Whether you have one baby or several children, it can be hard to give up baby wearing when you little one reaches 12 months. But who says you have to. If you have more than one child, you may still need to have your baby in a sling so that you can continue to participate in your older child's life. After all, it is much easier to push a 4 year on a swing with your 14 month old wrapped up in a baby sling on your chest or back.
One of the best ways to prolong babywearing is with a ring sling. The design of a ring sling allows for more mobility for the baby, while still keeping them secure. Once your baby is walking and motoring around on their own, they will want to put down much more often. The ease of loosening a ring style sling allows you to easily pull out the child and then put them back in when they are ready. This makes it really easy to ensure your child stays on their nap schedule even if it happens to fall right at the same time as the music performance of your 3rd grader.
Another great feature that you will find when searching for ring slings is that some are made for water use. This can prove invaluable in the summer months. If you find a water mesh ring sling - like this one made by Taylor Made - you can easily enjoy a day at the lake or ocean, wading into the water, relaxing on the beach all while keeping baby safe and close to you. These can also be great for showering and wade pool playtime.
I have also heard from a number of fathers that ring slings are more appealing to them. Many of the wrap style baby slings have a somewhat complex method to putting them on and this can be off putting to someone that would only wear it on the weekends or at family outings, like dads do. A simple ring sling - like this one from Sakura Bloom - can be comfortable and secure, two things a man wants in a baby sling.
Baby wearing is one of those baby bonding experiences that cannot be replaced by any other activity. Having your baby right there, close to your body, is like nothing else. I have also seen that it makes for very affectionate children, who are not put off by contact. My family is one of huggers - we hug each other with every hello and good-bye (even my 2nd grader, in front of his friends, and with amount of grief) and I like to think that it comes from the fact that we have always been physically close with one another.