If you are looking for a baby carrier for breastfeeding your older child or toddler, the good news is that just about any carrier can work for you. Once babies have good head control (usually between 4-6 months), they can nurse from a seated position without your needing to support their head, making breastfeeding on the go a cinch. Older children are able to breastfeed in almost any carrier suitable for older children including pouches, ring slings, structured carriers, mei tais and wraps, but each carrier also has their pros and cons.
Read on for our tips for choosing the right carrier for breastfeeding your older infant or toddler are:
- Ring slings are still our favorite carriers for breastfeeding, as they are very adjustable and offer the most coverage for you, since the tail can be used as a cover. It’s super simple to adjust a ring sling to get your child into the right position at a moment’s notice. You can then tighten the carrier back up (if needed) when you are finished.
- Pouches don’t offer much coverage when used with baby in the seated position but are very easy to use. If your pouch is not adjustable, it may be difficult to find the right position.
- Wraps are the most versatile carriers and you can, of course, breastfeed as well as do pretty much anything else in a wrap baby carrier. Wraps can offer some coverage if you have leftover material. However, they require a bit more fussing to adjust them, and some people even find that they need to unwrap and retie for breastfeeding. Stretchy wraps are more poppable and we recommend that all parents of newborns own one! However, these are typically not suitable past 6 months. The Wrapsody Stretch Hybrid, being more supportive than most stretchy wraps, is one exception, and is our favorite wrap for breastfeeding an older infant or toddler.
- Mei Tais and buckle carriers are also easy to use for breastfeeding babies and toddlers in in the seated position, although you may have to loosen the straps. They do not offer any extra coverage. A mei tai may have to be retied for breastfeeding. Buckle carriers with dual adjustable straps or perfect fit adjusters, like the Tula Baby Carrier, Beco Gemini, Beco Soleil and the Pikkolo make breastfeeding very easy!