Help! How Do I Feed My Baby in My Baby Carrier?

Deep breath, friend. We’ve been there! This advice applies equally to nursing and bottle-feeding babies, so read on.

Realistically speaking, you’re going to want to have a grasp on the two separate skills first. Feel confident feeding your baby; learn the little details like the angles she likes to nurse at, or the temperature he likes his bottle.  Check out your ring sling’s instruction guide and use it a few times. Feeling confident with these separate skills will help you pinpoint what to tweak when troubleshooting.

Secondly, remember your basic babywearing safety. Your baby should be secure and well-supported, her chin should be away from her chest, and you should be able to see her face and breathing clearly.

A good gap between chin and chest while this little guy nurses in his Graphite ring sling. Phone cameras are helpful for checking those angles!

There are two basic carrying positions you can use while nursing or bottle-feeding. First, you can keep your baby upright and tummy-to-tummy. If you’re bottle-feeding, just bring the bottle to her; if you’re nursing, lower her down to your nipple. A rolled-up burp cloth can help lift the breast higher if needed. This is especially popular for older infants and toddlers.

One popular breastfeeding position is to lower the child to the nipple or raise the breast up to him. A rolled burp cloth can help with positioning.

The second way is to lay the baby in what’s called a “checkmark” cradled position. In this position, if you drew a line following knees-bottom-head, it’ll form a checkmark!

From the tummy-to-tummy position, loosen the carrier slightly and swing baby’s legs together and to the side, hanging out of the sling from knees down. Tilt baby to the side so his head is by your nipple, and retighten any slack. His bottom will be lower than his knees, and his head will be out of the sling, supported by your hand or arm. This guarantees that he can pull away from the bottle or turn away from a sudden letdown, without being trapped there by fabric. 

You can see the checkmark cradle position with head out allows baby to pull his head away as needed. The tail is a built-in cover that stays in place without impeding baby’s visibility and airflow.

We know some moms love the convenience of using their ring sling tail as a nursing cover! We strongly suggest that you never use the tail to cover the baby’s face, because that impedes your ability to monitor her breathing—instead, drape it over your chest and you’ll get the privacy you’re looking for, with the safety your baby needs.

One more way to use a tail as a nursing cover without covering your view of your baby’s face. This little one is nursing in a checkmark cradle position.

After nursing in either position, be sure to raise your baby back up to tummy-to-tummy position— this’ll  also help him work any gas bubbles out!

Need some one-on-one? As always, reach out to us with any questions, and sign up for our newsletter for the latest discounts, tips, and instructional videos!


Becky Patouhas, social media specialist, has been a babywearing educator since 2013. Her favorite part of her job is a tie between seeing all the cute baby pictures and helping parents get that “I can’t believe I can hold my baby AND eat!” moment. A first-generation American and mom of two small boys, she and her family live in Michigan, where she enjoys volunteering with her local babywearing group. Becky loves her Zypora meh dais (she has two!) because they’re so cushy on her shoulders. She always has a Lightly Padded ring sling in her purse because she loves the soft padding, and she thinks Isle of Skye is the best colorway out there!

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