I hadn’t much considered using a sling with my infant daughter; I had always imagined a structured carrier would suit us just fine. However, with our first airplane trip approaching, I quickly realized my favorite carrier would not be the best option. I usually found myself removing her from the carrier to breastfeed her and change positions. This didn’t seem functional enough for the demands of an airport/airplane process. Fortunately, I was offered the opportunity to try out the Chimparoo Ring Sling just in time.
The first thing I noticed about the Chimparoo sling was the gorgeous color scheme in plum, maroon and a hint of cream with a purple hardware ring. It appears casual, yet modern and a bit chic. The fabric is soft and thick, seeming very durable. In my husband’s eyes, it would also be appropriate for him to use—not overly feminine or gaudy.
The real test, though? Would I be able to figure out how to wear it in the amount of time my daughter naps (approximately 30 minutes)? The Chimparoo Ring Sling comes with a CD instructional video. The demonstrations are mostly visual with little verbal explanation. A woman with a toddler demonstrates various carrying positions and how to maneuver from one to the next. The visuals were clear; however, it would have been very helpful to have some verbal instruction regarding the initial set-up.
I found myself starting, stopping and rewinding the video to catch the intricacies and art of the folding and looping of the material. The sling assembles by looping the fabric appropriately through a ring. The website also demonstrates the various carrying positions in picture and has links to the same video as on the CD. I am generally a visual learner, but also enjoy show-and-tell. Needless to say, I made the naptime cut.
When my baby awoke, it was her turn to help. I used the video as a guide for the best way to slide her in. It took a few tries and adjustments in length, but after about 5 to 10, minutes she was in securely.
I walked around the house for a few minutes to allow her to get comfortable. She fussed a little, as with any new carrier, but was used to it in no time and seemed to enjoy the ride. I practiced taking her in and out a few times and tackled a few small household chores (e.g., laundry, dishes) to see how comfortable both her and I would be. I was comfortable enough doing anything in the standing position, always keeping one hand on her. I would not choose to use this when engaged in any activity that would take both hands off of her. Again, as long as she could see the action, she enjoyed the ride. The sling is comfortable to wear with the child’s weight feeling evenly dispersed when on correctly.
My husband gave the sling a try, but we both felt it was a bit too short for him. The sling does come in two different sizes and a variety of eight colors, so you can choose the one that best suits your size and style. It folds and fits nicely into nearly any diaper bag or purse and the organic woven cotton fabric seems to spot-clean well with a few rubs from a damp cloth. It also has a zippered pocket in the tail to keep small items or use as a cover when breastfeeding.
As the instructions indicate, the sling can be used from infancy to early childhood “for as long as the wearer is comfortable.” The sling can be worn in five different carrying positions: front and hip carry, cradle position (good for nursing!), facing out and back carry.
As our day of travel came and went, I was able to comfortably nurse my daughter and also provide a nest to snooze. Travel success! We still use a variety of carriers depending on the situation, but we’ve been pleased with the Chimparoo Ring Sling. If you like the look and value comfort, we would recommend it!
To buy: chimparoo.ca/en