Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Maya Wrap Ring Sling from Baby on the Breast: Review and Giveaway! (Closed)


Before CJ was born, one of my followers (and fellow mama blogger) suggested I review a ring sling. I already owned a Moby Wrap and Ergobaby soft structured carrier which had both seen a lot of use with S, but I'd yet to try a sling. For those of you unfamiliar with this type of carrier, it's basically a scarf-like piece of fabric with two rings at one end. You weave the non-ring end (called the "tail") through the ring end, pop the resulting loop over a shoulder (it's designed to go on either side), place baby in the middle in one of various positions (depending on his/her age and size) and tighten the fabric in the rings to secure. Online opinions on these carriers are divided - lots of enthusiasm around their simplicity, flexibility and low cost, but also a number of comments that they're difficul to get the hang of, uncomfortable, etc. Ultimately, I was very curious to try one myself and form my own conclusion!

Enter Baby on the Breast, an online mom & baby boutique focusing on top-of-the-line breastfeeding and babywearing gear. The shop is owned by a mama of two who's a strong believer in both practices, and she offered to send me both a Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra (which I reviewed back in January - LOVE this bra!) and a Maya Wrap, one of the more favourably rated brands of ring sling. In order to allow me to try out the various carry positions with CJ as he grew (and to accommodate the owner's big move from Ontario to British Columbia!) we agreed to hold off on the Maya Wrap review for several months. So here we are - hope it's worth the wait for y'all! :)


Product Information:

Maya Wrap slings are uniquely versatile, comfortable, stylish, and all you need to simplify your life! The shoulder has a light cushion for comfort and ease, while the rails are unpadded for total adjustability. Fans say it is the perfect first sling for new baby wearers.




  • Wear newborns through toddlers. Recommended for children 8 to 35 pounds. See note below.
  • Change positions to accommodate your child's growth.
  • Built in pocket for keys, diaper, cell phone.
  • Unpadded, open tail that is convenient as a nursing coverup.
  • Instructional DVD included.
  • 100% cotton hand loomed fabrics.
  • Machine wash, cool water; line dry.
  • Fits easily into a diaper bag or tote.
Choose your size according to your preferred tail length but remember that the tail should go at least to your waist. If you would like to use the tail to cover yourself when breastfeeding the tail should extend at least to the top of your legs. Choose a Medium or Large!!

Note: Babies younger than 4 months, premature, or with respiratory problems have a higher risk of suffocation. Always ensure that baby's airways are unobstructed and baby is breathing properly. If your baby is premature, has low tone, developmental delays or weighs less than 8 pounds, Maya Wrap recommends you consult with a medical professional before using any baby sling.



My Review:

The Maya Wrap comes in a variety of lovely shades and striped colour combinations (including a few gender neutral options for Dad!) As such, choosing a style was tough but I ended up with the vivid (and decidedly girly - sorry hubs!) bright stripes pattern. The wrap is also available in a few sizes, however the medium fits well for most people so we went with this.


Construction of the wrap is flawless. The cotton material is soft yet sturdy, all seams are stitched perfectly and the two metal rings are super-solid. The shoulder padding is quite thick, as you can see here.


The tail's pocket (for holding items like keys, cell phone, etc.) is quite spacious. I can actually fit my husband's Android tablet in there.Yknow, for those times my 8-month-old wants to play Candy Crush Saga.


So far so good. Now let's get down to business!

First step - threading the sling. This part of the process is the same regardless of carry method, and it's quite easy to do. The instructional video is helpful, especially its advice on how to fold the tail prior to threading the rings, as the edges of the tail need to remain accessible in order tighten the fabric (something that's done a lot).

Here's a close-up of a properly threaded ring. As you can see, the material is distributed quite evenly in the space between the two rings, and if you look closely you can see the edges on both sides.


I'll get to my experiences (and photos) with the individual carry methods shortly. First, a few comments about overall functionality, comfort, etc.

There is definitely a learning curve to the whole ring system. Here are a couple challenges I've experienced and tips I've learned to help overcome them:
  • The fabric can be tough to tighten. As in, you pull on the tail and nothing happens. :-/ The most important thing to combat this is to ensure the tail's threaded correctly as I mentioned earlier. It's also good to periodically redistribute the fabric evenly across the rings so it's not clumped in one spot. Second, you need to ensure baby's weight is fully supported prior to tightening otherwise you'll be in a losing fight against gravity. (This requires both hands and some coordination!) Third, a helpful tip I learned from another mom is to pull back in the same direction as the fabric you're trying to adjust, as this creates a sort of "pulley" system and reduces friction between the fabric and the rings. Finally, laundering the sling helps soften the fabric so I recommend doing this prior to first usage.
  • The rings tend to sneak down too far. General advice is to keep it high up near the shoulder, however I find that it inevitably slides down and inward toward my little guy as I tighten it. I'm wondering if this may have something to do with my body shape, as I'm tall & thin with narrow shoulders. It does help somewhat to wrap the shoulder pad around my shoulder rather than on top, however this seems to just slow the sliding effect rather than prevent it entirely. So still battling this one. :-/
Thankfully, loosening the sling is a breeze - just pull up the top ring and the fabric slides right out. This makes it super easy to get baby outta there when you're done.

