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I love to breastfeed in a baby carrier (Even at home, especially when my baby was a newborn).
Can you nurse in any carriers?
Unfortunately not. Not all carriers allow for easy and comfortable breastfeeding.
Having said that, I thought it would be beneficial to share with you some of the very best baby carriers that are great for
They come in various forms and styles and well, they are not perfect either. So, in this post, I would discuss in details my top 5 baby carriers for breastfeeding, with its detailed pros and cons.
PS: Watch out for some PRO TIPS in some of them. You’ll be glad you know these.
Let’s begin the list, in no particular order.
Ring sling is a long piece of fabric that is looped around your body and threaded into two metal rings.
- Very breathable (great for summer / tropical climate)
- Easy care (machine washable)
- Pretty pattern
- Easily adjustable by the ring, once adjusted, no need to adjust anymore
- Easy pop in pop up, that means very fast to wear, perfect when you are dealing with a crying baby
- The tail can be used to provide extra coverage while breastfeeding or as sun-shade in a hot sunny day.
- Small and compact, easily fit in the diaper bag
- Breastfeeding positions: upright or cradle position
- One-shoulder carry (fine with newborn and small infant, cannot carry too long for bigger baby / toddler, will need to switch shoulder to avoid pain)
- If not worn properly, can dig into the shoulder
- Adjusting the sling so that it is snug and save can be tricky for beginners.
- Best weight distribution can be achieved by spreading out the fabric on your shoulder and the one wrapping your back. This way, the fabric will not easily dig in into your neck.
- Easy adjustment:
- always ensure the fabric is spread out nicely around the ring. If not, do the following:
- Take out the fabric from the ring
- fold up the fabric in accordion-style
- Re-thread the fabric around the ring again and spread it out nicely so that you can differentiate which side of the fabric to be adjusted (see this YouTube video for detail explanation).
- If you prefer DIY ring sling, you can just use a short wrap and sling rings (a pair of rings that is used intentionally for ring sling).
My Personal Experience on Breastfeeding: in Ring Sling
There are many ring sling brands out there, but these 4 brands stand out from the rest.
This is a long piece of fabric wrapped around your body to hold your baby snug and close.
- Perfect for newborn phase, a typical newborn loves to be held all day long
- Various type of carries, front carry, hip carry, back carry, high back carry. Back carry is especially useful when doing things around the house that cannot be done if the baby is in the front, e.g. cooking, ironing.
- Dual shoulder supports for long-term wearing
- Easy care (machine washable)
- Easy to learn (compared to woven wrap)
- Can be pre-tied since it is a bit stretchy and you can simply pop baby in and out to your pretied wrap.
- Breastfeeding position: upright or cradle )
- Can be very hot (in summer, tropical region)
- The fabric is very long (can be cumbersome) especially if you are on the go
- Takes some time to tie (not as quick as ring sling)
- Tricky to transfer a sleeping baby from the wrap to the bed without waking her up (or perhaps it’s just my baby?)
- Too bulky to put inside the diaper bag
- Will start sagging once the baby gets heavier (typically more than 3 months old), although it is stated that it can support up to 35 lbs.
Nowadays, there are a lot of brands available with varying features. I personally use Tie a Knot-Wrap from Lillebaby. It is stretchy, soft and airy. Perfect for a hot-weathered country like Singapore or for the summer season. My baby loves snuggling inside this particular wrap. It may not be so supportive for bigger babies, but my baby is petite so it’s supportive enough for me. And guess what, I still use it nowadays even when my baby is 10 months old. Note that I usually use this around the house, whenever she’s clingy or tired.
In the table below, I’ve listed out some most popular stretchy wrap and its favorite feature.
Originated from Chinese culture, a Mei tai is a rectangle panel of fabric with two pairs of straps: one set of waist straps (shorter) to tie around your waist and one set of shoulder straps to wrap around your body.
Depending on brands, the straps can come with paddings or not.
- Suitable for newborn up to toddler phase (see pro tips below for carrying a newborn).
- Dual shoulder support
- Very adjustable in terms of sizing (can be use interchangeably between mom and dad without adjusting.
- Various mode of carries: front carry, back carries, hight back carries, hip carries.
- One size fits all (great for parents with extreme size, e.g. Super petite or plus-size).
- Easy care (machine washable)
- Easy to learn
- Great for all weathers, not too hot
- Detachable good for extra nursing coverage or sun shade
- Breastfeeding position: upright
- Long straps can be annoying especially if you are tying it outside the house
- Since the padding is not as thick as soft-structured carrier (such as Ergo), it can be tiring to carry a toddler (> 20 lbs) for more than 3 hours
- The tie can get loose over the time and need to get tightened again (especially true for toddler).
- Not all parents are comfortable carrying a newborn in it.
To carry a newborn, you need to adjust the height and the width of your Mei tai panel (I.e the rectangle sized fabric supporting your baby).
- To adjust the height: Roll up the bottom part of the panel once or twice
- To adjust the width: use a ribbon or a string to cinch the bottom part of the panel (where you are going to spread out the baby’s legs). After cinching, hide the ribbon under the rolled up fabric (see the previous step)
- To ensure your baby’s position is not too low, you can tie the waist strap higher, not around the waist, but right under the breast.
See this video for more details.
You can breastfeed your baby in the upright position. To do that, you need to un-tie your shoulder straps, lower down your baby so that she can aim your breast comfortably and re-tie back. It may take practice to do this but worth doing!
