This is the second post of our two part series on when is it time to stop using a ring sling: baby age/size and product life. The earlier post addressed the baby age/weight restrictions of babywearing through a ring sling. This post will discuss when it is time to stop using a ring sling based on product life.
Each product has a life cycle and ring slings are no different. In our earlier post we discussed maintenance and durability tips to extend the life of your ring sling. Unfortunately, there will be a point when you’ll have to let go of your beloved ring sling. Just like any other item, despite their marvelous contributions to babywearing, your ring sling will eventually face wear and tear.
Typically a sturdy ring sling can last for years. The question is when is it time to stop using a ring sling: product life? That’s a tough question but the life of a ring sling is determined by the following:
- The type of sling fabric
- The type of ring
Now let’s use a popular ring sling and create a framework to determine a realistic product life of a ring sling. Below are the attributes of a Mamaway ring sling:
- Weight Endurance: The Mamaway ring sling is designed to carry baby well into toddlerhood and has been weight tested with 110 pounds for 24 hours continuous wearing. This means that baby's weight is not enough to reduce the life of the sling. This way mommy and daddy can decide when to stop using the ring sling.
- Strong rings: The Mamaway ring sling is constructed with strong nylon rings. The sturdiness of the rings allows weight endurance. Mommy and daddy can enjoy a secure and stress-free babywearing experience with a peace of mind.
- Care: The Mamaway ring slings are low-maintenance and easy to clean. Simply cold wash the sling in a laundry bag (to avoid pilling the cloth). Air dry the fabric in a cool, dry place, without direct sunlight and avoid using a dryer.
When you invest in a product it is important to understand the product feature and care guidelines. This will make sure the product life is maximized and you get your dollar’s worth. However, despite all efforts the day will come when you’re forced to toss away your ring sling. The following points are major alarms and indicate when it’s time to say goodbye:
- Tears on the fabric: Despite all your super mommy and daddy chronicles, there could be a time when your baby is anxious or you could have a clumsy moment. This could result in your sling getting caught on something and ripping. Though the fabric is sturdy, it is not made of steel. This is the moment you have to toss the ring sling to ensure you are not babywearing with a damaged ring sling.
- Loose seams: After countless use your ring sling’s seams might go undone. This might happen with the best of ring slings, and you need to be careful about this. Always monitor your ring sling after washing to make sure you’re aware of any alterations from the original condition of the sling. If it is salvageable, use a little household fix. Otherwise it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
The basic rule of thumb is that if your ring sling is starting to appear different than it’s original condition, then it’s time to move on. Having said that, sturdy ring slings typically go on for years. Remember a ring sling is an investment and make sure you go through the features before purchasing to make sure you’re not saving a quick buck now, and losing out on the long run, even potentially putting your baby's safety in jeopardy.