Once secured properly, the wrap is pretty comfortable to wear - at least for awhile. After about 40-60 minutes my back starts feeling a little "tweaky". This doesn't happen with my front and back carriers, so presumably this is due to the uneven weight distribution with the sling. Maya Wrap does recommend switching sides periodically to alleviate this issue, however I've always had a preferred side myself, depending on carry position. So based on all this, I consider the Maya (and presumably any sling) more of a "short distance" carrier.

In terms of baby's comfort and happiness, all three main carry positions are natural and ergonomically safe, which is obviously super-important. And all allow you to be nice & cuddly with baby, which is great for bonding as well.

Another key aspect of carriers is whether they allow you to be truly hands-free. From my experience, the Maya Wrap does for the kangaroo and hip carry positions, but less so for the newborn carry. (More on this shortly.)

A couple final general points:
  • Care & maintenance - super simple; just machine wash on cold and lay flat to dry. I was initially concerned that the fabric might bleed during the first few washes due to the bright colours, but this wasn't a problem.
  • Breastfeeding in the Maya Wrap? Nope, didn't end up going there. Not with my Maya Wrap nor with any of the other carriers I own. I know many mamas do it but the idea has always struck me as more complicated than simply taking baby out of whatever carrier was on at the time, nursing, and popping him/her back in afterwards (if applicable). So sorry - can't comment on this one!


Alright, let's look at the individual carry methods!


Tummy to Tummy Carry - newborn (8 lb min.) to approx. 3 mths:



In this position, baby is facing inward with legs curled up in the "frog" position. (Instructional video here.)

Admittedly, I didn't love this position as I didn't feel entirely hands-free and I found it somewhat challenging to place baby in the correct position for proper air flow (and still wear the sling comfortably). So ultimately I didn't use it much (and, instead, preferred my Moby Wrap) and was therefore happy I'd get to test out the other positions prior to writing my review!


Kangaroo / Outward Facing Carry - approx. 3 to 6 mths:


In this position, baby is facing outward, with legs still up in the "frog" position. (Instructional video here.)

This was my favourite carry position with CJ, so I was a little sad when he outgrew it! I found it easy to "insert" him properly, he felt nice & secure in there (and, thus, I was able to be hands free) and he loved checking things out as I went about my business. As such, I used this position a lot while doing housework, going on quick walks, etc. Unfortunately CJ was super refluxy during this period, so on his really rough days I didn't wear him as the bouncing around and curled up nature of the position tended to make things worse. (Not to mention I really wasn't keen on washing vomit out of the thing on on a daily basis - yuck.)


Hip Carry - 6 mths (or baby sitting) to toddler (max 35 lbs):



In this position, little one is straddling your hip with legs hanging out and bum resting within the pouch of the sling. (Instructional video here.)

I'm lukewarm on this position. Pros? It's ergonomic and natural (after all, we carry our littles like this sans carrier, right?), babe feels secure and it's a nice position for bonding. I've found the following challenges with it, however:
  • I'd preferred, and thus favoured, the ring on my right side for the kangaroo carry, but then realized gaaah - I had to switch sides for the hip carry (since I hold CJ on my right side). Two months in and I'm still not as adept at manipulating the ring on the left side. (Possibly a handedness thing?)
  • Inserting in this position is a little tougher for us. CJ is long and gangly so his legs tend to get bent up in the material.
  • I start to feel back strain sooner than I did using the kangaroo carry - after about 30-40 minutes. This is likely due to a combination of CJ getting heavier and being further off to the side, thus offsetting the weight distribution further. He also likes to reach out and move his neck and long torso in all different directions which may contribute to this too.
All in all, I do pop him into the hip carry periodically, usually when I'm doing quick things around the house, but I prefer my soft structured carrier for longer carries at his current age.


