Best wrap/sling for breast feeding - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 04-16-2005, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a didymos and baby bjorn. While I love them both, I was never able to discretely maneuver my dd into a position to BF in public. Once in position, no problem.

Now with #2 on the way, I will have that many less hands free and really need a carrier where discrete maneuvering is possible. I was thinking of something with rings (adjustable on the fly), but I loved have a heavy baby over two shoulders instead of one.

Any of you wise mamas have any suggestions? I can't try lots of different ones because of the shipping overseas issue, so I need to make my order count.

Could I add rings to my didymos? I love the material ..... (not a handy seamstress, so this would have to be really easy....)
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#2 of 25 Old 04-16-2005, 10:01 AM
 
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Once I got used to nursing in a Mei Tei that worked well for me. I still like a ring sling for public breastfeeding for a very small one, though.

Wraps are my favorite, comfort wise, but I REALLY hate untying and retying in public to nurse.
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#3 of 25 Old 04-18-2005, 10:48 AM
 
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I have always felt like a ring sling is the best for nursing, because of the ability to really adjust the fabric around the baby, and to easily loosen and tighten while the baby is in there. I used and loved a Maya Wrap, and was able from literally the first minute I got it to walk around nursing my then six mo hands-free. When my third was born, I used the Maya with her from birth and often nursed her in it, although it took until she was 3 or 4 months to be totally hands-free for nursing because she was too small and had to build her head control and learn to stay latched on, etc. BUT, some people have trouble mastering the ring sling. You may be able to find a distributor near you, which would help because you could get hands-on help.

Pouches are also fine for breastfeeding, especially if you have one with some stretch or "give" to it. Is it cool enough for fleece where you live? A lot of people find that a fleece pouch is easiest to learn in.
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#4 of 25 Old 04-18-2005, 01:00 PM
 
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Being small-busted, I've never had any problems nursing discreetly in a pouch sling. Don't have any personal experience if someone's large-busted, though.

And ring slings are fabulous for discreet nursing.
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#5 of 25 Old 04-18-2005, 03:00 PM
 
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#6 of 25 Old 04-18-2005, 03:02 PM
 
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Unfortunately, the Tricotti is not available in the US.
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#7 of 25 Old 04-18-2005, 03:07 PM
 
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Op is in Germany.
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#8 of 25 Old 04-18-2005, 03:54 PM
 
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Yeah, I know. I was just clarifying for the benefit of other readers. Threads on this subject tend to attract a lot of readers who might not post.
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#9 of 25 Old 04-19-2005, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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also the tricotti, with shipping is almost $100.......

the big problem with non-adjustable items is that sometimes I am wearing a T-shirt, sometimes a heavy winter coat. Once the child get over a certain size, she/he has to go outside the jacket. I really notice this with how much extra fabric I have after I tie my wrap. Sometimes I can just barely make the knot, other times I have an extra yard or two.

The ring sling sounds like a great addition to my collection. Open tail for BFing??? Padding???

thanks a million for all the suggestions.
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#10 of 25 Old 04-19-2005, 03:39 PM
 
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I like open-tailed, unpadded ring slings for ease of adjusting. The learning curve tense to be a bit higher, but not terribly high and, IMO, worth it. And yeah, if you like the tail as a cover-up, that's an added bonus. I'm more worried about covering belly than boob, lol. I tend to not like closed-tail slings because you can't always adjust the edges separately, and I dislike padding because of bulk and it can also make it hard to adjust past the point where the padding starts. The exception to this would be something like the Ellaroo lightly padded sling, which has light padding on the shoulder and along the rails, but an open, unpadded tail.
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#11 of 25 Old 04-19-2005, 11:52 PM
 
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I own both a Mama Baby Sling from Maya Wrap and a Kozy Carrier. I honestly never got the hang of breastfeeding in the Maya Wrap, but DD was 9.5 pounds at birth and didn't enjoy being held in the cradle hold.

DH and I both have used the Kozy comfortably, and I love it for NIP. I simply bend at the waist to make a little room, pull my shirt down, let Rach latch on and then stand back up. Everything is covered, and no one (to my knowledge) has ever noticed that she's even breastfeeding. I am a 36C and don't have to support my breast while she eats - I don't know if size is a big factor in the ease of using the Kozy for NIP.
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#12 of 25 Old 04-20-2005, 01:09 AM
 
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the only thing I have been able to nurse in semisuccessfully is a ring sling .. I made mine from the pattern at sleepingbaby.net (she sells slings too!). But even then its not hands free cause my breasts are too big for that, LOL.
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#13 of 25 Old 04-20-2005, 01:55 AM
 
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Another ring sling vote. I agree that an unpadded, open tail sling would be best. Try the pattern at sleepingbaby.net . It's pretty easy, and once you make one, you can figure out little ways to tweek it to personalize it.




