock horror) even get a second one.