Baby wearing and breastfeeding are the perfect combo for busy moms. The closeness of baby wearing really helps to establish breastfeeding. Plus with baby so close you can be more responsive to their feeding cues to feed on demand. There are so many baby carriers available it’s confusing to know which one to buy. We’ve written this guide to help you pick a baby carrier that is ideal for breastfeeding moms. Check out our top picks.
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5 Best Baby Carrier for Breastfeeding
A young baby is unable to hold their neck unaided. You need to use the sling to aid your baby’s back and neck just as your arms would. The best slings will position your baby into a supported upright or adapted cradle hold. These are our top picks for newborn breastfeeding.
A ring sling is our number one choice for breastfeeding sling. They are extremely versatile when positioning baby. The rings make it very easy to adjust the fabric quickly and easily. They are the reason that many cultures successfully breastfeed for long periods of time. The fabric is great for discreet breastfeeding in public, so no need for an additional breastfeeding scarf.
We Recommend – Hip Baby Wrap
The Hip Baby Wrap is the best quality for the price on the market. They are fair-traded and handmade in India from 100% cotton. We love how soft and lightweight the material is. It’s ideal for hotter weather and won’t leave you or baby overheated. With 24 bright patterns, you’re sure to find one you like. The rings are excellent quality, super durable yet easy to adjust. When it’s not in use, you can pack it up to a compact size an put it in your diaper bag.
The only downside is that ring slings need a bit of practice to adjust. You may want to try wearing it just to carry baby, so you can get comfortable using it. Then you can you attempt to breastfeed in the sling.
Check out this video for a walk through of how to breastfeed in a ring sling.
A wrap sling can be made from either stretchy or firm women material. They are ideal for breastfeeding as they offer a lot of coverage and support. This makes feeding a newborn in an upright position a lot easier. You can pre wrap them and position baby inside so no need to fiddle around with baby and a sling at the same time. We rate these carrier second place to a ring sling as they can be harder to make adjustments.
We Recommend – Moby Wrap
The Moby wrap is the bestselling stretchy baby wrap available. Made form 100% cotton, it’s soft and breathable to wear, like a t-shirt. The wide shoulder straps make it extremely comfortable to wear, especially if you have a larger frame. It take a little bit of practice to learn to tie, but easy one you know how. Like the ring sling its super lightweight, portable and easy to machine wash for convenience.
The downside of this wrap is the learning curve. You should not attempt to breastfeed baby in it unless you are comfortable with a regular carry. It will take another period of learning to make any adjustments when baby is in the sling, for feeding comfort.
For more information on how to breastfeed in a wrap carrier check out this video.
For Older Babies
Older babies are able to hold their neck unaided. When breastfeeding an older baby in a sling the issue is more with comfortable positioning for baby. We recommend opting for a sling which baby can feed in an upright position. That way their head is free to move and look around as they feed.
A mei tei wrap is a traditional Asian style. Made from a rectangle of material to support baby and long straps to attach to mum. They don’t offer a lot when it comes to coverage. However they are excellent for support baby in an upright feeding position. The various straps mean baby can still be geld firmly in place whilst you make any adjustments to position for nursing.
We Recommend – Infantino Sash
The Infantino sash is the best quality mei tai on the market. Its excellent quality and provides safe support for your baby. It’s suitable to use from birth right up to toddler. We recommend using it to practice carrying when baby is newborn, before you begin to feed baby. The padded straps make it comfortable to wear over long periods without hurting. The long straps will adjust to fit most sizes which is great for both plus size and petite frames. It’s light, breathable and portable. We particularly love the hood attachment which offer extra nursing privacy.
The biggest drawback of the infantino is that the straps are long. They can become irritating or simple bulky when wearing over long periods of time. Mei tais’ are notorious for losing off so you occasional y have to readjust every so often. This is especially true as you baby get heavier and more weight pull on the straps.
Find out how to breast feed in a mei tai with this video.
A pouch baby carrier is a very basic sling style. You simply place baby as you would if carrying on you hip and the sling hold them in place. The biggest advantage of a pouch carrier is that is doesn’t need to be adjusted, but some models can be. Just pop baby inside and you can breastfeed hands free. These carriers are best used with older babies when they are able to sit upright and breastfeed.
We Recommend – Hotslings Pouch
The Hotslings pouch carrier is the highest rated on the market. They are amazingly simply to use. Just place he carrier over your shoulder and the position baby inside. The hot slings pouch can be used as is, or you can adjust it to fit snugly around your baby. It’s suitable to use from birth to around 2 years old. We love the simple variety of patterns you can get with this carrier.
The disadvantages of this sling is that it runs on the smaller side. If you would normally use a regular then opt for the large. That means it’s more suited to petite or regular sized frames. We also found this sling puts a lot of weight on one side of your body. This can lead to upper body aches and pains when worn for long periods.
Watch this video to learn to breastfeeding in a pouch carrier. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjXSbGCrUoU&t
A structured baby carrier is one which is padded, shaped and closes with various clips. These carriers are adjustable by threaded straps. This types of carrier is probably the most difficult to learn to breastfeed, however it is possible. They provide a lot of support for baby, however this also makes it less flexible for adjusting to a feeding position. You may need to wear the carrier a few time until it ‘softens’ and you get used to working with it.
We recommend – LILLEbaby Carrier
The Lillebaby is the most versatile structured carrier to buy. As the Carrier positions baby into a seated position, this is how you will need to master feeding baby. For that reason we recommend using this carrier when baby has good head control. It comes with a clip on head cover for extra privacy during a feed. This carrier is very comfortable to use, padded in all the right places and provides great support for baby. Another great features is the pocket on the front, so you can keep a burp cloth close to hand when baby is feeding. The range is a little pricier than other carrier options. However, they are very durable and will last you for a few babies. We partially love the different pattern style which appeal to all different styles.
The downside of this carrier is that it’s not a portable or simple to wash as other carriers. Again we wouldn’t recommend this carrier for beginner baby wearer to breastfeed in.
If you do want to learn how to breastfeed in a structured carrier check out this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ouq6-fw-Mc
5 Tips for feeding in a baby carrier
- Get used to wearing your carrier first, before attempting to breastfeed in it.
- In the beginning always tie the sling and attach baby when sitting down.
- Use a mirror to check baby is properly supported before you stand.
- Always follow the T.I.C.K.S rules for safe baby wearing.
- Once baby is finished feeding adjust them to an upright position i.e close enough to kiss.