Monica , DH :cop , DD (8) , DS1 (5) , DS2 (2/09) , and the pup
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#14 of 25 Old 04-20-2005, 09:45 AM
 
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Another vote for the Maya Wrap. All of mine (children, that is, not slings :LOL) have loved nursing in the sling, and hands-free is positively easy with it. You can use the tail to cover up, if that's an issue, or even pull up one of the sides, and it's just too easy.

Once you pass the initial sling-use-learning-curve, that is.

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#15 of 25 Old 04-20-2005, 12:46 PM
 
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I think it depends on how discrete you want to be. I find ring slings the best for discrete nursing on the go. They are so adjustable that you can nurse in many different positions. Pouch nursing works fine for me when Bella is on my hip but it's not the most discrete thing in the world. I have to hold my breast up a bit for her and that tends to push my shirt out of the way, thus my boob just kind of ends up out there.
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#16 of 25 Old 04-20-2005, 03:22 PM
 
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Another vote for an unpadded ring sling (I used the pattern at www.sleepingbaby.net) I am also really large busted and quite frankly the contortions that I need to do to nurse in a wrap or Mei Tai (basically I need to use a prop to keep the "girls" at the right height plus I have to lower Niamh down quite a bit since even a prop has its limitations makes me only do it if absolutely necessary.

With a ring sling it is quick and easy. I have even taken to bringing my ring sling with me whenever I go out so that in case I have to nurse I have it with me (though my preferred carrier for out and about is a back carry in a woven wrap...but even *my* boobs aren't long enough to manage nursing in that position :LOL )

Steph

Steph~~momma to Rhys 2002, Niamh 2004, Isla 2007 and Deirdre 2009
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#17 of 25 Old 04-20-2005, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The input here is great.

We are out in public a lot (part of living in a big city), so I want to be able to be very discrete. Plus I remember that with my first baby, after a few months, I needed to cover her up so she wouldn't get distracted by what was happening around us: leaves rustling, birds, anything that moved.
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#18 of 25 Old 05-05-2005, 12:57 PM
 
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Okay... you've all been so kind to respond to my questions thus far. I thought I was coming closer to a decision, until I read this post!

The dilemma: I currently have an unpadded ring sling (Taylormade Sling). I have been very persistent in trying to get it to work for me and DS (just about 3 monhts). I've had it for 8 weeks and sometimes it's okay, but usually either my shoulder or back hurts because I just can't seem to get it adjusted right. Also, as I posted a few days ago, I feel like it's hard to get much done because of limited range of motion in my arms.

So I've been looking at Mei Tais and woven wraps, trying hard to decide between those two, and thinking about getting both. The real dilemma is that I'd also like to get something that I can use for nursing while out and about, and from what I've read here, everyone votes for the unpadded ring sling. Last night we went out to dinner and I had DS in there. It was great when he woke up fussy and wanted to nurse - very little adjustment is required - but on the other hand, my shoulder was killing me because once again despite my best efforts to get him in there right, it still was uncomfortable.

What to do?!
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#19 of 25 Old 05-05-2005, 01:31 PM
 
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Hmm, the TMTs are very nice, but some people do find that their shoulder style (hot dog) is too narrow for them to get the fabric spread as much as they need for the most comfort (although for other people it's fine). The shoulder style (the way the fabric is folded/pleated/fanned and sewn onto the rings) actually makes quite a bit of difference in how the sling will function. Have you looked at The Babywearer under "articles"? They have a lot of links to photo instructions and tips for wearing your unpadded ring slings. Also, if you could post some pics maybe and describe what is happening when you wear the sling, maybe I (and others) can help you trouble shoot.
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#20 of 25 Old 05-05-2005, 03:23 PM
 
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Thanks, Tupelo Honey.

It seems like everytime I try the unpadded ring sling, something different is wrong... part of why it's frustrating. And sometimes it's even okay and quite comfortable. I didn't realize that the shoulder styles were different... maybe that is part of my problem. I try to fan the fabric out over my shoulder as much as possible, and get the rings where they should be, but somehow once I put Leo in, everything goes kablooey and the rings end up lower (or higher) than they should be, or too close to his head, and the fabric often ends up on top of my shoulder rather than all over it.

I'll see if I can get some photos or video for some troubleshooting assistance. Thanks again!
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#21 of 25 Old 05-05-2005, 03:41 PM
 
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Sure! A few quick pointers:
1. the edge of the fabric that is at your outer shoulder needs to stay the bottom/inner edge all the way around. Making sure there's no twisting is very important with an unpadded ring sling. So that edge is the bottom edge all the way across your back, then at your waist it becomes the edge that you bring up against your body to form the pouch for the baby.

