When Miles was a baby I never learned to nurse him in a carrier because it wasn’t really necessary; I could always just sit down and take him out of the carrier to nurse, then put him back in and be on my way. Now, this is an essential skill, because if I’m out with both boys by myself and the baby gets hungry, there is usually no way I’m going to get Miles to just sit down and wait for me to feed the baby.
(I have no idea why this is posting in italics but I can’t change it. Boo!)* The Ergo (soft structured carrier): I tested this out at the Children’s Museum, a good NIP trial ground because I need to keep track of the perpetual motion machine that is Miles, and yet it is at least an enclosed space. It IS possible to nurse in the Ergo but boy howdy was it awkward. I had to jiggle the carrier down toward my hips and lift my breast completely out of the top of my shirt, and manhandle Julius’s head and smoosh my boob toward his mouth and BLARRRGH. To preserve some semblance of discretion I had the hood pulled up over his head, which barely hid things but did make it more difficult to see what I was doing. All this manhandling and smooshing made the hungry baby scream, which of course drew more attention to what I was trying to do discreetly. I’m sure it doesn’t help that I am a short person and normally in the Ergo the baby’s head comes up to my collarbone, which I can assure you is not in close proximity to my nipple, so… yeah. In the end I was able to feed him while still walking around but it wasn’t something I wanted to try to do ever again. * The Ring Sling: My trusty ring sling to the rescue! Again I tried this at the Children’s Museum. I never nursed in the sling with Miles but I also didn’t start using it until he was a bit older. This one was surprisingly easy! All I had to do was loosen the sling, shift Julius to a lying-down position, nurse, then tilt him upright again and tighten it back up. I did have to sit down for a couple of seconds to get him into nursing position, but it was my first time; possibly I could do this standing up with some practice. Nursing on the side toward the ring was a little more awkward but still doable. I felt like this was fairly discreet and for a little extra coverage you could use the tail as a nursing cover. * Wear the right shirt: The problem with nursing in the carrier is that it’s harder or near-impossible to pull up your shirt from the bottom, so you either have to pull down the top of your shirt, or wear a good nursing shirt. If possible I try to wear my amazing Momzelle t-shirt when I’m going to be nursing in public with a carrier, because the opening is right in the middle of the shirt which is SO convenient! They are a little more pricey than what I normally spend on clothing but I really love this top so I think I might get another for my birthday. If you know of anything similar please let me know… I am not a huge fan of the clip-down nursing tank though I have a few of those. * Bring the right bag: I do like my Baya diaper bag a lot, but now that I’m getting out with the boys by myself pretty often I realize that it would be more convenient to have a backpack-style diaper bag. Or just a backpack. With what little fashion sense I possess, I want to carry something that looks like a (giant) handbag and don’t want to look like I’m going to biology class, but the practical side of me now realizes that not having to constantly hike a shoulder bag up while wearing the baby too… well, that would make more sense. If you are planning to wear your baby more than take a stroller out, I would suggest a backpack. If you mostly use a stroller anyway, don’t worry about it.