Exploring 7 of the Best Breastfeeding Positions to Try

Mother breastfeeding her newborn baby beside window in cross cradle position.

Exploring 7 of the Best Breastfeeding Positions to Try

Breastfeeding is an invaluable experience. Not only are you nourishing your little one, but you’re also encouraging closeness, comfort, and connection. It’s meant to be a positive journey, but there may be bumps in the road along the way. Getting baby to latch in a comfortable position doesn’t always feel natural to start, and that’s okay. 

This makes it very important to try different breastfeeding techniques and positions with your baby. The wrong breastfeeding positions for newborns might make it uncomfortable and difficult for baby to latch, and can even impact milk transfer. 

The best breastfeeding positions will suit your needs, promote bonding with your baby and enhance the overall breastfeeding experience. Here are some of our favorite options. 

7 Different Breastfeeding Positions to Consider 

1. Biological Nurturing

Also referred to as laid back breastfeeding, this position is typically the first one baby tries after birth when placed on your chest. Your baby’s natural instinct is to find your breast to latch on and feed, and they may continue to do so in this position if it feels comfortable for the two of you.

Simply place baby on your chest or tummy. The skin-to-skin contact encourages your baby’s instincts to reach for your breast and feed. Support baby from the back, and direct your breast to baby’s mouth if they’re having trouble. 

Ideal for: Newborn babies and mothers getting used to the new routine.

2. Cross-cradle Hold

The cross-cradle hold is one of the most common breastfeeding positions, and with good reason. It’s a naturally comfortable position that brings baby close to your breast while providing optimal support for a great latch and milk transfer. 

In this position, you use the arm opposite of the breast baby is nursing from to offer support. For example, if you are nursing from the right breast, your left arm will provide support for your little one. In the cross-cradle hold, your baby’s neck and head lay along your forearm with their body against your stomach. 

Ideal for: Newborn babies who may have trouble latching. This position allows for better support and control to guide baby’s head toward your breast.

3. Cradle Hold

The cradle hold is similar to the cross-cradle position, but uses the arm on the same side of the breast you are feeding baby. For example, if you’re feeding from the left breast, you’ll cradle your baby with your left arm, resting them right in the crook of your elbow for comfort. 

Ideal for: Babies who have developed a strong neck and have the latch down. 

4. Side Lying Breastfeeding Position

The side lying position is designed for more relaxing, laid back feeding. Simply lay baby down next to you on a bed, facing each other. Bring your breast close to baby’s face for convenient feeding. 

Ideal for: Mothers who gave birth via Cesarean section.

5. Football Hold

In the football hold position, hold baby right beside you, keeping baby’s head in your hand and back along your forearm for support. Position their face toward your breast to feed. For extra support, you can place a blanket or pillow under your baby in this position. 

Ideal for: Mothers with twins who may be nursing more than one baby at once. This position is also great for mothers who gave birth via C-section, have a premature baby, or have large breasts. 

6. Koala Hold

The koala hold involves straddling your baby upright on your thigh or around your hip. Support your baby’s back with one hand and bring baby close to your breast to feed. 

Ideal for: Babies who can sit upright without support, but newborn babies can also succeed in this position with mother’s help. This position is also ideal for babies who may suffer from reflux, ear infections, or tongue ties. 

7. Sling Nursing

Nursing in a sling can take time to master, but it can come in handy when you want to feed in privacy on the go. Simply place baby in your sling or front carrier by bringing your breast to their mouth. Make sure that baby’s face and chin are not pressed up against their own chest, and that they are comfortably pressed up against yours. 

Ideal for: Mothers and babies that have the hang of breastfeeding. 

Simple Tips for Successful Nursing

Young mother breastfeeding her newborn baby boy at home in koala position

No matter what position you and your baby prefer, it’s always helpful to be prepared before a breastfeeding session. Here are a few helpful tips to make the experience more relaxed and enjoyable:

  1. Grab your snacks and water. Gather everything you might need while breastfeeding your baby. This makes it easier to have a nursing session without any disruptions. 
  2. Get comfortable. Make sure that your bed or chair is comfortable; consider a pillow or rolled towels to support your back while nursing. Get baby comfortable, too — make sure they are relaxed and supported to feed.
  3. Keep an eye on your baby’s latch. A strong breastfeeding position is necessary, but a proper latch is critical. Keep an eye on your baby while you’re feeding and contact a lactation consultant if you’re worried about milk transfer. 
  4. Have patience. Breastfeeding can be difficult to get used to at first. Try these different breastfeeding positions and have patience along the way. 

Nurture and Embrace the Breastfeeding Journey 

Finding the perfect breastfeeding position for you and baby can create a more comfortable and soothing experience for both of you. Cherish the memories of nursing with a piece of breastmilk jewelry from KeepsakeMom. 

Browse our selection of unique jewelry options to embrace your breastfeeding journey.

Share this post