1. Above all else, please use common sense at all times! (Please read our safety disclosure on the last page in addition to these instructions prior to using your sling)Do not carry hot or sharp items, cook, smoke, play sports, ride in a vehicle, etc while carrying your baby in a sling, for instance. Place a hand on your baby while bending over & bend at your knees, not your waist.
2. Always hold your baby while you are adjusting and tightening the sling. Do not go "hands free" until you are certain that your baby is secure. Always make sure that the fabric is tucked under your baby prior to tightening and is pulled up high enough on your child's body so that they can not fall out.
3. Pulling up on the outside ring is how you loosen the sling and let out the fabric. If you are adjusting the position of the sling or rings, be careful not to pull up on the rings unless you are holding your baby securely. Pull on the tail, not the pockets to adjust the sling. Over time, this will cause the stitches to rip.
4. Remember to wear your sling with the rings in the same place that you'd wear a corsage (the top of the ring should fall just under your shoulder bone). Be sure that the rings and edges of the sling are not compressing your breast tissue if you are a nursing mother. Depending how tight the sling is when you put it on and how much adjustment you need after your baby is in it, it may be helpful to start the rings a little bit higher on your shoulder because they may move down a little when you pull on the tail to tighten it. This ensures that they end up in the right place.
5. The sling should "cup" your shoulder and should not be slipping down to your upper arm or cutting into your neck.
6. Make sure the fabric is spread out across your back & is not twisted. This will allow for maximum comfort, safety and for the best distribution of weight. It may help to have someone check the first few times you use it.
7. Examine your sling regularly for integrity of fabric, rings, and stitching. Even though our buttons are triple-stitched for safety, they still pose a choking hazard. Never allow your child to handle them.
8. If your tiny baby seems lost in the fabric of the sling, pull on the center of the tail to take up some of the slack in the center of the sling fabric. You can also place a folded receiving blanket or cloth diaper under your baby's head. Another way to lessen the amount of fabric for a small baby is to fold down the outside rail to make the pocket narrower.
9. Make sure that your newborn is not curled chin to chest! Let his/her head fall backwards a little bit and then support it in that position with the fabric of the sling. Check regularly for airflow around your baby's head.
10. Carry your baby in the same position (at the same height) that you would carry him/her in your arms & remember to maintain good posture. Wearing your baby in an unnaturally low position will be hard on your back.
11. You may want to stand over a bed or couch when trying out a new position and/or have a "spotter" with you to help you position the sling and your child.
Threading the Sling
Begin by having your baby in a safe place while you get your sling ready.
To wear the sling on your right shoulder (baby will be on or towards your left side, leaving your right hand the most free), drape the unthreaded sling over your shoulder with the rings of the sling on your chest where a corsage would sit & the pleats cupping your shoulder.
Hold the rings in place with your right hand. Then reach around your neck with your left hand, and grab the edge of the fabric closest to your neck (this will be the "top" edge or "outside" edge, depending on the hold). Follow the fabric behind your back, keeping a hold of this edge and bring it across your opposite hip.
Now grab the other (bottom/inside) edge with your right hand and gather the fabric in each hand, working towards the center of the fabric, until your hands meet. Without twisting the tail put the end of the fabric UP through both rings. Then separate the rings and thread it over the top ring and under the bottom ring (like you would adjust a belt). Pull more of the material through with the rings separated. Then pull down on the tail to lock the rings and you are ready to go.
If you put it in straight, to adjust the inner wall/bottom edge of the sling pouch, you will pull on the right edge of the tail. If you want to adjust the outer wall/top edge of the sling, you pull on the left side of the tail. To adjust the bulk of material in the center of the sling pouch, pull on the center of the tail. If you find that the material twisted some when you threaded or tightened it, find the opposite edges, follow them through the rings, and pull them apart to spread them material in the rings and untwist it.
Some Basic Positions
As you become more familiar with your sling, you will find that you will develop your own style of holding your baby. There are many different ways to use your sling. Virtually any way that you can hold your baby in your arms, you can hold them in your sling, but here are some basic positions to get you started on your babywearing journey!
*These instructions have very graciously been written and provided as a courtesy by our dear friend, Angela Quinn, a mother of 3 (including a set of twins!) and an avid babywearer. She is not affiliated with THING-A-MA-SLING. Again, we ask that you please use common sense at all times. Do not hesitate to contact us if you ever have any questions or concerns. Thank you so much for your purchase and for supporting a SAHM business!*