So there you have it! Overall, I can confidently say that the Maya Wrap ring sling is a well-made, high-quality product, but in terms of personal preference I straddle the two aforementioned camps (enthusiastic and not-so-keen). I was really happy to have my Maya Wrap during the 3-6 (ish) month range in particular as I loved the kangaroo carry method, however I've preferred other carriers for the newborn stage and 6 months onward. (That said, CJ and I still have plenty of carrying days ahead, so the latter may change!)


How about you? Have you tried a ring sling before? If not, would you like to? :)


Buy It:

You can purchase your own Maya Wrap and/or other great babywearing and nursing gear directly from Baby on the Breast! Shipping is free on Canadian orders over $50 and US orders over $100! Use special code M2MBOTB to receive 10% off your order!!


Win It:

One lucky Manager to Mom reader will win a Maya Wrap of their own, from Baby on the Breast! Winner chooses from among available patterns. Open to Canada.

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow all instructions within each entry option to ensure your entries are valid.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure:  The prize is being provided and shipped to the winner by Baby on the Breast.  I received no financial compensation for writing my review or offering this giveaway, although I did receive the sample item free of charge.  This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours.  

112 comments:

  1. I would love to try a ring sling. I have a non adjustable sling and it has never worked well for me but I feel I really need something super fast to throw on, keep in my bag etc. I would pick the grey stripe or pink fusion ring sling.
    mcintosh dot kimberley at gmail dot com

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  2. i like the light green or brown ones. when putting on the sling, start it with the rings right on top of your shoulder of even just behind. that way, when you tighten it, the rings end up in the right place. :)

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  3. also, if you can get baby's bum deeper in the fabric, so that his bum is lower than his knees and with the fabric going from his one knee to the other, his weight won't be pulling down on the edge of the sling so much and that should prevent the fabric from slipping.

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  4. I would get the cool waters sling. I have been wanting to try a ring sling for a long time. This one looks great.

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  5. The comment posted earlier under Kris84 was mine. I was signed in under the wrong account.

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  6. I hear a lot of positive things about mei tai and moby. I did have a sling for my second but it wasn't adjustable and found it only really worked when he was tiny and I kinda felt the need to constantly make sure he was safe in there. I was always worried he would fall out.

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  7. I would get Grey Stripe and the nursing tops look cute.

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  8. So hard to choose which one! I love the Bright Stripes too, but also the Burnt Orange and Cool Waters. So pretty :)

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  9. So hard to choose which one! I love the Bright Stripes, but also the Burnt Orange and Cool Waters. So pretty :) Thanks for this great review-I too have a wrap and a SSC (Beco) but heard good stuff about slings. I can't wait to try one with my new babe due in Jan.

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  10. Love the LEMON LIME - MAYA WRAP LIGHTLY PADDED RING SLING

    Rafflecopter Name is Anne Taylor

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  11. I LOVE my maya wrap. But I'd love a different color-maybe the Pink Fusion!

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  12. I'm sorry if you're getting duplicates-I can't see if my comment is coming up! Thanks for this great review-I've been curious about slings for a while, having loved my wrap and SSC (Beco). I'd love to win one for my new babe arriving in January. I adore the Bright Stripes, but also the Burnt Orange and Cool Waters. So many pretty choices!

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  13. I love the cool waters sling, chocolate brown as well :)

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  14. Bright Stripes - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring...

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  15. I liked the PINK FUSION - MAYA WRAP LIGHTLY PADDED RING SLING color

    SueSueper Sue

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  16. I like the cool waters sling the most

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  17. I like the Brown Stripe - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Sling

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  18. I'd choose the Plum wrap.
    I really enjoy your reviews -- very in depth, honest, and helpful-- thank you.

    angela mitchell

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  19. I like the twilight blue maya wrap lightly padded ring sling.
    Tannis W on rafflecopter.

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  20. I was just thinking the other day that I'd like to try a ring sling. I likevthe plum.

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  21. I really like the color you picked. The Twilight Blue - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling looks really nice too!

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  22. I like the Lemon Lime Maya Wrap - love the colours!
    My rafflecopter name is Julie G.

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  23. I love every single one of them!!! But I really love the bright stripes or cool waters the most I think...Or maybe the burnt orange..or...

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  24. Twilight Blue - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling. thanks

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  25. I would love the twilight blue maya wrap!

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  26. I would love the twilight blue maya wrap!

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  27. I would choose the pink fusion! Thanks for the chance :)
    Lacey J

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  28. I would choose the light green maya wrap! So pretty!

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  29. I love the bright stripes ring sling. As far as other stuff, it would be neat to try a nursing top.

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  30. I would like to try a padded ring sling.

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  31. id choose the PLUM - MAYA WRAP LIGHTLY PADDED RING SLING

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  32. I don't know what I would pick. I have never used a ring sling before. I do like the cool waters one.

