Babywearing Breastfeeding Tip #1
Learn to Nurse & Learn to Wrap
For successful babywearing breastfeeding, first establish a successful breastfeeding relationship. Learning to nurse in your carrier is a complication that need not be added until you and your baby have found a comfortable and workable breastfeeding routine. After all, this is a matter of your baby’s health and well being. So give yourself some time to get that going well before you add babywearing into the equation.
And by the same token, learn to use your wrap handily and easily before you attempt to nurse in it.
Becoming expert at both these elements before combining them will save you from frustration and unnecessary difficulty!
You’re in the right place to learn to wrap your baby in a woven wrap (not stretchy) so you can do all the different nursing carries shown here! Click on one of these photos for a baby wrapping tutorial to get you started:
Babywearing Breastfeeding Tip #2
Learn to Breastfeed in an Upright Position
Mothers most often nurse their babies in a cradle position on their laps while sitting up. While you can replicate this position in a wrap, it is most convenient for most mothers to nurse in the wrap in an upright position.
Before experimenting with nursing in your baby carrier, try placing your baby on your chest in an upright position to nurse so you can both get used to that position. This is similar to a side-lying position for those who nurse laying down in bed, but reoriented so both of you are upright.
Baby will sit upright straddling one leg and you can support baby with your arm on the same side that baby is nursing on and support your breast with the other hand. Support baby with a hand between the shoulder blades just below baby’s neck. Read more about how to practice upright breastfeeding.
For a younger baby who is quite floppy or not tall enough to reach your breast, try reclining so that baby is laying upon your stomach in this same position – often called “laid back breastfeeding.” Read more about how to practice laid back breastfeeding.
Getting comfortable with upright nursing will help you transition more easily to nursing in a wrap or baby carrier.
This position is convenient because you can just loosen and slightly lower your carrier without having to completely reposition your baby when you are ready to breastfeed.
Babywearing Breastfeeding Tip #3
Make Sure Baby’s Head Can Move
Your baby should always be able to move his or her head while nursing for a couple of reasons.
- it is difficult to swallow and suck when your head is held immobile.
- for safety, baby should be able to pull head back off the nipple when done or if nostrils get covered.
So give your baby head support (in or out of the wrap) behind the lower neck but make sure it is not too firm for baby to be able to move as needed. The fabric of the wrap can provide that support, or you can use your hand.
Babywearing Breastfeeding Tip #4
Prop Your Breast
If you need to hold your breast when breastfeeding your baby on the couch, you will need to hold your breast while breastfeeding in a baby carrier.
You may find it helps, however to put a folded washcloth or burp cloth under your breast to help prop it up!
Expect to get closer to true “hands free breastfeeding” as baby gets older and can hold and aim the breast.
Babywearing Breastfeeding Tip #5
If at first you don’t succeed when you try nursing in your wrap, don’t get frustrated.
Remember, everything is a phase. In a day or a week, it might suddenly click.
So keep trying regularly, but don’t try so often it makes you or baby crazy.
After all, babywearing breastfeeding is supposed to make your life easier, not harder!
Following these steps you can ease yourself into happily and comfortably breastfeeding on the go, wherever you are! Happy baby, happy mommy. So happy wrapping!