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How to Carry a Newborn with Legs Out


Sarah is holding her newborn high on her shoulder and reaching in from the bottom of the ring sling to guide her down.

Start with your ring sling on and ready to go— untwisted, facing the right direction, rings at corsage level or slightly higher, and pre-tightened.

Give your baby a kiss—is she changed and fed? Let’s get started, then! Pick her up and put her high on your shoulder, as if you’re going to burp her.

Reach up from below the ring sling and grab her little feet. Baby feet go every which way, and this really helps to guide them down, as opposed to just lowering her in. She’ll sit with her knees higher than her bottom, and her feet will poke out of the fabric. As your baby grows, you’ll see her lower legs poking out too–but at this point, many babies are so tiny that you only see their feet.

Sarah pulls the fabric over to the rings with one hand to make it easier to tighten with the other. She keeps one arm on her baby until the sling is fully tightened.

Lower her down until her head rests at about your upper chest or collarbone height. Anatomy differs, but you want your baby to be close enough to kiss so that you can easily see, feel, or hear her healthy breathing.

Pull the fabric up to her neck.

Support her bottom with one hand while you pull the loose fabric closer to the rings. Pull on the tail to tighten. Doing it in sections works best—top, middle, and bottom! Pulling the whole tail at once does tighten, but not every section will need the same amount of pulling, so it’s not very practical, and it also tangles the fabric in the rings.

This newborn has a supported back, knees higher than bottom, and Sarah can see she has a clear airway because she’s close enough to kiss.

Take a look at your baby and the ring sling—is the fabric supporting her well? Are there slack spots that need tightening? Is she upright with her chin off her chest? Do both you and she feel comfortable?

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