Submitted by Valerie! Thanks again, Valerie! Keep 'em coming! =-)
"I have a ring sling and I want to continue to use it, but I always feel like he is wiggling out of it and I don't feel like he is secure. How long can I wear him in a ring sling? And can you give some pointers on the best way to wear him in it so that he and I both feel he is secure?"
You can wear a baby in a ring sling as long as the baby is within the manufacturer's weight guidelines (many are up to 35 lbs, but be sure to check your particular brand), and as long as it is physically comfortable for you. If the ring is positioned correctly (in front of your shoulder, rather than on top of your shoulder) and the fabric is spread to distribute the weight, most people can wear their babes up to the manufacturer's weight recommendation with no problems.
There are a couple of key points to making sure that your baby is secure in a ring sling, in the carrying positions designed for older babies (hip and back carries, for example).
1. Make sure the fabric is spread not only under the baby's butt, but well under the thighs. I always spread the fabric almost all the way to the underside of my son's knees, which creates what I call the "butt hammock". You can then cinch up that edge of the fabric through the ring to make sure the baby has a "seat" ("butt hammock") for their little buns to sink into a bit, thus securing their weight.
2. Spread the other edge of the fabric up by the baby's armpits or shoulders, and be sure to cinch this edge up through the ring as well. This keeps the baby's torso close to you, so the baby can't lean away from you and create a dangerous situation.
By spreading the fabric both low (knees) and high (shoulders) and tightening each edge, you are able to keep your baby snug and secure as they get older and curiosity makes them more wiggly! =-)