I’ve had 3 babies and, thinking back, I have no idea how I would have coped without being able to breastfeed in the sling. My eldest was a fussy, ‘colicky’ baby who needed to be swaddled, shushed, fed and rocked in order to help him settle. I would wrap him, latch him on and walk the streets until I felt his little tight body relax. My next baby was a breeze, but I also had a two-year-old to chase after this time and no time for sitting to feed. So I wrapped the baby, latched him on and walked to playgroup or built lego towers or pushed his brother on the swings. After lunch each day I would feed the baby to sleep in the wrap and push the buggy along the back road to get my toddler to sleep too, then enjoy 10 mins quiet and a cup of tea! That was a sanity-saving routine for me…
By the time baby number 3 came along, our schedule was even fuller, plus I was working each day too. Mobile feeding was essential! I also discovered that wraps were familiar, safe spaces for this baby to enjoy her milk. She would be fussy and unhappy feeding in a boardroom with people she didn’t know, whereas snuggled in the sling she could block out the discussions and have a proper feed.
I’ve used a variety of carries for feeding in, and each has had their pros and cons depending on how old my nursling is at the time and whether I’m just pottering around or halfway through the school run.
This has been my latest go-to feeding carry, now that Nina fully supports herself and considers milk to be pretty much self-service! I still use the crook of my arm to offer extra head support and maintain good positioning if she starts to fall asleep. It isn’t the greatest for long walks etc and can be hard to keep tension in the horizontal pass but it offers extra lower back support, pulls your shoulders back to avoid hunching forward as you feed and is easily adjustable. It is easily turned into a fwcc once the baby finishes feeding.
I first saw this carry demonstrated on a wrap technique group, although I’m not sure that it has an official name! If it does then let us know and I’ll edit it in with credit!
I’ve split the carry into two sets of instructions- how I perform the carry, then how I adapt it to feed in. I’ve always found it easier to get the carry comfortable as normal then make changes for nursing in rather than try to wrap to accommodate a latched baby from the start.
It starts off with a horizontal pass as you would start a FWCC (front wrap cross carry) or front torso carry (1), then the tails are passed over the shoulders (2,3) and re-crossed behind the back (4). The tails then come round to the front again (5,6) and are either tied under bum (8) or passed under baby’s legs and tied at the back if you have enough wrap. As the wrap passes over the baby’s legs it is worth checking they still have full movement in the knee (7) and that they aren’t under excess pressure.
To feed I loosen the tails and drop Nina down low enough to latch on, loosely knotting it as I get her sorted. I usually find that she is then too low for us to be comfortable and so I tighten and lift her to the point where she is higher, but still comfortably feeding then repeat steps 2-6 of the carry