|World Breastfeeding Week logo|
A Note on Bottles and Formula
BWI, at its core, is about advocating for the practice of babywearing. We are here because we believe carrying our children has so many benefits for you and your child and one of the many benefits is that babywearing can significantly support breastfeeding. There is research that suggests carrying your children close improves the production of oxytocin and prolactin which in turn increases milk production and letdown. Slings and carriers also make breastfeeding much easier to do on the go, or even just around your home.
That said, we are not breastfeeding advocates here. If you are breastfeeding and need help nursing in your carrier, we can help you do that. If you are expressing breastmilk into a bottle and need help feeding your baby in a sling, we can help you do that too. If you are supplementing with formula or only using formula and would like to feed your baby with the aid of a baby carrier, we can help you! If you are a breastfeeding caregiver, a pumping caregiver, a supplementing caregiver, or a formula feeding caregiver, WE SUPPORT YOU! Full stop.
|White, brunette woman feeding a white infant with a bottle in a gray buckle carrier. The shelves of a hardware store are in the background|
On to the tutorials!
Positioning and Safety
There are two positions you can use to nurse in any baby carrier, upright (tummy-to-tummy) or cradle position. Upright nursing can be difficult to do if you have a very young infant or newborn because of the lack of head and neck control. Cradle carry is usually easier but it can also be tricky to do properly and there are important safety considerations. If you choose to nurse in the cradle position, you must still follow the ABCs of safety (or T.I.C.K.S. if you prefer). When baby is done nursing, you must bring him back into an upright or semi-reclined cradle position. Even if baby falls asleep nursing, do not leave him in a fully reclined cradle to sleep. The risk of positional asphyxiation is just too great. Most babies settle right back to sleep after being re-adjusted, if they even wake at all. Cradle position has had a falling out with the babywearing community, somewhat unfairly, due to the infant deaths caused by the Infantino bag style slings in 2010. However, cradle position, when done properly, is perfectly fine to use.
|A white bespectacled woman standing in an airport terminal |
as she breastfeeds a blond infant in a black, red and white
woven wrap in a traditional sling carry, cradle position.
Tips, Tricks and Troubleshooting
A few random pro tips for you:
1. Dress for success. Wear clothing that will be easy to nurse in and also easy to wear in. I recommend shirts that have an empire waist opening or a clip down shirt. There are many reasonably priced options out there. The two shirt method, while fine for every day, isn't ideal for babywearing because once you pull that top shirt up, its going to stay bunched up.
|Side view of a white woman breastfeeding a white infant |
in a gray buckle carrier. Her purple shirt lifts up at the
bust line for easy nursing access.
3. Go for easycare. This is really a general breastfeeding tip. As the mother of a Looky-Lou I would always have a baby who turned his head to look at something just as my milk let down and douse me, the baby and the carrier in milk. A lot of milk. All carriers can at least be hand washed safely, but I recommend easy care fibers like cotton and linen when breastfeeding. You will be sprayed and spit up on frequently so the easier it is to toss in the washer and dryer, the better.
|Meme of a spout of water with the text "That moment your baby unlatches during a letdown."|
4. One step at a time. If you are a new babywearer, a new breastfeeder, or both, I recommend mastering each skill separately before you combine them. New parenthood is overwhelming enough and these skills do get easier with time. I promise that with practice you can do it! And when you do, you will feel like you can conquer the world!
Nursing in a Woven Wrap
Breastfeeding in a woven wrap has endless possibilities. We often get the question "what is the best carry for nursing in a woven wrap?" That depends... on what size of wrap you have, your skill level with both breastfeeding and wrapping and what you find most comfortable.
|Close up of a brunette white woman wearing sunglasses,|
breastfeeding a sleeping blonde infant in a green
woven wrap with a white tree design.
If you choose cradle position, front wrap cross carry or front cross carry are excellent options.
Here is a video by ABE, Judy of BWI of Chambana on nursing in a FWCC in cradle position.
Many people favor carries that have a slipknot because they are easy to adjust for frequent nursers.
Nursing in a Ring Sling
|Image of a white brunette woman with short hair breastfeeding a white infant in a cream colored no-sew ring sling in an upright position.|
Check out these fabulous video tutorials on nursing in either upright or cradle position in a ring sling.
Nursing in a Meh Dai or Buckle Carrier
|Close up of a white infant's face as |
he is breastfeeding in a baby carrier.
His eyes are closed and only the top
of his mother's breast is visible.
Check out all these great blog articles and resources about breastfeeding and baby carriers!
Can I Feed in this Carrier by Jay MacMillen, Modern Babywearing
Bottle Feeding and Using a Supplemental Nursing System while Babywearing by BWI of DC-MD-VA
Breastfeeding While Babywearing by BWI of Greater Austin
Breastfeeding and Babywearing by Moby Wrap
Benefits of Babywearing by La Leche League
Best Baby Carriers For Breastfeeding That You Should Try by
How to Bottle Feed as You'd Breastfeed by
Multitasking 101: Feeding Your Baby While Babywearing by Babywearers of the Midlands
Nursing in Carriers by BWI of Chicagoland
Wichita Breastfeeding Support and Services by Wichita Mom's Blog
Breastfeeding Rooms in Wichita by Lauren Davis, Wichita Mom's Blog
La Leche League of Wichita
Sedgwick County WIC
Wesley Breastfeeding Clinic*
Via Christi Breastfeeding Clinic*
*Either of these clinics are free for women who delivered at that hospital. If you did not deliver there, you can still receive unlimited hands-on assistance at the clinic for a one-time $50 fee.
Check out our YouTube channel where we have a collection of resources saved just for you, including how to nurse in a baby carrier.