Being a mom is hands-down one of the hardest jobs ever. Our little ones require everything on demand, especially breastfeeding. And it’s not always convenient to stop all you’re doing and feed your baby every time.
That’s why a baby carrier is helpful; baby wearing gives you a hands free way to look after your baby, and keep them close to your body. Breastfeeding moms will find that they provide easy access for the baby to breastfeed and can make your job as a mama so much easier.
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Our Top Picks For Breastfeeding Baby Carriers
As if breastfeeding at home isn’t hard enough in itself, everyone knows how much harder it is to breastfeed in public! As a new mama, figuring out the best breastfeeding habits and routine for you takes a lot of work, but if you want to feed your hungry little angel while you’re on the go, you need to find a suitable breastfeeding baby carrier that can get the job done while staying comfortable for both you and your little one.
It can be so overwhelming because there are so many types, shapes and sizes to choose from. But you won’t need to worry too much about looking for the right one anymore, because today, we’re going in depth into the different types of baby carriers, and how to find the best one for you.
You’ll find out what to look for when purchasing a baby carrier, the pros and cons of each type, and the top 7 baby carriers available in the market.
Which Is The Best Baby Carrier For Breastfeeding?
I carried my baby from the moment he was born until he was 4 years old and over 50lbs! In that time I have tried every single type of carrier available.
For this article, I rounded up the best carriers for breastfeeding baby, and reviewed them in detail. After all my research I found what I consider to be the 7 best baby carriers for breastfeeding.
If you keep scrolling you’ll find a comparison table of all the best baby carriers for breastfeeding with links to detailed reviews. But if you don’t want to scroll anymore, the best breastfeeding baby carrier is the Tula Explore (click here to see it on Amazon).
From my experience, the best baby carrier for breastfeeding is the Tula Explore. It’s easy to put on, comfortable to breastfeed in, is easy to learn how to use. Best of all, it’s recognized by the international hip dysplasia institute as supporting healthy hip development.
I LOVE the Tula Explore. It is hands down my favorite baby carrier for breastfeeding. A full review is down below. It was really hard choosing a favorite from all of these amazing baby carriers as they all have their own advantages. But I love the Tula Explore because it is really important to me that it is ethically made from natural fibres, hip healthy and lasts for years. In fact, I used mine until my son was 3! In my opinion, you can’t buy a better baby carrier for breastfeeding.
Top features of the Tula Explore
- Multiple positions to carry baby including front facing out, facing in, and back carry.
- Promotes healthy hip and spine development for baby.
- Easy to adjust with 3 width settings
- Perfect fit as baby grows from newborn to early toddlerhood.
- Padded neck pillow for sleeping babies
- Breathable and lightweight cotton
- Padded shoulder straps
- Wide padded waistband
Most baby carriers (particularly the stretchy ones) will only last for a few months as your baby grows and becomes heavier. The Tula explore is suitable for wearing your baby until 45lbs, which is usually around 3 years old.
Compare The 10 Best Baby Carriers for Breastfeeding 2023
I carried my son for 4 years and wore dozens of different carriers. For this article, I reviewed 7 carriers that are suitable for breastfeeding, and picked the 3 winners that are suitable for all moms. These carriers are able to be worn by all moms, and will even be perfect for dads to wear, too!
Different Types Of Breastfeeding Baby Carriers
Baby carriers come in different types, from wrap carriers to ring sling to Mei Tai, and a variety of other types. Before making your purchase, it’s important to know about the pros and cons of each one and see what works best for your (and your baby’s) individual needs.
Soft Structured Carrier
Also known as a buckled carrier, this type is suitable for both newborn babies and older babies. It comes with shoulder and waist straps that are fully padded and multiple buckles to provide safety. Not all, but some models feature a privacy hood. It’s a generally easy-to-use model with an upright breastfeeding position.
It, however, not all structured baby carriers work for petite and plus size women. Luckily there are a few brands that are perfect for petite or plus women.
Like the name implies, a stretchy wrap carrier is simply a long piece of stretchy fabric that you can wrap around your body and hold your baby close to you with. It’s especially great for newborns, since they love to be carried around all day.
There are several types of carries, like back carry, front carry, and hip carry. These carries are life-saving when you need to do things around the house but want to keep your baby close.
