Reviewed by Sally Carter
I have been asked to review a Ring Sling kindly sent to me by the people at Mamaway.
As a trained Babywearing Peer Supporter who runs a Sling based business and Mum of 3, I know and understand the joys and benefits of babywearing/using slings. So I was happy to try and review this product.
Whether it’s keeping baby close to aid bonding, getting your arms/hands back to get on with everyday life whilst keeping baby happy or even aiding the nursing relationship between mother and infant, a sling can help to achieve all of this and more!
I was pleased to see that the sling isn’t over packaged. It’s nicely presented in a clear plastic box, so you can see the sling rings and material clearly.
On the back if the box are 3 photographs depicting the sling in use. These ‘demonstrate’ the fact that the sling can be used from Newborn through to Toddlerhood and a mother breastfeeding in the Sling too. The blurb under the photos highlights some of the benefits of babywearing. It is slightly disappointing that Mamaway have not mentioned or referenced TICKS (the safe babywearing guidelines) here, as this information would be the most beneficial to parents and would help Mamaway set themselves apart from their competitors. I also find the ‘blurb’ on breastfeeding misleading and inaccurate.
I love the way that the sling neatly folds up and tucks into its own pocket, meaning it’s compact and easy to store and transport. It will easily fit in your change bag or basket of the pram without being bulky or heavy, so always on hand when you need it.
The Sling is 100% cotton with nylon rings, a folded style shoulder and slightly padded top and bottom edges (rails). It can be worn on either shoulder, so fairly versatile. The material, colour and pattern are fairly neutral meaning both Mum and Dad can use without feeling self-conscious. Along with the sling came a basic 4 step pictorial instruction leaflet, some written instructions and a note about the safety of nylon ring slings, which can worry some people. Mamaway assure their customers that the rings they use are tested up to 50kgs and have been selected to be lightweight and a quieter option.
The Sling was easy enough to set up and use, for me (a trained and experienced babywear) however, ring slings in general are not simple to use and I feel that the instructions could have been better or at least included links or a list of reputable online ring sling tutorials or YouTube videos. First time parents in particular are then more likely to persist with trying again and getting it right, rather than feeling they’ve ‘failed’. On these instructions again would be the perfect place to tell parents about The TICKS safe babywearing guidelines!
My little one is now 18 months old. The Sling was comfortable and he was happy in it. At the weight/size he is now a ring sling is great for the inevitable ups and downs of a busy toddler, but on a longer walk, I personally prefer a 2 shoulder carry. However, as a Newborn carrier a ring sling can be as comfortable and useful as a stretchy sling.
The extra material makes for an ideal ‘cover’ for discrete breastfeeding. I feel that reminders about sling and feeding safety should also be given and mothers reminded that babywearing and breastfeeding are two separate skills, both of which should be mastered independently before you try to combine them and that feeding in a sling should never be hands free.
Overall the sling is an affordable and relatively versatile way to babywear. With a few adjustments to the instructions/information included, Mamaway could really stand out from their competitors.
Available to buy from Mamway here.