There are a lot of opinions when it comes to breastfeeding in public. Even though science proves breast milk is best, many people still turn away at the sight of a mother using her body to feed her baby, believing she shouldn’t be feeding her baby in public.
Without getting into the politics of breastfeeding in public, we’re going to talk about what you can do to help other people – and possibly yourself – feel more comfortable when you breastfeed your child.
Before there were covers designed exclusively for breastfeeding, women would throw a blanket over their shoulder and hope that it would stay. More often than not, it ended up piled on top of baby’s face and or blowing in the breeze.
Nursing covers have taken the hassle out of breastfeeding with a blanket. You don’t have to worry about them falling off or being pulled down. They stay where they should.
They also minimize distractions for your baby. In the early months, most children contentedly stay at the breast, often dozing off as their tummies fill up. Beyond six months however, even the hungriest baby will often lose focus and look around, leaving you exposed and perhaps even frustrated.
What Do I Look For?
The pattern or colour you choose can be important. Keep in mind that the flashier your nursing cover, the less discreet you will be, and that’s totally up to you! Pick what you’re most comfortable with.
You definitely want a nursing cover that stands up to washing and drying. Beware that not all nursing covers handle a machine dry well. Some may shrink so air drying is a must.
Some nursing covers have a rigid neckline, allowing you to see baby and help him or her latch on. These are usually best for first time moms. If you and your baby are experienced with breastfeeding, you have other options.
If you have to pump in public, you’ll also want to consider a nursing cover that helps you and not gets in the way.
There are only a few downsides to a breastfeeding cover.
A nursing cover may bring attention to the fact you are breastfeeding. You can minimize this by choosing neutral colours.
You can’t always see baby and it can be hard to adjust to a nursing cover when you’re learning. Consider buying one with a rigid neckline and practice with it at home.
If you live in a warm climate or you’re typically a warm person, a nursing cover may feel too warm so look for one that is breathable and light.
Top Best Nursing Covers
This super affordable nursing cover comes in an apron style with stainless steel D-rings that make the neck strap easily adjustable. It comes in a modern grey and white print that is attractive but not attention grabbing.
The Udder Cover has a rigid neckline that allows you to see your baby. The neckline also allows more airflow than a blanket which helps reduce the chance of you or your baby getting too hot.
This nursing cover is made with breathable, 100% cotton that you can machine wash. Nursing covers with a rigid neckline last longer if they are not machine dried so remove from the washing machine and hang to dry.
- a basic wrap,
- double wrap,
- shawl, or
The ultra soft jersey material is made from 100% jersey polyester which makes it lightweight and breathable. The scarf comes in a light grey pattern that is stylish yet modest.
The material does’t contain any phthalates and is safe for baby’s sensitive skin.
The LK baby infinity nursing scarf is made extra wide, offering you full coverage when you nurse your baby. Best of all, it’s machine wash and dry without worrying about damage or shrinkage.
This nursing scarf is best for women who are experienced breastfeeders and don’t need the rigid neckline to watch baby like other apron-like nursing covers offer.
The Kids N’Such Arrow nursing cover comes with a built in, extra large burp cloth. After your baby has fed, all you need to do is simply fold it over to protect your clothing. It also helps to keep the nursing cover in place by adding weight to the bottom of it.
The Arrow cover is built like an apron, but instead of D-rings, it comes with it a non-slip neck strap that won’t loosen. It has a rigid neckline, allowing you to view baby while nursing.
The material is 100% cotton that is breathable. The extra wide design offers full coverage and privacy.
With it’s slightly higher price tag, the Kids N’Such nursing cover does come with a few extra features including a carrying pouch and plenty of 5-star reviews from happy parents. It is also the recipient of the 2017 National Parenting Product Award.
The metal D-ring on the neck strap makes for easy adjustments while ensuring a snug fit. An additional strap around your back gives you extra way to secure the cover in place.
Made with high quality 100% cotton, this nursing cover is soft and breathable as well as machine washable.
The neckline is open, allowing you to keep an eye on baby, while also allowing for air flow to keep both you and your child cool.
The Qunqi is a very affordable, apron-like nursing cover that comes with two adjustable straps. The neck strap has an adjustable D-ring and the tie in the back has a plastic toggle that quickly adjusts to provide a secure cover all around.
Measuring 39 by 28 inches, this large nursing cover also has a bendable neckline so you can keep an eye on baby and make sure your child doesn’t overheat. The large size also makes it great to use as a blanket or stroller sun shade, protecting your baby from harmful UV rays.
The Qunqi is made from 100% cotton which makes it cool and comfortable, even in summer. It comes in your choice of nine different coloured fashion prints.
An inside pocket for whatever small things you may need while breastfeeding and a carrying case make this nursing cover a must-have.
Measuring 36 by 26 inches, this large nursing cover offers you coverage from all angles and it works well as a stroller cover to protect baby from the sun and elements.
The patented rigid neckline holds the cover away from your body so you can see baby while still giving you privacy. Between the muslin material and the neckline, this nursing cover allows plenty of airflow to keep you and your little one at a comfortable temperature.
The neck strap is fully adjustable with two D-rings on one side. There are internal pockets sewn into the corners for storage or as a burp cloth. It is machine washable.
The Bebe au Lait nursing cover comes in eight colours and it has been a favourite among moms and celebrities since 2004.
This is the second breastfeeding infinity scarf on our list of best nursing covers. It comes in a variety of stripes and solid colours with full colour on both sides so there is no “bad” side. It is a fashionable accessory to any mom’s outfit.
You can wear it as a scarf when you’re not nursing and it covers like a poncho when your baby is ready to eat. The full coverage fit offers privacy and helps keep baby focused on the task at hand.
Made out of very soft, lightweight, machine washable material, it covers well without overheating, even during summer time.
The Tykes & Tails infinity nursing cover folds up nicely, making it easy to pack in a diaper bag should you not want to wear it as a scarf.
If you choose to give this is as a gift to an expectant mom, you’ll be pleased to know if comes in a beautifully wrapped gift box. With it’s 30 day, no questions asked return policy, it makes a great shower gift.
8. Nursing Covers by Dria “The All-In-One Fashionable Nursing Cover, Stroller Cover, Car Seat Cover”
Not only can you nurse privately in it, you can also use it either as a stroller or car seat cover. It also makes a fashionable poncho-style top.
The DRIA cover comes in seven colour choices, both in stripes and solids. The Lenzing Modal fabric is made from the pulp and fibre of a Beechwood tree, making it breathable and light weight.
The material has a 4 way stretch, resists wrinkles and shrinking, and is machine washable. It also protects your baby from harmful UV rays.
Made in California, this one-size-fits-all nursing cover comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. It really is the perfect portable cover – both for nursing, and when baby is in the stroller.
Which Cover is Best for You?
If you’re a first time mom teaching your baby to nurse, it’s probably best to choose a nursing cover that allows you to see your baby. Latching on can be challenging and in the early weeks when your little one is likely to fall asleep at the breast, having a clear view of them is helpful.
After you decide what size you need and what kind of neck band you prefer, you can pick a colour or design you like.
If you’re an experienced breastfeeder, you have the most options when it comes to nursing covers. You can pick any of the covers mentioned here, depending on your budget and your preference, whether it be colour or style.
So which breastfeeding cover can you see yourself nursing in?