My preference for  slings, after trying various types of carriers, structured slings slings with, pleats, folds and with big rings or small rings is this:  Big rings and no pleats makes it super comfy, super versatile.  I had thought, being short, that the small rings would be better, but I found the small rings encourage the fabric to open on the shoulder a little and the big rings encourage more opening.  The pleats prevent more opening, from my experience, and would cause the fabric to ride up my arm and end up above my shoulder and hang on my neck.  That’s not the most comfortable thing.  You might prefer it the same way as me, too.  I spent the first 6 months with a Maya Wrap riding up and hanging on my neck, but it didn’t bother me much and it wasn’t until I got a much cheaper, gently used Pretty Momma sling and Ellaroo sling on ebay, that I realized how much more comfortable the simple shoulder is.  Also, I am a voluptuous, petite woman, so my shoulders have more of a roundness.  Being short with rounder shoulders may be why the big rings and no pleats work better for me.  If you are a very slim woman, small rings and pleats will probably work just fine.

When trying to figure out the right way to put my 2 week old into the sling, I searched YouTube and found a video for every baby wearing issue I can think of(though I didn’t see one for a back carry for toddlers).
I found these on YouTube, by doing a search for “ring sling.”

Tummy to tummy for younger babies:

Cradle Carry/Sleep Carry

Cradle Semi-reclining

Kangaroo Carry

Rings too low

Fabric on neck

Proper bigger baby position

Toddler hip carry

Hopefully these links will be be helpful in helping you wear your baby in a sling.  Mine is 21 months and I still use my sling to carry her and times when I would otherwise need to hold her in my arms.  I also sometimes use the Ergo Baby Carrier, which I really do like.  It can be worn in front or in back, for older babies and toddlers.  My sling is just more compact and convenient because I can fold it up and stick it in my purse, in case I need it.

Happy Baby wearing.  In the next installment, I talk about breast pumps and some tips for finding a good one used.

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