If you are breastfeeding and ever hope to leave your house (with your baby, that is), you’ll probably want a nursing cover. Sure, the brave ones (and second time moms, LOL) are just fine nursing without one, but most first-timers find it comforting to cover up in public. Keep your cover in your diaper bag, and it will always be there when you need it.
One thing that moms (and babies) always complain about is that it can get VERY hot under there – like a mini-inferno. If you live in a warm climate or are expecting a baby in the spring or summer, opt for a thinner, more breathable nursing cover.
For whatever reason, Amazon is flooded with crappy, cheap nursing covers — watch out for these!
One other word for the wise — use your nursing cover at home a few times before bringing it out “into the wild.” It usually takes a few times to really “get it” and it’s much more comfortable to work out the logistics in private vs. in public (especially if you have a screaming baby on your hands).
Note also that some babies don’t actually like to nurse under a nursing cover. So your attempts to cover up may all be in vain. But it’s still worth a try if you it makes you feel more at ease.
Here are our favorite nursing covers for breastfeeding, in order of price:
Kiddo Care Nursing Cover ~$9 — Economy Pick
This nursing scarf is insanely well liked, especially for the price. It’s quite large (in terms of “extra” fabric) and not all that stretchy, so it might take some time to “perfect” your use of it (though this is true of all nursing covers, really). Moms love that it’s very versatile (many women even keep using it afterwards as a cute accessory!) and breathable.
Boppy Nursing Cover ~$19
From the makers of the beloved Boppy nursing pillow, this is a high-quality nursing cover many moms love. The strap around the neck is adjustable, and it’s easy to peek down to see how baby is doing. (It’s similar to the Bebe Au Lait cover, below, but at a slightly better price point.) It’s also machine washable and folds into a little easy-to-carry pouch.
This nursing apron has adjustable-length neck straps, and the overall size is generous to give good coverage. It has a built-in burp cloth sewn to the bottom, but this isn’t necessarily the most practical feature (we think — some moms do find it helpful) due to washing issues. Plus the fabric is a bit rough. It comes with a handy-dandy carrying pouch.
The Bebe Au Lait is a favorite, and it comes in many different colors/patterns. It’s an apron, so it’s quite accessible and especially good for warmer temps (but not so much for windy days!).
NüRoo Nursing Scarf ~$29
A fashionable and versatile option is to scoop up a nursing scarf, like this one from NuRoo. The upside with a scarf is that you can keep wearing it long after the nursing days are over, but you do have to really have the hang of it to use comfortably and confidently for breastfeeding in public… nursing scarves give less coverage and things tend to be more… visible. If you’re OK with that, this is an excellent (and stylish) choice!
Although this one comes at a higher price point, many women absolutely LOVE this top. It’s a loose-fitting, poncho-esque shirt (goes on over your head) that’s super stretchy and comfy. This definitely provides full 360-degree coverage, so that’s another plus. And it doubles as a (lightweight) car seat cover. It also works well for larger-breasted and plus sized mamas.
*Note: If you will be an at-work pumper, a nursing cover might come in handy there as well. I can’t tell you how many moms I know that have pumped at work when someone inadvertently burst through the door to ask about the status of the TPS report (most office doors don’t lock, apparently!). You wanna see a man back-pedal like Scooby Doo? Yeah. Have him walk in while you’re pumping. Hilarious, I tell you.
Honestly, nursing covers are super helpful for breastfeeding moms. Don’t leave home without it!