I got to try out a Wildbird ring sling recently while I was teaching at a babywearing meeting. I was super excited when the meeting attendee brought it over because I was dying to try it out since I heard that our group added it to our library. Usually when teaching in person, I thread the ring sling on so that I can make sure that it does not twist on my back. When I attempted to thread the Wildbird sling, I could not get it back through the rings because there was not enough fabric. Without skipping a beat, I took off the sling and put it on the meeting attendee to get her situated. What I wanted to do was cry. I was panicking on the inside. I felt so angry and embarrassed that yet again, a ring sling did not fit me.
Later, I checked the Wildbird website and found that the slings are only 74-77 inches long. That is about a size small/medium. I am a fat* woman with broad shoulders. My sling size is an extra large (XL). I can work with a long large. I prefer to use a 2XL. Short one size slings are not inclusive to the wide range of babywearers in the community.
I did write to Wildbird on their Facebook page and they stated “Hey Brittany! So glad you wrote us, we actually have longer slings in the works. Watch for news soon!” Soon. They do not currently have any longer slings in stock. In their chatter group, the owner expanded on this statement and blamed growing pains on their inability to make longer slings right away. When asked what length the longer slings would be (after suggestions as well) Wildbird only stated that they would give everyone details soon. Once again, fat babywearers are an afterthought.
Really, I should have known that their slings would not fit me. Their social media and marketing are filled with thin people wearing their slings. I am sure that some fat wearers can wear Wildbird slings since not everyone is the same shape, but myself and several other wearers cannot. I truly hope that they do make good on their statement.
There are several companies that do offer long or sized slings. Sleeping Baby Productions, True North Ring Slings, Soul, and Maya Wrap are just a few of the many companies that offer long slings.
Fat me and baby Minerva comfortably in an XL Maya Wrap ring sling
*Fat is the term I use to describe myself because I am fat. I describe fat people as fat. It is not a dirty word. If you are uncomfortable with that, I don’t know what to tell you.