I am happy to offer a guest post from Jennifer Taylor at Mom Tricks in honor of International Babywearing Week from October 2nd - 8th this year.
Whether you’re new to the baby game, or a mom of two, or three (or more), you understand the value of having your hands free to get things done. Breastfeeding is no easy task, and with an already busy schedule, finding the time to sit down and feed every two, three, or four hours can seem like an especially daunting task.
No need to fear, momma!
Babywearing provides a method that allows you to feed your hungry little one while keeping your hands free to work on your to-do list. There are many babywearing styles available, each providing a different style and fit.
You may need to do a little tinkering to find a comfortable position for both you and your baby, but once you do, you’ll find that there are endless advantages to breastfeeding while babywearing.
Tips and Tricks to Make it Simple
Breastfeeding is hard, and breastfeeding while babywearing is not something that comes naturally to most mommies. However, there are a few tips and tricks you can follow to help you succeed in breastfeeding hands-free.
Loosen the wrap.
If you normally use a wrap, sling, or carrier to hold your baby close, you may find that you have to loosen your babywearing device from your normal fit in order to position baby to feed. You still want to ensure that you have a secure fit, but you will find that you will need extra space in order to position baby to be able to properly take your nipple. You don’t want to
You don’t want to smush your baby, and an uncomfortable baby is less likely to feed successfully. Loosening your device a bit is okay, but when you are done feeding, you should reposition your baby in an upright position and retighten your device.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that breastfeeding while babywearing may not be hands-free at first. You may need to help coach baby on your new feeding style. You may do this by holding your breast or supporting the baby's head and neck while they learn to feed in their carrier. However, this shouldn't last long, and you’ll be on your way to feeding hands-free in no time at all.
In order to make breastfeeding easier, you will want to choose breastfeeding friendly clothing. While your carrier or wrap can make feeding convenient, you will not want to have to worry with difficult clothing when it comes time to feed.
You may have noticed that there are various styles of babywearing devices ranging from wraps to snap on carriers. Each babywearing style will offer a different fit for you and baby, and there is no best style for every mommy. In fact, you may want to try different styles in order to find one that works best for both you and your little one.
Picking a babywearing device.
There are a few things to consider when purchasing a babywearing device, especially if you plan to use it to breastfeed. Each babywearing style is unique and will support different weights and positions for baby. For instance, if you are planning to try to breastfeed immediately after birth, you will need to consider a style that supports small babies. Most smaller styles will support babies over 5 pounds.
Wrap style (for younger babies.)
While it will differ for every mom, the best style for breastfeeding a younger baby (0-3 months) is often the wrap style. Using a wrap provides a close fit, which will help keep baby comfortable while keeping your nipple easily available for your baby. This close-fit style may also help baby eat more because the snuggly feel will provide extra warmth and comfort to your new little one while feeding.
Baby carriers (for older babies.)
While your wrap may still be useful, feeding larger babies may be more easily done with a carrier style babywearing device. Once your baby can support his head and neck and use his hands, he will enjoy the extra movability he will experience in a baby carrier. Your baby will be able to comfortably feed while still being able to wiggle and move his head freely from his secure location, all while leaving your hands free to finish household chores.
Once you get the hang of breastfeeding while babywearing, you’ll be amazed at how much your productivity will increase, all while satisfying your baby’s hungry tummy! It may seem difficult to succeed, but practice makes perfect, and you’ll soon be able to breastfeed while babywearing with ease.