2.Also, make sure you are staring with the depth of the pouch about where you will want it, rather than having the whole thing very loose and then trying to bring it up with the baby in it. Start with the rings slightly higher than you want them (the corsage position is where you want them). Once you get the baby in, make sure you support his weight as you adjust. His weight locks the rings together, so lifting him slightly will allow the rings to open for the fabric to slide through.

3. When you adjust, make sure you are pulling each section of the tail separately to adjust only where you need it. So pulling the inner edge of the tail should adjust the outer rail, and pulling the outer edge of the tail should tighten the bottom/inner rail. For this to work, the fabric must be spread correctly in the rings. The outer edges of the fabric should be at the outer edges of the rings/tail. Before putting your sling on, find the two hemmed edges in the tail and pull them away from each other toward the outer edges.

4. To get into a good nursing carry, try putting the baby in a t-2-t position first. Then loosen the sling enough to let the baby's head and body lean over toward the breast opposite from the rings. You may want to reach in and place a hand under his bottom to scooch it down and pull his legs out from under him if you want him in more of a cradle position. Bring the outer rail of the sling up around his head to support it. Keep it loose enough to allow you to get the baby latched on, then gradually tighten it so it supports the head at the breast.

Another good way to learn to nurse in the sling is to put the baby in a cradle carry with head opposite the rings, then loosen it a bit and sit down. Keep the sling loosely around the baby like it's just a blanket, and latch him on as usual. Then tighten the sling enough to support the baby at the breast. Gradually try standing up and adjusting as needed to allow you to nurse.

HTH, and please do post some pics if you can, or ask more questions. You have a good sling, and I'd hate for you not to be able to use it. Oh, and you know, I think Darien has some video clips showing how to do this at www.zolowear.com, and the shoulder on the Zolo is similar in style to the TMT, so it should help.
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#22 of 25 Old 05-05-2005, 03:55 PM
 
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Tupelo Honey,

Thank you again! I can't wait to go home and give it another shot - the videos on zolowear.com look very helpful. I really would like to be able to get it to work (although I don't know if I'll be able to keep myself from ordering a MT and a wrap anyway... looks like I'm addicted).

Also, more research has me thinking maybe I should not have ruled out pouches. I have a fleece hotslings pouch that I haven't used because it's too hot, and also it seemed like after pretty light use it got quite stretched out, and Leo would be very very low in it.

But my real concern with the pouch is that for some reason I got the idea that you couldn't easily do a kangaroo carry with it - and now as I'm doing more reading, it looks like you CAN.

So... should I consider a pouch, too, for a carrier to use while out and about, running errands, going out to eat, and discreet nursing? And then perhaps also a MT or wrap for back carries and getting things done around the house.
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#23 of 25 Old 05-05-2005, 04:04 PM
 
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Well, yeah! I love ring slings but it's definitely nice to have options. You can certainly do a kangaroo carry in a pouch. And MTs and wraps are great for various things. You need one of each, right?

Let us know how you fare with the ring sling, too.

Kristy
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#24 of 25 Old 05-05-2005, 11:42 PM
 
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I didn't have a lot of time tonight, but I did manage to give the unpadded ring sling another chance when we went out to dinner. I think I figured one significant thing out. When I threaded the fabric through the rings, I was not separating the rails - so they were right on top of each other, with the outer rail on the bottom. I followed your advice about spreading them out so there was one on each side and that seemed to help quite a bit.

My back did start to hurt after a while, but I think maybe that's understandable because I was sitting the whole time, and while I tried to stay leaning back against the back of my chair, I was doing a bit of swaying since Leo was sleeping, and therefore leaning forward. Does it make sense that this would be harder on my back?

I wish I was closer to making a decision on what else to get. I really want a Mei Tai, and had it narrowed down to Mei Tai Baby and Sachi, but MTB can't estimate a shipping time and Sachi said 2 weeks plus shipping time - and I want them now!
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#25 of 25 Old 05-06-2005, 12:16 PM
 
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Yay! I'm glad it was better. I see what you are saying about it hurting your back. Any sling is going to be the most comfy for your back if it is holding the baby "high and tight." That means if you are standing, the lowest part of the baby should be at about your waist/bellybutton. If you lean forward and the sling swings outward like a hammock, it's probably too loose.

Have you checked the TP or the FSOT board at tbw for the MT? Lots of good stuff to be found there! I really like the Freehand MTs, and I know she has in-stock, but it is a bit different from the ones you were looking at. Good luck shopping and keep us posted.
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