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  33. Lemon Lime - so it will match all of my It Works! black, green, and bling! ;)

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  34. I love both the Burnt Orange and the Chocolate, but of course, I'd be happy with ANY of them!

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  35. Olive Green - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling

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  36. Cool Waters - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling

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  37. I think I'd love the plumb, it looks beautiful!

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  38. I like the pink fusion ring sling. I would also like to try the dimpleskins line, especially the eucalyptus rub

    -Rachel N

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  39. I'd pick the olive green one. I usually prefer earth tones and neutrals.

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  40. I like the Grey Stripe - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling.

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  41. I like bright stripes or olive green the best. The Boba 3g on the site looks like a great carrier too

    selenke@yahoo.com
    amanda s

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  42. Love the Grey Stripes

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  43. oh I would love a ring sling. the bright stripes or plum are just beautiful. thanks so much. Jenna_burris

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  44. I would love the Cool Waters - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling...love the colors and I have heard great things about these...just haven't bought my own yet!

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  45. i like the plum sling. I'd probably try the nipple butter as I had a really hard time last time around

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  46. The olive green and plum are both gorgeous!

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  47. Wow, the color looks good and I thin the baby love it.

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  48. I love the plum or the chocolate ones!

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  49. I think the cool waters is just lovely.

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  50. I like the Olive Green - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling

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  51. I like the lemon lime maya wrap ring sling.

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  52. I would pick the Twilight Blue - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling/ I love blue

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  53. I love the Cool Waters Maya Wrap Ring Sling. What gorgeous colors!

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  54. I like the Cool Waters - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling

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  55. I would love to try a ring sling, I just can't find any that I can afford to buy. :(

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  56. I like the burnt orange or plum ring sling.

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  57. I'd select the Plum - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling

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  58. I would choose the chocolate brown maya wrap.

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  59. I like the bright stripes

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  60. I absolutely love the Bright Stripes Maya Wrap pictured in the review! I'd also like aBravado nursing tank as I've heard great things about them

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  61. Cool Waters - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling is the one I would pick but I love the bright stripes also!!

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  62. I'd pick the Pink Fusion Lightly Padded Ring Sling.

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  63. I like the chocolate brown, or the olive green.

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  64. I would choose the Burnt Orange - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling. I am so excited about my little guy on the way and I can't wait to have him close to me!

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  65. BRIGHT STRIPES!!!!

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  66. I'd go with chocolate =) It's so rich!

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  67. I love the Plum and Cool Waters ring slings! I'd have a hard time choosing between the two. I also like the Momzelle Criss Cross Nursing Top.

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  68. I love love love the Bright Stripes Ring Sling!!

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  69. my favorite is the Plum - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling!

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  70. Burnt orange or lemon lime

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  71. i love the bright stripes but not sure the hubby would ever use that color....

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  72. I like the plum wrap! Such a great color!

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  73. It's a tie for me between the bright stripes and the plum. I'm leaning more towards plum since it's almost fall. :)

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  74. It's a tie between bright stripes and plum. I'm leaning more towards plum since it's almost fall. :)

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  75. I really love the BRIGHT STRIPES - MAYA WRAP LIGHTLY PADDED RING SLING!

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  76. I love the plum coloured Maya wrap. I also like the moby wraps.

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  77. I love the plum Maya wrap. Also heard good things about another one of your products... the Moby wrap.

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  78. I love the plum coloured Maya wrap. I also like the moby wraps.

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  79. I love the plum coloured Maya wrap. I also like the moby wraps.

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  80. I love the GREY STRIPE - MAYA WRAP LIGHTLY PADDED RING SLING

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  81. I would choose the CHOCOLATE BROWN - MAYA WRAP LIGHTLY PADDED SLING.
    Another item I like is the CHESTNUT - ORGANIC BOBA 3G BABY CARRIER

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  82. Love the cool waters sling!

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  83. I would select the light stripes Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling

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  84. I like the Lemon Lime - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling

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  85. I would get the Brown Stripe - Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Sling

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  86. I have been wanting to try a ring sling for a long time, can't wait to try one!

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  87. I've only ever used a wrap with my boys (and this is kidlet #4) and this time around I really want to try something new. I've been rather scared to try the whole ring sling idea, but I've heard amazing things about Maya's and would love to have one for my new little guy.

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  88. Oops, I hit enter by mistake. I would love either the lime-lemon or the cool waters one!

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  89. cool waters is beautiful

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  90. I like the cool waters ring sling. Such pretty colors

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