Posted on October 01 2022
Babywearing is a trend that does not look like it is going anywhere anytime soon and for good reason. When you wear your baby, you can promote bonding and closeness while still having your hands free to do other tasks. It enables you to be more mobile and take your baby places you may not be able to get a stroller, like a hiking trail.
Best of all, babywearing creates a convenient way to breastfeed your baby. If you are going to wear your baby, it is best to do it safely. Not only does this protect the baby, but it makes caring for your child more convenient. Here are some tips you should keep in mind when wearing your baby and breastfeeding.
Benefits of Babywearing
Wearing your baby has many benefits for you and your baby. For starters, being near you helps to keep your baby calm. The result is that she develops into a secure and confident toddler.
Having your baby close, especially if you can manage some skin to skin contact, can help her to regulate her own physiological rhythms. That nearness can also be useful in facilitating nursing. If you wear a nursing-friendly top, you can breastfeed easily without much adjustment or even being very obvious about it. Activities like grocery shopping, window shopping with friends, brunch, or just taking a walk can simply be done while wearing your little one...and best of all, breastfeeding done at the same time! You simply make sure your baby is in a comfortable position for the both of you and make sure that her head is properly supported.
These are benefits for mom, too, because self care is an important ingredient for a happy relationship with yourself and baby. Having a baby does not mean that the world will stop for you. There are still chores to be done and errands to be run. There may even be other children who need care. If you can wear your baby, you may find that you have your hands free to accomplish other tasks. In fact, you may even be able to manage other tasks while you are actually breastfeeding.
Methods of Babywearing
- Sling- A piece of fabric that loops around one of the mother's shoulders, across her body to the opposite hip. Your little one may begin taking an interest in the world around him while in this type of carrier. A sling is an easy option to facilitate nursing as the baby is able to be brought down by adjusting the sling strap through the ring. Re-adjust to bring baby back to "kiss the head" position when finished feeding.
- Wrap- A wrap is also a piece of fabric. In this case, however, just as the name says, the fabric is wrapped around the mother's torso and, generally, both shoulders. It creates a secure place for the baby to rest.
- Soft-Structured Carriers- These are more like backpacks. They can be worn on the back or the front and offer a more structured seat for your baby. They have straps that go over the parent's shoulders, giving them their backpack-like appearance.
How to Breastfeed In A Carrier or Sling
One of the great things about wearing your baby is that he is always close enough to make breastfeeding convenient. Here is a step-by-step guide.
- If your baby is old enough to sit up, you generally want his bottom at or above your navel during general wearing. Ensure his head is close enough to kiss. During breastfeeding, he can sit lower in order to access your breast then re-adjust to the proper higher position when finished.
- Keep an eye out to make sure that his face is not smashed into you and that his airway is not blocked.
- Once your baby is in position, it is usually pretty easy to be discreet about opening your top's nursing access to feed her. If you are wearing a nursing tank top or nursing hoodie, the design can make quick access that much more simpler and more convenient. These specially designed tops for breastfeeding are also great for promoting skin-to-skin contact with your baby outside of using the carrier.
A Few Safety Tips
One of the big concerns about babywearing is safety and positioning the baby to be ergonomic correct. Safety is especially important if you are also breastfeeding while wearing your baby. It is possible to do all this if you follow a few rules.
- Make sure your baby's head is supported. If his head flops around she can be injured and have difficulty maintaining her airway. Keep his head close enough to kiss.
- It is okay for your baby to be in a lying position while nursing if you are stopping to sit somewhere, but you need to support his head. When you are not breastfeeding, it is best for your baby to be in an upright position and again, sitting high enough in the carrier.
- Practice carrying your baby over a soft surface like a bedside until you are confident about your carrying method and securing the carrier.
- Check your carrier for signs that it is becoming worn. If it is carrying your most precious cargo, you want to make sure it is in working order and everything is in tact. Overstretched wraps and slings should be replaced.
- When your baby is not nursing, make sure she is positioned properly in a sitting position with legs supported to the knee. The knee should be higher than the hips. When legs are dangling from the hip, this can result in hip dysplasia.
- While having your hands free may allow you to do other things while caring for your baby, it is best to do activities that allow you to sit while your baby is feeding. Or doing something that is more leisurely like a slow walk when baby is feeding. Being up and moving around can increase the risk of choking.
Wearing your baby has many benefits. It promotes bonding and allows you to care for your baby while having your hands free. The closeness of wearing your baby can give you skin-to-skin contact and also makes breastfeeding easier and more discreet. If you are careful about your baby's safety and comfort, there is no reason you cannot enjoy the convenience of wearing your baby.