Ever wondered how to nurse in a baby carrier? Or even if they’re suitable for nursing?
The ansert to the second question is yes. Baby carriers help you breastfeed your baby comfortably on the move. You can breastfeed your baby in a range of settings. You can breastfeed your baby while walking. Shopping, cooking or while minding older children. Your baby will get nourished in time and you will be free to do whatever you have to do while breast feeding your baby.
It’s also a great option for when you’re baby is asleep in the carrier and wakes up hungry. Rather than removing them from the carrier, you can feed them in there, and then they can go back to sleeping afterwards (if you have that kind of baby!).
How to Nurse In a Baby Carrier
OK, so you can do it. But how is it done?
It will depend on the type of carrier you have. Structured carrier? Wrap? Sling?
There are slightly different ways to do it for each. No matter which one you do it in (most are suitable for it). It’s a good idea to practice in a safe space first – and to make sure you are comfortable just carrying your baby without nursing, to begin with.
It’s a good idea to first get the position right. You will need to lower your baby closer towards your breast and this usually means loosing something off. You must stay in a standing position while breastfeeding the baby in a carrier for greater comfort. You should try breastfeeding in a carrier at home for a few times before breastfeeding the baby in a carrier on the go.
Type of Clothes
Wearing a suitable top or shirt will help you breastfeed your baby in a carrier comfortably. They also help you breastfeed the baby more discreetly, if that’s a preference for you. Button down shirts are easy to use especially if they are tucked in and you don’t want to untuck them.
Wearing wide necked shirts or deep cut V neck shirts are also comfortable for breastfeeding baby in a carrier. Wearing a camisole under your shirt or dress helps you breastfeed the baby discreetly.
The safety of your baby should be the most important consideration. While breastfeeding your baby in a carrier, you should ensure that the baby’s mouth and nose are visible at all times even if it means that you do not look modest or you are not able to breastfeed the baby discreetly.
You must also be sure to use a baby carrier that suits the age and weight of your baby.
A baby carrier made of one piece of fabric is called a baby wrap. The baby wrap is ideal for breastfeeding on the move. It is easy to carry your baby in breastfeeding position when you place your baby securely in a wrap. You can also adjust the position of your baby so that your baby is secure and you are comfortable.
If you place your baby in a wrap, keep your baby in an upright position while breastfeeding. Placing your baby in a high position on your chest will keep your baby safe. You need to make sure that babies airway is clear at all times.
Here’s an example of one way to do it:
A pouch sling comes with a pouch or pocket to place your baby comfortably. It is easy to wear. You should make sure that the pocket or pouch fits your baby. Pouch slings are not adjustable. They are not suitable for carrying young babies and not as secure as other baby carriers. If you use a pouch sling to carry your baby, you can breastfeed the baby by placing it in a horizontal position. You can also breastfeed your baby by holding it in a semi-erect position in a pouch sling. Breastfeeding the baby in a pouch sling is good if you like breastfeeding discreetly.
Ring sling baby carriers are slung around your body with two rings placed over your shoulder to form a pouch or pocket. The position of the rings can be adjusted. You can make the carrier tighter, looser or place it in a different position for your comfort and that of your baby.
Slings are a good option for breastfeeding even when you need to nurse your baby on the go. Assuming you are comfortable using a sling in the first place. The sling has a lot of fabric and you can cover yourself modestly while breastfeeding your baby, if that’s a concern for you.
You should keep you baby in a high position while nursing in a ring sling. Keeping a tummy to tummy position will make breastfeeding your baby comfortable. You should spread the fabric on the ring side of the shoulder and make sure it is comfortable and gives maximum support while nursing on the move.
Here’s an example of how you might do it:
Soft Structured Carriers
These carriers have a waistband and buckled straps and are a secure way of carrying a baby. They also come with a seat where your baby can be placed comfortably. They are padded to make you and your baby comfortable and safe.
They often have a hood which you can use to protect the baby from the elements while nursing your baby on the move. To breastfeed your baby while wearing a soft structured carrier, you should keep adjusting the straps till your baby is comfortably latched. Once your baby is latched tighten the straps. Keep tightening the straps and waistband to keep the position of your baby high and safe during breast feeding.
Of course, always feed baby in a position where you can see their face, so that you can check to ensure that they have clear airways.
Mei Tai Carriers
These baby carriers look like backpacks and consist of a rectangular piece of cloth with four straps. Some carriers come with a hood to protect your baby from the elements. The straps make it easy for you to secure the carrier according to your body size.
To breastfeed your baby while wearing a Mei Tei baby carrier, loosen the shoulder straps of the carrier and latch your baby after lowering your baby to the correct position for latching. Make sure you and your baby are comfortable and tighten the shoulder straps. Once your baby finishes feeding, place your baby in a higher position and tighten the straps to make your baby safe and comfortable.
If you use a comfortable and safe baby carrier, you can breastfeed your baby comfortably and conveniently while performing other important tasks.
Just make sure to follow all the safety guidelines and make sure to practice in a safe space before trying it out and about. And always consult the instructions of the particular carrier that you intend to breastfeed in, for specific instructions about nursing in that particular carrier.