Wanna know the best kept secret of survival for second time mommas (or third or fourth, etc.) with other young children? Breastfeeding while babywearing! It is something I always wanted to be able to do but could never quite master. Until the third time around. This time I have it down, and it is a lifesaver, I tell ya.
Every baby, boob, and nursing situation is different and not all moms or babies may be able to accomplish nursing while babywearing. I always thought I was one of those moms. You might be one with baby #2, but with baby #3 you figure it out, so it is definitely worth trying with each baby and at different ages if it is something you want to be able to do.
I never even considered breastfeeding while baby wearing with my first. I don’t even think I knew that was a thing, but I would have never been able to. We were one of those “need our nursing pillow” nursers that time around and by 6 months my supply was completely gone. With my second, I tried breastfeeding while wearing him in the Ergobaby. It took some practice and I watched a video demo on YouTube. We were able to do it, but it wasn’t easy. We didn’t do it often because I never felt very comfortable with it.
With Quincy, we started almost by accident. I took him to his 6 month check up and wore him in our Wildbird sling. I had never used a sling with my other babies — I loved and used my Ergobaby and my Solly wrap and didn’t think I needed another carrier. I was wrong! I absolutely love the sling at this age. I wasn’t confident using it when he was a newborn — we tried it a few times but I was never sure I was doing it right and preferred our Solly for the 0-3 month stage (although we continued to use it longer.) But around 5 months I got it back out and was surprised to find how easy it was to use now that Quincy was bigger and could have his feet out and didn’t need neck support. I’ve used it almost daily ever since.
So when we were at the doctor and he was in the sling getting his vaccinations I just nursed him quickly afterwards while he was still in it to soothe him. And only then did I realize how easy it was. The age, the sling, the baby — the combo just worked. So try different carriers. If it doesn’t work at 3 months, try again at 6 months. And practice at home where you are comfortable.
-How I nurse while babywearing with the sling:
- Put baby in the sling as you normally would (if you need a tutorial for doing that go here).
- When you’re ready to nurse loosen the sling just a little and ease baby lower to the breast on the side you are wearing him on (the side opposite the ring side).
- Using your ring side hand, go under the sling and baby and guide your breast to your baby if necessary (older babies probably won’t need help but younger ones might).
- Once baby is latched on you can tighten the sling slightly just to make sure he is snug and secure.
- If you want more privacy you can raise the top of the sling up a bit. Mine usually reaches up to the top of Quincy’s ears and unless you were standing directly over top of me you couldn’t see anything.
Here is a video tutorial of the Hip Carry, which I find to be easiest for nursing while babywesaring in the sling.
-How I nurse while babywearing with the Ergobaby:
- Put baby in the Ergo as you normally would (if you need a tutorial for doing that go to their Youtube channel here).
- When you’re ready to nurse loosen the one side you want to nurse on slightly.
- Bring your breast to your baby to help them latch on (leaning forward slightly helps).
- Once baby is latched you can tighten slightly.
- If you want more privacy you can raise the hood over baby’s head.
This is a great video demonstration of nursing in the ergo, which is what I learned from.
-How I nurse while babywearing with the Solly Wrap:
I haven’t really mastered this one, I think because each baby has been a different nurser and it takes me about three months to get the hang of it. And with Quincy, he was so heavy that by month 4 I was wearing him in the Solly mostly at home, so there wasn’t really a need to nurse while babywearing — I only do that when we’re out and about, and by that age I was using the sling and ergo more for longer wearing sessions (because Quincy is such a chub rock.)
Here is a great tutorial for nursing while baby wearing with the Solly Wrap.
For me, it’s much easier and I feel more comfortable nursing while baby wearing with the sling. My neighbor nursed her daughter in the ergo every day while our other kids played and no one could even tell. I think different methods work for different people, and some lucky mommas can nurse easily with any or all of them.
Which Carrier To Choose?
On a side note, I’ve had lots of people ask me which carrier I would choose if I could only choose one. And honestly, I can’t just choose one. All three of these favorites above have served a very important purpose and been a wonderful part of motherhood for me. I’m so happy to have used them all and will continue to do so for as long as I can. If you are able, I highly recommend having different baby wearing options. You can put them all on a registry if you register somewhere like Babyli.st. Or maybe you can borrow one from a friend, buy one used, etc. Or maybe you’re able to buy all three. They are great investments, especially if you plan to have more than one child.
Do you breastfeed while babywearing? Any tips to add? And can we talk about Quincy in that bottom photo, because it might make me want a 4th… 😉
(Sources) Photo 1: Hat, Sunnies, Sling, Quincy’s Hat / Photo 2: Shirt, Wrap, Quincy’s Hat / Photo 3: Hat, Sunnies, Jumpsuit, Carrier, Moccs (flag style currently unavailable) / Photo 4: Quincy’s Hat, Sling, Necklace
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