10 Breastfeeding Positions Every Caregiver Should Know for Comfort and Success

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10 Breastfeeding Positions Every Caregiver Should Know for Comfort and Success

Breastfeeding is a beautiful journey that provides countless benefits to both caregivers and their little ones. However, finding the right breastfeeding position can sometimes be a challenge, especially for new caregivers. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore 10 breastfeeding positions that every caregiver should know for comfort and success, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for both you and your baby.

Cradle Hold

The cradle hold is one of the most common and natural breastfeeding positions.

To achieve this position, simply cradle your baby’s head in the crook of your arm while supporting their body with your forearm and hand.

This position allows for close contact, making it perfect for bonding and establishing a strong latch.

Real-life example: Sarah, a first-time mom, found the cradle hold ideal for her newborn, as it allowed her to maintain eye contact and stroke her baby’s head while nursing.

Cross-Cradle Hold

The cross-cradle hold is similar to the cradle hold but offers more support and control, particularly for new caregivers.

In this position, hold your baby’s head in the hand opposite the breast you’ll be nursing from, and support their body with your other arm, resting their back along your forearm.

This hold can be particularly helpful for caregivers with smaller babies, as it allows for better control during latching.

Real-life example: John, a new dad, found the cross-cradle hold particularly helpful when assisting his partner with latching their preemie baby, as it offered more support and stability.

Football Hold

Also known as the clutch hold, the football hold is an excellent position for caregivers who have had a C-section, as it keeps pressure off the incision site.

To achieve this position, tuck your baby under your arm on the side you’ll be nursing from, like holding a football.

Your baby’s feet should be pointing towards your back, and their head should be supported by your hand.

This position offers a clear view of your baby’s mouth, allowing for easier latching.

Real-life example: After her C-section, Maria found the football hold to be a comfortable and pain-free position for nursing her baby.

Side-Lying Position

The side-lying position is ideal for nighttime feedings or when recovering from a C-section.

To achieve this position, lie down on your side, facing your baby, and support their head with your bottom arm.

You can use your top hand to help guide your breast into your baby’s mouth.

This position allows for rest and relaxation while breastfeeding, making it perfect for those late-night feedings.

Real-life example: Exhausted from a long day, Anna found the side-lying position to be a lifesaver during nighttime feedings, allowing her to rest while still providing for her baby.

Laid-back Position

The laid-back position, also known as biological nurturing, is a more relaxed and natural approach to breastfeeding.

In this position, lean back on a comfortable surface, such as a bed or couch, and place your baby on your chest, allowing them to find your breast naturally.

This position promotes skin-to-skin contact and can be particularly helpful for babies with latching difficulties.

Real-life example: Struggling with latching issues, Emily discovered the laid-back position and found that it allowed her baby to latch more easily and naturally.

Upright Position

The upright position, also known as the koala hold, is ideal for older babies who can support their head and neck.

In this position, sit your baby upright on your lap, facing you, with their legs wrapped around your waist.

This position can help alleviate reflux issues, as it keeps your baby’s head elevated above their stomach.

Real-life example: When her baby started experiencing reflux, Laura switched to the upright position and found that it significantly reduced her baby’s discomfort during feedings.

Twin Hold

The twin hold, or double football hold, is perfect for tandem nursing twins or two babies close in age.

In this position, place one baby under each arm, similar to the football hold, with their feet pointing towards your back and their heads supported by your hands.

This position allows you to nurse both babies simultaneously, saving time and ensuring they receive equal attention.

Real-life example: As a mom of twins, Karen found the twin hold to be the most efficient and comfortable way to breastfeed both of her babies at the same time.

Reverse Cradle Hold

The reverse cradle hold, also known as the transitional hold, is a great position for caregivers who are switching from bottle-feeding to breastfeeding.

In this position, cradle your baby’s head with the hand opposite the breast you’ll be nursing from, while supporting their body with your forearm, similar to the cross-cradle hold.

This position offers a good view of your baby’s mouth and allows for easier latching, making the transition from bottle to breast smoother.

Real-life example: When transitioning her baby from bottle to breast, Lisa found the reverse cradle hold to be extremely helpful in establishing a proper latch.

Dangle Feeding

Dangle feeding, also known as the Australian hold, is a unique position that can be helpful for caregivers experiencing mastitis or engorgement.

In this position, lean over your baby while they lie on their back, allowing gravity to assist in draining the affected breast.

This position can help to relieve pressure and improve milk flow, providing relief from painful symptoms.

Real-life example: Suffering from mastitis, Jessica tried dangle feeding and found that it helped to relieve her pain and improve milk flow, allowing her to continue breastfeeding comfortably.

Reclining Position

The reclining position is perfect for caregivers who need to rest or relax during breastfeeding sessions.

In this position, lie down on a comfortable surface, such as a bed or couch, and place your baby on their side next to you, facing your breast.

Support your baby’s head with your arm and guide them to latch onto your breast.

This position allows for a comfortable and relaxed feeding experience for both you and your baby.

Real-life example: Needing a break after a long day, Susan found the reclining position to be a comfortable and stress-free way to breastfeed her baby while resting.


In conclusion, understanding and mastering various breastfeeding positions can make a significant difference in the comfort and success of your breastfeeding journey. By experimenting with these 10 positions, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for you and your baby, ensuring a happy and healthy breastfeeding experience for both of you.

Carrie Walters
Carrie Walters is a young mother of Nina and Tom, who along with her husband Jake is passionate about helping moms and families find modern solutions to common parenting and lifestyle questions. Together with a team of real moms and medical experts, this young couple share sound advice and proven tips to help make your life easier. They manage this blog along with other blogs and Youtube channels on similar topics