Breastfeeding In A Sling Or Carrier
Feeding your breastfed baby in a sling can be really handy as babies can need to feed at any time! Breastfeeding in a sling can allow you to carry on with day to day life. Many companies advertise their slings as suitable for breastfeeding.
Most slings can be adjusted to get into a breastfeeding friendly position. Precisely how to do this differs between carriers, but we have produced videos for several on the It’s A Sling Thing YouTube channel.
Learning to breastfeed in a sling or carrier can be tricky, and depends on the size, shape and age of your baby and the size and shape of your body too. It may take time to find a solution which works for you, or you may find that it isn’t something that ever comes easily. It is worth trying some different options out or getting some assistance if you are struggling.
Positioning Your Baby To Breastfeed In A Sling
There are 4 main adjustments to make to baby’s position within the carrier
- Nose to nipple – adjust carrier and lower baby’s position so their nose is at nipple height.
- Move baby, and usually the carrier – to the side you are feeding on, from their central position.
- Hands cup the breast – baby’s hands should be either side of your breast.
- Bottom supported – your baby’s bottom should remain supported by the sling.
Some people may need to adjust the position of their breast to feed, by lifting or angling the nipple.
Your clothes need to allow you to access your breast whilst in the sling! Think about if you can lift your breast over your clothes or if you need to lift or open your clothes in some way!
These adjustments can work for cradle position, rugby ball hold or an upright position, depending on yours and baby’s preferences. Upright breastfeeding in a sling may be easier once your baby has more head control around 4 months.
Whenever you are using a sling you need to be aware of the safety aspects. When you are adjusting the sling to move to a breastfeeding position then you will have different additional items to consider.
- Baby’s airway need to remain clear at all times – so stay aware and monitor this.
- You may need to use a hand to support their head or their weight when you change their position. (As they get older a hands-free upright feeding position may be achievable)
- If you’re using a wrap sling or tie-on carrier be aware of trip hazards if you untie your sling to adjust it!
- After feeding readjust the sling to return baby to a supported position where their airway will remain clear.
Breastfeeding in a sling can be tricky. Your and baby’s shape, size, needs and preferences play a part. You could try different positions, slings, practice a bit or sometimes wait and try again when your baby has grown!