One of the many questions I get asked while doing a consultation is, “Can I nurse in a baby carrier?” My response is always, “Yes!” In fact nursing in a baby carrier is highly encouraged. There are so many benefits with babywearing and so many benefits of breastfeeding, why not put them together? I love babywearing and I love breastfeeding so this is something I’m always excited to talk about! You know that happy hormone called oxytocin that makes you feel warm and tingly after giving birth? Well, that hormone gets released when a mother nurses her child. It also gets released when babywearing, which helps grow the relationship and build and even stronger bond.
Before diving in, get to know your baby and your baby carrier. Breastfeeding is very challenging by itself so there’s no need to rush and combine it with babywearing the day your baby is born. Take things slow in the beginning and get the hang of breastfeeding and babywearing separately. Once you’ve mastered them both, then it’s a good time to put them together. This is one of the most crucial pieces of breastfeeding while babywearing. I’ll never forget the day my ring sling came in the mail. I was so excited to start wearing my baby and even more excited to nurse her in my sling. I didn’t think about trying to learn to babywear first. Instead I jumped right in and was in for a big surprise. It wasn’t as easy as it looked and my baby was not very happy. In fact she protested every time I tried to nurse her in the sling. When I had my second daughter I decided to do things differently. I didn’t even attempt to nurse my little girl in the sling until she was around three weeks old. At that point we were confident in breastfeeding and I had plenty of practice with the ring sling to be comfortable putting the two together.
Most baby carriers are adjustable in order for you to nurse your baby comfortably. It’s always best practice to nurse upright when wearing a carrier but if you’re going to nurse in the cradle position be sure you follow a few basic safety rules. First, make sure you are able to see your baby’s face at all times and his head is not completely covered by any piece of loose fabric. Also, be aware of your baby’s airway. You want to be sure you can run two fingers between his chin and his chest to ensure he has a clear airway and good oxygen flow. Last but not least, when your baby is finished actively eating bring him back up to a kissable position and tighten all straps, buckles and/or belts. It’s never a good idea to allow your baby to fall asleep in the cradle position because that can block his airway making it difficult to breath.
We are all moms that want what’s best for our children and have the best intentions. If you’re not sure about something or need help, consult with your local certified babywearing educator. They are trained answer any questions you have about babywearing and can help you find the perfect carrier for you and your little one.
I remember getting my first ring sling and asking myself, “ok, now what?” I was so lost when it came to wearing my baby and eventually gave up after only a few tries. A couple months later I decided to give the ring sling another go. YouTube became my teacher, although I quickly learned that not all YouTube videos are created equal. Some are really good while others are really bad and you have a few in between. You see, there is a lot to think about when wearing your child in the sling. You have to position the rings so they aren’t too low or too high, make the pocket a perfect size and figure out how to adjust the sling while keeping your baby from squirming out of your arms. There was a point where I thought I mastered this thing. My husband and I were shopping at Menards one afternoon and everything suddenly seemed to click. I was so excited! A few moments later when I tried to wear my baby at Target, I couldn’t get her like I did before. What was I doing wrong?
After many hours of surfing YouTube videos and countless tantrums (from me not the baby) later, I finally got it! The reason I was having such a hard time was, I wasn’t supporting my baby’s little tushie while I was adjusting the sling. Also, her positioning was never quite right which meant we were both pretty miserable and that defeated the point of babywearing altogether. I figured out a few tricks over the next year and learned even more when I trained under Babywearing Institute.
I really hope this video helps if you are a parent struggling with your ring sling. Practice makes perfect so keep at it and don’t give up! You will eventually get it and become a pro! If you still find yourself stuck and not able to master this carry please contact me. I would love to help you in anyway I can! I also provide private one-on-one consultations. If you are outside Decatur, IL or not able to travel, I can connect with you via FaceTime, Skype or Google Hangout.
When you get the chance, subscribe to my YouTube channel. I have several other videos that I find very helpful. I hope you do too!
Did you know you are not limited to just front and hip carries with your ring sling? You can also wear your sling as a back carry. It’s really easy to learn and a lot of fun! This is perfect for kids that are able to sit up unassisted so keep your small babies chest-to-chest until they are developmentally ready to be on your back.
This is not the most ideal back carry but it is very helpful when you are needing to get stuff done around the house and would like to free up the front of your body. I resort to this carry when I’m cooking, doing laundry, hanging diapers, etc. You don’t want your child in this position for a long period of time because it will hurt your back. The ring sling is a one shoulder carry so listen to your body and take your baby off your back if you start to feel discomfort.
The Comfy Joey Water Sling basically works the same as any other ring sling. You thread the fabric through the rings, put your child in the pocket and tighten them in. Easy enough right? Well, I soon discovered a few small adjustments can make a world of difference for both comfort and security. Check out my latest tutorial to learn more.