Babies want touch – they practically thrive on it. Various studies point out to how babywearing your infant for just 3 hours a day can actually make them that much happier. From liking the touch of their mother’s skin on theirs, to the warmth they feel and everything else in between, there are plenty of benefits of babywearing; and not just for the baby, but for the parents too.
Studies also reveal that holding the baby close and skin to skin allows mothers to keenly monitor their movements, which in turn makes them feel more confident that they really know what is going on with their infant.
While there may be many benefits to babywearing for both parties to enjoy, things can, at times, get a little difficult for the mothers, especially if they are breastfeeding the babies. It takes a certain amount of skill (and lots of practice!) to get your baby in just the right position so that they can take their feed conveniently, allowing you to do your work all at the same time.
Babies can be a lot to handle; forget being glued to your baby’s rocker or staying hunched over the couch for hours on end while they take their feed, and just follow our simple tips on breastfeeding while babywearing.
Before you attempt breastfeeding while babywearing, it is essential that you consider the babywearing safety precautions that you must follow at all costs during this process.
You need to position your baby in a way that it is easy for them to breathe. There should be enough distance between the baby’s face and your clothes at all time, so that their face does not get pressed into them. This would make things very suffocating and potentially dangerous for the baby.
It is also important that you do not cover the baby’s face when you are breastfeeding them while babywearing. Many mothers in search for some privacy resort to covering the baby’s face which can be dangerous. When you cover the face, you are making the baby rebreathe the air they have just exhaled which is very dangerous. So, if you really want privacy, a better option would be to use easy nursing tee shirts and tank tops like the ones from Bun Maternity, or a nursing hood, to cover yourself if you feel like doing so, not the baby.
What is the right position in which the baby should be placed so that they can breastfeed conveniently? The easiest way to remember this is that whenever you are nursing during babywearing, lower down your baby to nurse and adjust accordingly where you can bring them to a height where you can easily kiss their head (consult your lactation consultant if you are having difficulty finding the proper adjustments). Make sure you bring them up to a position where they can rest their head comfortably if they sleep while nursing.
Remember TICKS as a great checklist for babywearing. Are they?
- in view at all times
- close enough to kiss
- keep chin off of chest
- supported back
Pay Attention to Noises:
There are certain typical nursing sounds that you get to hear while you breastfeed the baby. So when you are nursing them during babywearing, it is important to pay attention to what kind of noise is the baby making. Non typical nursing noises like snoring or grunting can be a sign showing that the baby is in distress and that you need to shift gears.
Two fingers width of space should always be present between the baby’s chin and their chest. This is the ideal head/neck position for the baby while you nurse them during babywearing, as it mostly guarantees that their airways do not get blocked.
Practice Babywearing and Breastfeeding Separately:
Another tip that can really help you breastfeed your baby while babywearing them it so practice both the things separately. Babywear your baby, but do not breastfeed them while you are doing so. Get comfortable with roaming around while having the baby attached to you in a sling. At another time, just practice breastfeeding your baby, while not carrying them around in your sling. Once you have gotten the hang of both the things separately, it is then time to combine them together.
Wear Breastfeeding Friendly Clothes:
Not all necklines are helpful when it comes to breastfeeding your baby. For hassle free breastfeeding, it is important that your outfit also co-operates with you. Bun's stretchy tank tops with easy snap straps that can be done with one hand, or double panel nursing tee shirts, allow moms to easily breastfeed, as the need arises.
Delay the Hands Free Approach:
Most nursing mothers want to be able to master breastfeeding during babywearing so that they can do other things at the same time. However, we recommend that if you have just started to babywear and breastfeed your child, it is best that you keep your hands busy holding the baby only. You can go hands free once you have become super comfortable with the process. Until then, use your hands to hold the baby’s head or neck and offer them more support as they take their feed.
During your first few trials with breastfeeding while babywearing, you might also have to use your hands to position and reposition your breast. Nursing hands free is the goal, but do not try to get it only at your second turn. Take your time.
Slings and Carriers:
You can use either slings or carriers to carry your baby around. However, you might have to do things a little differently depending on what you are using for babywearing. For example, if you have your baby in a carrier and you want to breastfeed them, you might want to play around with the adjustable straps until you get the perfect position which allows the baby immediate and easy access to the breast. If you happen to be using a sling for babywearing, make sure to always have one arm supporting the baby’s weight as you loosen the rings on the sling with the other.
Whether you are using a carrier or a sling for babywearing, always remember to reposition the baby properly once you are done nursing them.
Interested in more? Check out the source of the first main image here and what they have to say at http://www.babydoousa.com/babywearing-in-the-first-year/
Before baby wearing consult your physician and Certified lactation consultant for any concerns, questions, and if this is a choice you should be making. You can also find certified baby wearing consultants in your area here.