Mother nurses her baby in a baby carrier. Text reads, "How to Breastfeed while Babywearing"

How to breastfeed while baby wearing

Breastfeeding is a whole other world! You've just met your new baby, and now you've got more skills to learn. 

Maybe nursing comes easily to you and your baby. Or, maybe the 2 of you (or more!) have a lot of speed bumps to overcome.

Either way, you can learn to combine these new skills of babywearing and breastfeeding. And when you do, it's a game-changer!

Mother nurses her baby in a baby carrier. Text reads, "How to Breastfeed while Babywearing"

Let's get started- the basics

First things first - breastfeeding and babywearing are 2 different skills. You already have so much to learn about your new baby!

We strongly recommend getting the basics of each skill down first. When you feel comfortable breastfeeding on its own and baby wearing on its own, then we can start to practice them together. This helps to prevent frustration and gives you the confidence you need to breastfeed while baby wearing!

Need a refresher on babywearing safety? Check out our ABCs of babywearing article & video here

Things to keep in mind

What carrier can I use to breastfeed in? We recommend any carrier that isn't stretchy. Stretchy wraps are designed to be tightened for the position baby is in, and to pop baby in and out. Because stretchy wraps sag over time, this can put baby in a compromising position while nursing. If you do breastfeed in a stretchy wrap, make sure you are very attentive to their airway, support their positioning well, and immediately re-tie the carry when they are done. Ultimately, this usually makes more work for you, so it's best to try a different carrier style for ease of use!

Baby carriers are more of a carry assist while breastfeeding To breastfeed in a carrier, you'll likely need to move your baby lower than normal. This means that you should expect to use the carrier as an assist with guidance and support from you where needed

It will get easier! If you've tried and felt like it was a flop, don't worry! Your baby is getting bigger and stronger every day. Give yourself grace- it's a lot to coordinate! Try again another day, or wait a few more weeks for baby to be stronger. You'll be amazed at how quickly your baby will learn- and how much more confident you become!


 Nurse in a baby carrier in 3 easy steps

  1. Lower the carry. Your baby will start in a properly positioned and tightened front carry ("close enough to kiss"). We find it's usually easiest to breastfeed with an upright carry- like you're holding baby against your chest with their head by your neck and their bottom straight down toward your waist. When it's time to nurse, loosen the waistband or tie waist slightly. Lower the waist gently. Wiggling and bouncing help a lot! When baby is at a good height to nurse, tighten the waist at the new height to your comfort

  2. Position baby to nurse. Now that baby is at a comfortable height, gently wiggle or bounce them to the side you'd like to start from. Even for tiny babies, an upright carry usually works well for this. Don't be afraid to wiggle and adjust until you get the most comfortable position for you and your baby. In the beginning, you may find it easier to practice while just wearing a nursing bar or cami, or directly skin-to-skin. As you learn, you'll figure out the best clothing combination for you and your baby. Experienced breastfeeding babywearing parents can often nurse and no one can tell! Once baby is done that side, wiggle or bounce them to the opposite side to finish their meal

    Pro tip: If your breasts are seem in the way or poorly positioned, you can try a few tricks! One is to use your bra as a shelf. Instead of opening up the nursing bra, lift your breast up out of the cup and let it hang overtop of the cup. You can then control how much breast tissue comes out and over. You may also find it helpful to gently compress the top of your breast tissue for a smaller baby. Again- this will get easier as they grow! So don't lose hope if you feel like you're not getting the hang of it the first try, especially with a tiny baby

  3. Re-adjust the carry when done. It's normal for little babies to fall asleep while nursing. But, we want to make sure baby is only in this lowered position while actively nursing. One way to check to see if baby is still actively nursing by gently stroking under their chin. A sleeping baby won't react, but one that is eating will respond with a stronger suckle. They're saying, hey, I'm not done yet! When baby is done eating, gently break suction if needed, then reposition baby into the "close enough to kiss" position. If baby fusses while re-settling, don't worry! They will usually go right back to resting once you're adjusted properly again. As before, you'll want to gently loosen the waistband or tie waist slightly, then lift the waistband up until baby is at the right height. Re-tighten and adjust. Gently bounce and walk around a bit to help baby re-settle as needed

Bonus: Can I bottlefeed while babywearing?

Yes! Even breastfeeding families often use bottles for daycare or babysitters, and formula feeding is very normal. You can bottle feed while baby wearing in a similar way to breastfeeding while baby wearing. Some babies actually prefer a more upright position due to reflux, so it's great to try!

Gently lower the waist of your carrier and re-tighten as needed. You may need extra slack in the panel or to turn baby slightly to get a good position to hold the bottle. Switch sides as needed (recommended for even development- babies learn constantly, it's amazing!). When baby is done eating, re-position baby up in the "close enough to kiss" position again and re-tighten. If they need to burp, the carrier can often help support you in that, too, with gentle bouncing and burping in this upgright position.


Have you ever breastfed your baby in a baby carrier? Will you give it a try? What tips would you give?

When learning to breastfeed in a baby carrier, I prefer carriers with more flexibility. Below are some of my favorite styles for learning! Try one today and get started


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