Carrier of the Month - Melliapis Muslin Ring Sling
By Susie Cooke, Babywearing Consultant, Helix Baby
AT A GLANCE:
Weight – 8 – 35lb (approx 3.5 – 16kg)
Positions – front inward facing hip carry (and back carrying for more advanced babywearers)
Straps – n/a
Fabric: 100% cotton
Wearer adjustability: approx. length 1.8m, to fit up to approx. ladies size 20
The muslin ring sling from Melliapis, is not just beautiful to look at, it is also simple and versatile, long lasting and wont break the bank!
Ring slings have developed from the ancient practice of tying traditional carrying cloths across your body with a knot at your shoulder. Your child then sits in the pouch, usually on your hip. It can take practice to perfect the technique of using one, but once mastered, they can be very quick and easy to use.
The Melliapis ring sling is perfect to use right from day one; its lovely, thin muslin fabric is super soft against your delicate newborn’s skin (pictured is my little 7 week old). Yet the woven, double layer of the fabric makes the sling strong enough to carry your toddler too, great for those “quick ups and downs” when they are wanting to walk more and more (see my 3 year old in a hip and back carry below). It could be the only sling you ever buy!
This sling can also be used as a feeding aid, whether you breast or bottle feed. This can be extremely handy if you have other children to look after (as I am currently finding out!), and you can use the tail as a built-in cover if you would like some discretion.
Ring slings are often bought for their beautiful colours and patterns; the Melliapis ring sling is no exception! I love the range available. The patterned ones are not just pretty, they are actually very helpful too; having a fabric that is only patterned one side makes using the sling easier. Easier to find the edges of the sling and also being able to see if the fabric is twisted across your back or through the rings.
Ring slings use just one layer of fabric, so are a pretty cool way of carrying your child anyway. However, the thin muslin material of the Melliapis sling make it even more breathable and cool on a hot summer day, or to take on holiday with you. It also makes it incredibly compact when not in use; it will easily fold up and fit in the change bag or even your handbag!
Of course, a drawback of ring slings in general is that they only go over one shoulder, which means the whole of baby’s weight is taken in that shoulder. For most, this is fine, and you can alternate which shoulder you use the sling over if you wish. Some people prefer the weight spread over both shoulders, or if you have any back/shoulder issues you may find this type of sling uncomfortable. This Melliapis sling has a “gathered” shoulder. This means that the fabric around the rings is loosely sewn and simply gathered together. I find this type of shoulder easiest to use and spread, spreading baby’s weight across my own shoulder. But this is purely a personal preference.
The washing instructions on some of the slings state for the sling to be hand washed only. What?! What new parent has time to do a hand wash?! But don’t despair, it also states that you can wash it inside a pillow case on a delicate wash, if badly soiled. Yes, you might get the very occasional projectile vomit or “poo-nami”, but on the whole, you don’t want to wash your sling very often, or at all when you have a newborn. Your sling will take on your motherly scent, which is very comforting to your baby, so you want to avoid washing that away.
VERDICT: If you are after a budget-friendly and simple sling that can last your whole babywearing journey, the Melliapis ring sling could be the ideal choice.