Baby carrier or a sling can make a great breastfeeding tool. Which is the best baby carrier to breastfeed in? I have come across a few that can make breastfeeding while babywearing a reality. It relieves the stress of scrambling to get to a comfortable place for nursing, especially when you are on the go. It also makes breastfeeding more discrete when your little person is hungry and you have an audience around.
Don’t get me wrong, the ultimate breastfeeding experience is when its just your babe and you cozying up in your favorite nursing chair or couch with breasts out and a TV in front of you on (sound off, captions on, of course). But when the hungry baby caught you in the middle of a hike or in a public cafe, knowing how to nurse in a carrier can save the day. It may take some time to master the position that works for you and your baby. But it is well worth it!
Having a newborn and a toddler, I can nurse the little one right on the playground as I am monitoring the “energizer bunny” running up and down the slide.
The general idea behind breastfeeding in your carrier is the following:
- Position the baby to get baby’s face comfortably at the level of your breast
- Latch the baby onto the nipple
- Secure the head in the feeding position
- Have baby breathe easily at the same
Breastfeeding in a baby carrier will require some practice. Don’t give up if it’s not happening right away. Be patient with the process and it will pay off. Fake it till you make it darling!
Breastfeeding when baby is on you in a stretchy wrap can be done in two positions: upright and cradle.
From my experience feeding a small infant is easier done in an upright position than cradle. You get to be virtually hands off. Once the baby gets too big to be brought down low enough for a comfortable latch you can do cradle.
How I do it
- Have your baby in an upright facing-in position.
- Loosen the wrap so the baby is lowered down with his mouth just above your nipple.
- Pull out your breast and latch the baby on by holding the breast out with one hand, and supporting the back of her head with the other.
- Pull up the outer layer fabric to secure baby’s head while nursing. This also creates sort of a nursing cover for you.
If you are using a ring sling such as Maya Wrap, breastfeeding is convenient using a cradle position.
How I do it
When your baby is in upright position, you can transfer the baby into cradle position in few easy steps.
- Support the baby bottom with the hand that has the free shoulder – do not pull the baby up here, just support.
- With the other hand pull the bottom of the top ring to loosen the fabric.
- Hold the baby along the bum with this arm, reaching all the way to baby’s opposite knee. Hold the back of baby’s head with the other hand.
- Lean a bit forward to get the baby “unglued” from your torso and rotate the baby sideways.
- Pull the fabric to support baby’s head and let the baby hang down in a cradle position, with its head on the level of your nipples. The baby hangs just for few seconds while you get your breast out.
- Latch the baby on by supporting the back of the head with one hand and directing your breast with the other.
- Carefully switch arms again having your baby lay along the arm. Pull up the baby with bottom arm to the level that’s comfortable for you – some moms nurse baby more horizontal than others.
- Now pull on the hanging fabric to secure the position of the baby. And voila – enjoy the feed!
Soft Structured Carrier – Ergo
ERGOBaby carrier is one of the most popular carriers. It is also the easiest and the best carrier I found for breastfeeding. Its straps and belt are really well padded, making it comfortable for mom to have the baby lowered down and eating.
Unlike stretchy wraps and ring slings, ERGObaby is better for feeding a bigger baby that can hold up her head better. Transition into a feeding position is done quickly.
How I do it
- Lower down the baby to level his head with your breasts by lengthening the back of each strap.
- Take out and hold your breast with one hand. Direct baby’s head with the other hand to latch him on.
- You can use the head cover that Ergo comes with, if you want some extra coverage.
As a mom to a young baby, your whole life revolves around baby’s needs. Especially the food! For me being able to feed while babywearing has provided more freedom. I can allow myself to be out and about and know that we will be ok if she asks to eat.
Leave a comment and let me know where you are at when it comes to breastfeeding while baby-wearing. Are you doing it already? Are you interested in trying it out?
Looking forward to your comments as usual!