The stretchy wrap is not only easy to get the hang of, but also easy to wash! And since it’s just a fabric wrap, it’s conveniently stretchy and you can easily slip your baby in and pop them back out.
They are small and lightweight, perfect to throw in your diaper bag for when you are out and about.
There are some things about the baby wrap, though, that you might not like. For example, it can be hot in summer; the fabric can be annoying and inconvenient since it’s long; it takes a bit of time to tie it (unlike the ring sling); and depending on the brand and style it may sag when your baby gets bigger.
A sling, or a ring sling, is a good option to start with for breastfeeding and babywearing — it’s easily and fully adjustable, very breathable, easy to wash, and it features a tail that provides you with extra privacy. They are also the best options for small newborns, as there is no minimum weight limit. Even mums of preemie babies love ring slings.
Ring slings aren’t the best for all moms. It’s a one-shoulder carry, so it won’t be suitable for carrying heavier babies for too long if you want to avoid shoulder pain.
Also, it can dig into your shoulder if you don’t wear it probably. There are several sizes of slings in the market, so make sure to learn a bit about them before deciding to buy one!
Meh Dai (sometimes called Mai Tai)
This is basically a rectangular piece of fabric that comes with ties attached to corners. The straps will either be padded or not, depending on the brand. It’s great for newborn babies all the way up to toddlers since it offers dual support.
It’s highly adjustable and accommodates all modes of carry (front carry, hip carries, back carries, and high back carries). It’s also a one-size-fits-all carrier that’s perfect for both petite and big moms.
Meh Dai’s are a bit easier to use than woven wraps, and have a shorter learning curve, but also less ways that can be worn.
On the other hand, its long straps may get annoying sometimes, especially if you’re outside. And it’s not highly-padded, so it can be challenging to carry a toddler of 20+ pounds for long periods of time. Plus, it’s not super comfortable to carry newborns using Meh Dai
A woven wrap shares many similarities with a stretchy wrap, but with a woven wrap, you don’t get so much stretchiness. In return, though, you get extra support.
Baby wearing wraps have come a long way, and they have a very long history across all cultures. Nowadays, good quality wraps are easy to find. The best quality wraps are mostly hand-woven, which can make them more pricey, as opposed to other types. The beauty of hand woven wraps is that they are generally made by artisan suppliers, so you are supporting small fiber artists to continue creating.
Of course, if this is unaffordable to you, you may prefer a machine woven and there is nothing wrong with that at all. You may find that they are a little stiffer at first but any good quality woven wrap will soften up and be kitten belly soft in no time at all.
It’s usually suitable for newborns and bigger babies and offers four different ways of carrying with two breastfeeding positions: upright and cradle hold.
Things To Look For In Baby Carriers For Breastfeeding
When it comes to purchasing a baby carrier for breastfeeding, there are some things you should consider first…
When you hold your baby close to you for a long time, this is almost guaranteed to crank up your body’s temperature. Choose a sling or wrap that allows the air to flow easily.
This can keep you and your child cool while you’re using the wrap or sling. Soft, lightweight materials are the best, look for 100% cotton materials or airy fabric that can make babywearing comfortable.
Because a baby’s skin is super sensitive and can easily get irritated by harsh fabrics like nylon or canvas, it’s your role as a loving mom to provide them with a comfortable carrier to curl up and eat in.
Typically, you want a breastfeeding baby carrier that is mostly made of cotton. Spandex can also be a component in slings and wrap to be stretchy and adjustable.
It’s just like buying clothes; you have to pick the right fit for your body. When purchasing a wrap or a sling, keep your own size in mind, and be mindful of how well your baby will fit, too.
Ease of Use
It’s important to know your own skill level to match it with the type of carrier you’re getting. If you think slings and wraps are hard to master, you can opt for structured carriers. Whatever type you’re purchasing, though, make sure it’s easy enough for you to safely use.
Healthy Baby Positioning
Regardless of the type of carrier, newborn babies need to be in a frog-legged sitting position. So, it’s important to make sure the carrier you’re getting will allow your baby to be in this position, as well as switch positions, during nursing.
The baby’s torso and back should be supported. When they get older, adjust the carrier if you want, allowing their legs to hang freely, supported by their backside. Make sure the baby is getting good air passage during nursing, and you want to be able to see the top of your baby’s head in periodic checks while breastfeeding to make sure nothing is blocking their nose.
