It’s one week postpartum, and you’re home with your newborn and your firstborn. Partner, mom, and best friend—everyone’s back at work, and it’s just you and the kids in the house. HOW are you going to look after your baby all day while also taking care of the toddler and yourself?

How soon you can use your baby carrier depends on a lot of things, like baby’s health, mom’s health, and the recommended ages and weight for your specific carrier. One of the pros of choosing a ring sling is that, health permitting, your sling really can be useful from Day One, because tightening your sling section by section allows you to create a custom fit that keeps even a newborn secure and safe.

Before using your carrier for the first time, give it a wash (and an iron, if you’re up to it) according to the instructions. It’ll take out any stiffness, making it easier for the fabric to glide through the rings when you adjust it.

Always review your safe baby baseline—is the carrier secure? Is your baby upright with no slumping or tilting? Is the baby’s airway clear, with her chin off of her chest? Can you see her breathing?

A common question is whether to have legs in or legs out. My personal preference is always legs out when possible, because I like being able to check on circulation and playing with baby toes. However, newborns often take anywhere from a few days to a week to “uncurl,” and there’s no reason to force them into a position that they’re not ready for. If you find that your newborn likes his legs in, go ahead with that. If he’s stretching them and kicking them out, follow his lead!

For some extra head support, you can twist your sling’s tail tightly until it forms a thick “rope.” Roll the top edge of the sling down over the rope to keep it in place (like a sandwich baggie, I always say!), and you’ll have a lovely thick headrest.

Most of all, remember—our friendly team is here for you! Be sure to reach out to us via Facebook, phone, or email—we know those sleepless weeks can be tough, and we’re here to help you with any questions you might have! For more tips and tricks to read when you’re up in the middle of the night, sign up for our newsletter.

Becky

Becky Patouhas, social media specialist, has been a babywearing educator since 2013. Her favorite part of her job is a tie between seeing all the cute baby pictures and helping parents get that “I can’t believe I can hold my baby AND eat!” moment. A first-generation American and mom of two small boys, she and her family live in Michigan, where she enjoys volunteering with her local babywearing group. Becky loves her Zypora meh dais (she has two!) because they’re so cushy on her shoulders. She always has a Lightly Padded ring sling in her purse because she loves the soft padding, and she thinks Isle of Skye is the best colorway out there!

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