Among all brands, Infantino Sash Mei Tai is the most popular one. A lot of parents love this simple and light-weight carrier and even prefer this to a more pricier carrier. Plus-size parents or mom and dad with extreme size get the most benefit from Infantino Mei Tai. If you are interested to learn more about this mei-tai, don’t forget to check out what other parents say about Infantino Mei Tai (more than 1000+ reviews!)
4.SOFT STRUCTURED CARRIER (BUCKLED CARRIER)
Nowadays, there are some soft structured carriers that can be used right from newborn phase! There’s no need to use a newborn insert and you can adjust the width of the carrier to suit your baby. Pay attention, though.
- Suitable for newborn all the way up
- Fully padded shoulder and waist straps
- Ample of buckles to keep your baby safe
- Some models come with a hood for extra coverage
- Great looking for dads and moms
- Easy to use (provided that you love buckles)
- Breastfeeding position: upright
- Great fitting for average size men/women, may not make it for plus size / too petite people
- Bulky to keep in a diaper bag (better to just wear it all the time with or without the baby
Among these soft structured carriers, Lillebaby The Complete All Seasons Six Positions gets the most reviews from parents (more than 1000 reviews on Amazon). Check out the review here.
How to Choose Your Soft Structured Baby Carrier:
- Pay attention to the settings: While most carriers have similar features, you may want to pay attention to how the carrier be adjusted as your baby grows. For example, Ergo Adapt has three adjustable panel widths without adjustable panel height. On the other hand, Tula Free-To-Grow is adjustable in terms of width and height.
- Your size: if your body size is petite or big, you may want to check how long is the supported waist strap for each carrier. For example, I am on the petite size. So Tula is simply too big for me, and I would not be able to carry my baby high enough. As a result, I choose another baby carrier, Kokadi Flip, that is more suitable for a petite wearer.
- Bulkiness and usage span. Ergo Adapt, for example, is smaller and can be used up to 2 years old, whereas Lillebaby The Complete Season is bulkier but it is very supportive with older children (e.g. 3 or 4 years old).
At first, it seems a little tricky to breastfeed in a soft-structured carrier. But the more you practice, the easier it gets. What you need to do is to adjust the shoulder strap length to lower your baby down, let her aim the breast, and cover up the hood to make it discreet. Sometimes, if you carry your newborn high up, you may want to lower down your waist strap first.
At first, I didn’t really like breastfeeding in my structured carrier. But now, I breastfeed my baby in it almost everywhere. It is totally worth the price and my baby loves being carried in there, too.
A woven wrap is very similar to a stretchy wrap.
The difference is the fabric is not stretchy and therefore provides a great support way beyond toddlerhood.
Additionally, these wraps are usually hand-woven and therefore tend to be more expensive.
If you are a beginner and don’t want to spend a lot of money buying an expensive wrap, you can try Hip Baby Woven Wrap for a starter. It is breathable and suitable for hot weather.
But if you wanta high-quality wraps, here are some options to consider:
- Dydimos, is popular , because it carries various types of fabric blend and has a stunningly beautiful pattern. (Learn more about Dydymos here).
- Storchenwiege, on the other hand, is very supportive even for carrying a toddler. Some moms dislike this wrap because it is very hard to break in, but once you get use to it, you will fall in love with it.
- If you are in a tropical region, or want a light-weight woven wrap for summer time, Beach Front baby wrap is a good alternative. It is made from lightweight performance athlete mesh fabric and can be used inside the water, too.
- Suitable for newborns all the way up
- Various materials available, from 100% cotton, cotton-linen blend, 100% linen, etc.
- Pretty pattern
- Great support (you won’t easily get tired for carrying your baby all day long)
- Different ways of carrying: front carry, hip carry, back carry, high back carry
- Various sizes available: size 2 (2.7 m) up to size 7 (5.1 m). For average size person wanting to do all types of carries, size 6 is the most recommended size.
- If folded, slim and compact to be put inside a diaper bag
- Breastfeeding position: upright, cradle hold.
- A new woven wrap needs break in, before feeling soft and comfortable
- Longer learning curve
- Fabric care will depend on materials, some are machine washable while some other needs to be hand-washed
Click here to learn more about various woven wraps, beginners recommendation, and where to buy.
So, that’s the top 5 baby carriers that are suitable for breastfeeding.
Now.. do you need all?
Although I know some moms who really loves babywearing tend to have more than 3 types of baby carriers that I mentioned above.
So you ask me, which one to choose?
Really it depends on your personal preference..
But let me give you a rough guideline.
For the newborn phase, people tend to use ring slings or stretchy wrap.
Whereas when the baby grows a little bigger, they switch to carriers which offer good supports (either mei tai, Ergo, or woven wrap).
For me personally, a ring sling is a MUST-HAVE.
I don’t know how I would survive the newborn phase without it. I don’t prefer wraps, because of its long fabric. To me, I need to be as quick as possible when dealing with crying and hungry baby, and a ring sling gives me that convenience.
For elder babies, I would recommend a soft-structured carrier, because of its great support. But not for extreme size person, please. Sorry to say that.
I myself is very petite, and therefore, with my second baby, I chose to go with a Mei Tai. Well, the budget played a role here, too.
Now that I can justify spending more money to get a good and comfortable baby carrier, I have a Kokadi Flip for my 3rd baby (I didn’t buy more popular model such as Ergo or Tula because I’m looking for a carrier that fits my body.
Again, this is a very personal preference. Your choice can, of course, be different than mine.
I hope this little guide will help you to learn more about the best baby carriers for breastfeeding. If you have any questions, just shoot me up, and I’ll be glad to help you.
Have you ever use a baby carrier? Or even, have you ever nursed your baby in the baby carrier? Which baby carrier is your favorite?