Breastfeeding isn’t an easy process, and you can often feel tired by the time you’re done, so you want to opt for a carrier that can do some lifting for you and won’t make breastfeeding even more exhausting.
One of the first things women look for in a baby carrier is good coverage. You want a carrier that provides you and your little one with some privacy. You can, of course, use a nursing cover, but it’s great if the carrier comes with its own cover!
When looking for the best baby carrier, take its shape into consideration. It should allow the infants and bigger babies to be in a comfortable position during nursing, switch between sides and adjust to an upright position that is best for digestion.
Which is the most comfortable baby carrier for breastfeeding?
Surely everyone who has breastfed a baby in a carrier will give you a different answer for this.
The best baby carrier is the one that you will use the most!
I fed in all of the types of carriers on this page and I found that the structured baby carriers were the most comfortable by far. I loved my ring slings for quick carries and feeding around the house while my child was feeling unwell, but I far preferred my Tula soft structured carrier for breastfeeding while we were out and about.
Best Baby Carriers Reviews
The infinite choices of carriers for breastfeeding can be truly overwhelming, so I’ve saved you some time and compiled the top breastfeeding baby carriers.
If you want the easiest and most comfortable carrier straight out of the box, then in my opinion, a soft structured carrier will be your best choice.
Best Structured Baby Carriers for Breastfeeding
Lille Baby Complete
Ergo Baby Soft Structured Carrier
Best Baby Wraps and Ring Slings For Breastfeeding Moms
Moby Ring Sling
Solly Baby Wrap
Nalakai Ring Sling
Vlokup Ring Sling
Tips For How To Breastfeed In A Carrier
Master the skills first
The first few times your wear your baby in a carrier will feel a bit strange. Your tiny baby is strapped to your body! Like anything it’s a skill to get used to.
It’s the same with breastfeeding. The first few weeks will be a lot to get used to.
My top tip for breastfeeding in a baby carrier is to make sure that you are able to do each skill individually before you try doing them both together.
Before you try to feed your baby in a carrier, make sure that they are comfortable and completely safe. Following the TICKS guidelines for baby wearing safety is even more important when breastfeeding in a carrier. You will need to make sure that your baby’s chin and airways are correctly positioned, and that their nose is never covered.
Pick appropriate clothing
A nursing tank is a needed accessory for breastfeeding in a carrier. If you wear a tshirt, you will end up with it either pulled up, exposing your torso, or down, exposing your breast.
Some people suggest you use your hand to cup your breast while you are feeding in a carrier. But that kind of defeats the purpose of it being hands free. A better option is to leave your nursing bra clip closed, and pull your breast over your bra. The top of the bra will form a little shelf, holding your breast up at the right height for your bubbba to latch easily.
Listen to your baby
At the end of the day, some kids love being carried, but some also don’t like it so much.
If your baby hates the carrier, it is worthwhile to try a few different styles. It could just be that they don’t like the seat or the fabric.
Or sometimes they just don’t want to be fed! Just always take a moment to make sure your baby is happy in the carrier. If they are fussing, it’s a good idea to take them down, change a nappy and have a change of scenery before putting them back in the carrier.
How to Breastfeed In A Soft Structured Carrier
To breastfeed in a soft structured carrier you just need to loosen your shoulder straps a little to allow your baby to sit lower in the carrier.
They need their mouth to be at your nipple line. Don’t worry, it’s much easier than it sounds!
I found that a good nursing tank was the best option for keeping myself modest while breastfeeding in a carrier.
How to Breastfeed in a Ring Sling
Breastfeeding in a ring sling is actually a bit easier than a soft structured baby carrier.
In a hip carry position, you just loosen the ring and slide baby down a little bit (still held in the wrap). They are then able to latch while held by the sling.
Baby carriers have always been a valuable tool for new mamas. They – literally – carry some of the weight off of our shoulders and allow us to carry out our everyday activities while ensuring our little angels are getting the food they need.
But you have to consider a few things first if you want to get the baby that works best for you. These things include support, breathability, ease of use, and baby positioning. You have to also consider what type of baby carrier fits your needs, whether wrap, sling, soft structured, or Mei Tai.