Breastfeeding in a sling: Benefits and how to do it safely

breastfeeding in a sling

by Lorna White |
Updated on

We know how beneficial baby wearing is for both you and baby. All that skin-to-skin bonding time is excellent for boosting our oxytocin and encouraging long-lasting breastfeeding - which is why breastfeeding in a sling or baby carrier is so popular.

If you like to keep your baby close and cosy in a sling or baby carrier, you might have considered how to breastfeed in a sling, and how easy it is. Breastfeeding in a sling allows you to quickly get baby in the position to feed anytime they need to while allowing you to carry on with your day.

Many popular baby carriers and slings advertise that they can be used for breastfeeding, but getting you and baby in the right position to feed can often be tricky.

To help you find the right position for you and help you get into the swing of breastfeeding in a sling, we've put together some useful tips and advice with a video to show you how.

Benefits of breastfeeding in a sling

As mums, we know that settling down in a cosy quiet spot to feed isn't always as easy as it sounds. Especially if you have a toddler running around too! Feeding on the go using a sling is great for busy mums who are feeding on demand, as it allows your baby to find boob and allows you to multitask. If you're out in public, slings can also provide some privacy for your boobs too, which many mums feel is an added bonus.

Another benefit is the bonding experience. Having your baby nice and close to you is so beneficial for maintaining your close bond and boosting your oxytocin. In some cases, it can also help baby achieve a better latch too, so it can be excellent for feeding.

Baby safety when breastfeeding in a sling

First and foremost, ensuring the airways are clear and that breathing is not obstructed is the most important thing when it comes to carrying baby in a sling for feeding. As baby's breathe through their nose for the first few months of life, and breathe through their nose when feeding, it's essential that their nose is free to breathe.

We'd also recommend following the TICKS guidelines for safe baby wearing.

Once they're done feeding, we'd recommend putting them back in their usual baby wearing position if you're still wanting to carry them.

How to breastfeed in a sling

There are two main positions you can use for breastfeeding in a sling; sat up and vertically laid down. Finding the right position can be tricky, and the right position really does depend on the size of your baby and your body shape.

If you're already using a sling, you'll know what feels normal and secure for carrying. When it comes to positioning your sling for feeding, you might need to put the initial wrap a little lower so that it's around your hips. It may also take a few attempts to tie the sling to the right level of tightness, as it will need to be a little loser so that your baby's mouth is within easy reaching distance of your boob.

It can be very tricky to get the hang of, and we understand, the easiest way to learn how is to watch, so here are a few helpful video tutorials for different positions.

Newborn or laying down position

Sitting up position for older babies

Finding the right sling for breastfeeding

If you're keen to try feeding in a sling, always check with the manufacture of the sling before purchasing as some recommend you don't feed in their slings.

You can find a list of all our recommended Mother&Baby award winning slings, voted for by real mums here.

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