This beloved ring sling came to me from a babywearing friend in the USA; she's a rockabilly hipster with a great attitude and two gorgeous girls and we've had many of the same wraps pass through our stashes, so it's kind of fitting that I have a little piece of her stash here permanently with me :)
Easycare wraps really are just that. Durable, densely woven and difficult to snag, they fold up small and once broken in are flannelly and delicious. This is a no.1 rainbow (orange weft) and sometimes I wish I had it as a wrap as well as a ring sling. Then I tell myself I don't need ALL the rainbows... I just think I do!
As with any ring sling, your comfort depends on the shoulder style as well as the carry. This is a sbp (sleeping baby productions) pleated shoulder which I love, as it spreads the weight evenly across my bony shoulder. It's also symmetrical, so you can carry on the right or left.
Why do you need a ring sling?
They're quick. Actually, putting Audrey in a ring sling takes me about the same time as a ruck, but a front carry has the huge advantage of being able to breastfeed on the go. I actually find it easier to feed in a ring sling than in a wrap, probably because I have a short torso - I can scooch her down and back up up again without losing stability or security.
Most often we use a ring sling hip carry in the morning, when I'm cooking breakfast and she wants to see what's going on. I can put her on my left hip and scramble eggs on the right ;)
They're also a winner in hot weather when you only want one layer of fabric over baby - and EATING OUT! Lap belt anyone? (VERY handy, especially for grabbers, wigglers and toddlers.)
Who's it best for?
I didn't really get the hang of using a RS until Audrey was about 4 months and 8-9lbs. I think that was general awkwardness on my part and being afraid to crush her - next time I think I'd have (a) better skills and (b) not be so nervy! If you have a sturdy enough fabric a good RS should see you through toddlerhood, although you should be careful not to always carry to one side and not to carry asymmetrically for long periods of time. The simple answer is that although you CAN use a ring sling at every stage of a baby's development, you may want to practice and should use your common sense in conjunction with the TICKS guidelines.