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Breastfeeding in a sling or carrier

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Breastfeeding in a sling or carrier

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chestfeeding breastfeeding in a ring sling

Feeding your breastfed baby in a sling can be a really handy skill as babies can need to feed at any time. Chestfeeding or breastfeeding in a sling can allow you to carry on with day to day life. Many companies advertise their slings as suitable for chest/breastfeeding. Most slings can be adjusted to get into an appropriate nursing position. However, some babies have strong preferences about what position they are happy to feed in. It can take time to figure out how to adjust your sling or carrier to comfortably feed your baby. We have video tutorials for chest/ breastfeeding in a sling for several main types of carrier on our  YouTube channel.

Learning to breastfeed in a sling or carrier can be tricky, and depends on the size, shape and age of your baby and the size and shape of your body too. It may take time to find a solution which works for you, or you may find that it isn’t something that ever comes easily. It is worth trying some different options out or getting some assistance if you are struggling.

Positioning your baby for breastfeeding in a sling

There are 4 main adjustments to make to baby’s position within the carrier

  • Nose to nipple – adjust carrier and lower baby’s position so their nose is at nipple height.
  • Move baby, and usually the carrier, from their central position to the side you will feed from.
  • Baby’s hands cup the breast – one hand on each side.
  • Bottom supported – your baby’s bottom should remain supported by the sling.

Some people may need to lift or angle the position of their nipple to feed.

What to wear?

Your clothes need to allow you to access your chest whilst using the sling! Consider: can you lower the neckline sufficiently or do you need to lift or open your top? How can you best manage this in a sling?

These adjustments can work for cradle position, rugby ball hold or an upright feeding position, depending on yours and baby’s preferences. Upright breastfeeding in a sling may be easier with a baby who has more head control, from around 4 months.

Safety points

Whenever you are using a sling you need to be aware of the safety aspects. When you are adjusting your sling to achieve a feeding position there are some additional considerations.

  • Baby’s airway need to remain clear at all times – so stay aware and monitor this.
  • You may need to use a hand to support their head or their weight when you change their position. (As they get older a hands-free upright feeding position may be achievable)
  • If you’re using a wrap sling or tie-on carrier be aware of trip hazards if you untie your sling to adjust it!
  • After feeding readjust the sling to return baby to a supported position where their airway will remain clear.

Get more support with breastfeeding in a sling

Chestfeeding/ breastfeeding in a sling can be tricky. Your shape and your baby’s shape, size, needs and preferences play a part. You could try different positions, slings, practice a bit or sometimes wait and try again when your baby has grown!

Meanwhile, find out more about slings, carriers and carrying in the carrying section of our Knowledge hub

If you’d like any help at any point on your sling journey, why not get in touch by email, or call us on 01133 206 545 to book a FREE 15 minute phone consultation or a longer phone or video consultation. We can help you find the right sling for your situation

Meanwhile, find out more about slings, carriers and carrying in the carrying section of our Knowledge hub

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Carrying, Carrying basics, Infant feeding, Parents & families
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