Babywearing allows breastfeeding on the move so that busy mothers can nurture their babies with the best nutrition, yet continue their active lifestyles.
Babywearing is convenient. Breastfeeding while babywearing makes life easier for the mother of a marathon nurser, such as a baby who is going through a growth spurt. Breastfeeding while babywearing allows mother to be on the go and get things done around the house while meeting her infant’s breastfeeding needs. It’s convenient outside the house, too. If you are shopping with the baby and need to feed in public, private breastfeeding is very easy while wearing baby. Because baby feels comfortable in the sling, he is content feeding there, even in a public place. Martha has spent many hours of babywearing and breastfeeding in the checkout line at the grocery store. Breastfeeding in the sling is especially convenient in restaurants and places where being a baby may not always be socially acceptable. Patrons in a restaurant would much prefer a discreetly breastfeeding baby to an annoying, screaming baby. Additionally, babies who are worn in public places tend to fuss less and are therefore more welcome—especially in a society that traditionally has not welcomed babies everywhere. Today’s nursing covers are not only convenient, but can be quite fashionable as well.
Babywearing organizes problem suckers . Some babies breastfeed better on the move, especially those problem suckers who need movement to organize their sucking. Tense babies (those with a suck problem called tonic bites) and back-archers often breastfeed much better in the sling because of the organizing effect babywearing has on their entire physiology. As the baby’s whole body relaxes, so do the suck muscles. For babies who suck better on the move, first position baby in the sling in order to achieve proper latch-on, and then quickly begin walking.
Babywearing makes sibling care easier. Breastfeeding in the sling is especially valuable when there is a new baby and an older toddler. Feeding the newborn in the sling, gives mother two free hands and mobility to also attend to the toddler. As one mother said, “Breastfeeding our new baby in the sling gives me an extra pair of hands to play with and enjoy our toddler. This has done wonders to lessen sibling rivalry and allowed me to mother both children well.”
Babywearing helps the slow-weight-gaining baby . In our practice, when a breastfeeding baby is showing a less- than-adequate weight gain and we have exhausted all possible reasons why, we have experienced amazing results by encouraging the mother to wear her baby several hours a day and breastfeed while doing so. Mothers report that babies feed more frequently and in a more relaxed way in the sling, and weight dramatically increases. This again proves what researchers have long known: Proximity to the mother encourages a baby to feed more frequently. In addition to this, it could be that the nearness of mother to baby enables and encourages mother to read and respond to baby’s feeding cues more promptly. Also, because baby is always near the source of milk and comfort, he does not have to waste energy summoning mother; baby can use this energy to grow. For more see Babywearing Positions for Breastfeeding and Babywearing the Failure-to-Thrive Infant.
See here for more information about slings and babywearing.