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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Breastfeeding Sling: Conveniece for the Busy Mom

Breastfeeding Sling: Conveniece for the Busy Mom #babywearing #sling #carrier #breastfeeding #timesaverFor most new moms there comes a time when snuggling all day with your newborn is not only unreasonable, but can also come off as unproductive. For most women this is around the one week mark. For me it’s day three. Day three is the day when I want to get back in the swing of things. Sure you’re still a wreck “down there,” have uncontrollable milk production, and still have no idea where a shower fits in. But underneath all that “Oh, wow I have a little baby now!” attitude is the desire to get back to normal. Lucky for us breastfeeding and baby-wearing go hand-in-hand. Enter: the breastfeeding slings and other carriers!

There are several different options for wearing your baby, should you choose to do so. In your journeys and research you’ll find everything from soft-structured carriers (resembling baby backpacks), to pouches, to Asian-inspired carriers (and crossovers), and you’ll stumble upon the infamous woven wraps that (if you’re anything like me) you can only dream of. Sometimes you’ll come across baby-wearing elitists who will claim to know everything about every carrier on the market. As a seasoned baby-wearer I’m here to tell you that it’s not about what’s hot or what’s not, but why you wear and what feels more comfortable to you.

How to Wear

I did a break down of the basics in a simple Babywearing 101 here. The most important thing to remember is that you want something ergonomic, meaning your baby should have a solid seat from knee to knee. This is important for both the comfort of you and the development of your baby’s precious little body. You need an appropriate knee-to-knee seat to support the hips and spine. Check out this image from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.

Breastfeeding Sling: Conveniece for the Busy Mom #babywearing #sling #carrier #breastfeeding #timesaver

Other Things to Consider

You want your carrier to hold baby snug where you can see him or her with a supported spine. You should not have any back pain while baby-wearing. If you do, you may need to adjust some straps or tighten a rail. A common acronym is T.I.C.K.S.

  • Tight and snug. Loose fabric will not only hurt your baby’s back, but pull you down, as well.
  • In view at all times. If your baby is in front of you this seems like a no-brainer, however if and when you get into back carriers (when baby is a bit older) you should be able to peek over your shoulder and see your cute little beeb poking out from behind.
  • Close enough to kiss. With newborns you should always have them high on your chest so you can just nod down and peck them right on the head.
  • Keep the chin off the chest. Chin down closes the airway and causes issues with breathing.
  • Support the spine. Your upright baby needs your help to provide back support in its natural position. A slumped body can cause issues with breathing and can be harmful to your baby’s spine.

Choosing A Breastfeeding Sling or Carrier

When attempting to venture into baby-wearing, don’t get upset if you find yourself frustrated and lost. Different carriers are ideal for certain body shapes and lifestyles. The best way to find out what works for your family is to attend a local baby-wearing group meet and greet. Hopefully the families in your area have an active enough community that you can go try out some carriers, learn about how to wear your baby, or even rent a carrier for a while from your group’s Lending Library.

Once you’ve made your decision consider buying used. A broken-in carrier is particularly nice because it’s already figured out where to mold and how to bend for optimal comfort. Join forums and Facebook groups. Look around locally for gently used or well-loved carriers.

If all else fails, or you simply can’t budget for one, consider making your own. A few yards of cotton jersey will make a stretchy wrap, some linen for a woven. You can use something called osnaburg to make wraps or ring slings. If you’re real handy with a sewing machine you can dive into soft-structured carriers and mei tais. Check out Pinterest for some great tutorials.

Breastfeeding Sling: Conveniece for the Busy Mom #babywearing #sling #carrier #breastfeeding #timesaver

Do you use a breastfeeding sling, carrier or wrap? Which one is your fave?

Edited title photo credit: amcdawes via photopin cc

Shary Lopez is a late-twenties, nerdy gal living in Tampa Bay. Her family consists of a bearded husband and two children: one eight-year-old daughter and one very adventurous toddler boy. As a childbirth junkie and breastfeeding advocate, Shary tries to lean her family towards natural living while still grasping onto convenience and frugality. You can find more of her writings on Shary's personal blog, Atta Mama. Shary is also on social networking sites such as FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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