If you tend to be overly conscious about breastfeeding in public or if you live in a state where this basic act of motherhood is looked down upon, you may want to turn your head toward a nursing cover.
Nursing covers are essentially a mini tent; a private space for your little one to breastfeed in peace without you having to worry about any onlookers or exposing yourself or your child to the elements.
Thankfully, breastfeeding in public is becoming a lot more acceptable and commonplace in the world with fewer people looking down on moms who expose themselves for the needs of their child.
But, for every other occasion, a nursing cover or breastfeeding cover works as a solid workaround just in case.
While not the most essential of items that you need to get for your baby, it can be a nice addition to the list regardless.
If, however, you do decide to get one, there is a wide variety of different ones to choose from.
The first ones that come to mind are the wearable covers, ones that resemble articles of clothing that are easy to mask and that fit with your fashion ensemble for the day. These range from scarves and shawls to trendy ponchos if need be.
The second type are multi-use covers, also known as convertible covers.
As the name implies, they aren’t just used as a nursing cover, they can even function as something as simple as a baby blanket or a swaddle.
Or, they can be something more situational like a car seat cover, a high chair cover or a shopping cart cover.
The last one is the simplest and it’s an apron-style cover.
An apron cover is basically just that, a wearable piece of fabric that resembles kitchen aprons without the straps around the waist since those would just be too cumbersome and pointless.
While my personal choice was that of a wearable cover because I liked having it on my person and it was quicker to pull out than something I’d keep in my diaper bag, the multi-use one would probably be best for overall bang for your buck potential.
Although, it all depends on what you’re specifically looking for, so here are some of the best that I’ve found to help you out with this tough decision.
1. Bebe Au Lait Premium Muslin Nursing Cover
Starting off we have a nursing apron made out of 100% premium cotton muslin because the Bebe Au Lait company makes sure to worry about the environment as much as they worry about letting moms feel comfortable enough to breastfeed in public.
Unlike a regular apron, a Bebe Au Lait nursing apron comes with an open neckline to ensure that moms can maintain eye contact with their babies, prevent any risk of suffocation and be able to spot if their little one has latched properly or not.
This cotton nursing cover also provides full coverage from the front so you don’t have to adjust it based on which breast you’re feeding from.
Not only that, but it also stays firmly in place, making sure the apron is on at all times and there is no risk of falling off or becoming too loose.
And, of course, the breathable cotton material that the nursing cover up is made from is completely machine washable, a quality you’ll be thankful for should you ever get one.
Lastly, for all of the fashion savvy moms out there, the Bebe Au Lait nursing cover comes in a handful of different colors and patterns. This ensures access to a variety of choices that others do not provide, allowing you to personalize your baby gear to your own preferences.
2. Boppy Infinity Nursing Scarf
A small change of pace from the nursing aprons, here are the breastfeeding scarves.
The infinity nursing scarf in particular is a popular item among moms because it’s both affordable and discreet as it can be worn as, well, a scarf, one that’s made out of lightweight and breathable material which means you can use it during any season.
To focus a bit on functionality, an aspect the Boppy nursing cover doesn’t falter in, the scarf was made to provide 360-degree coverage to allow breastfeeding moms to nurse their child freely in public.
Or, they can even utilize their breast pumps in public areas without attracting too much attention to themselves.
Another cool bit is the peek panel at the top.
A fancy term for the mesh that Boppy placed at the top of the opening in their nursing cover so the baby can remain fully protected while breastfeeding and you still maintain full eye contact in case something is amiss.
The nursing scarf comes with an adjustable strap, letting you adjust the cover to your liking in case you feel as though it’s too tight or too loose. This also makes it easier to switch sides during breastfeeding.
This nursing cover is also, much like many others on this list, machine washable, allowing you to clean up any messes from spit ups or even accidents without worrying that you’ll ruin the color of it or the lifespan of your washing machine.
Believe me when I say that the ability to clean up messes on any piece of baby gear is a lifesaver no matter how you look at it.
And, of course, the scarf wouldn’t be a fashion accessory if it didn’t come in a number of different colors. From the base black to a nice and soothing blush pink, you’re bound to find one that fits you the best.
3. Bamboobies Nursing Cover for Breastfeeding
If you’re in the market for something that covers a bit more or you simply aren’t one for shawls but still want to look good, then you might want to consider Bamboobies’ nursing shawl.
Made out of ultra soft rayon and a tiny bit of spandex to make the compound stretchy and more pliable, the shawl is an excellent garment to have at your disposal.
Why? Because it’s two types of nursing cover in one, both wearable and multipurpose as it can double as a car seat or stroller cover whenever you need to drape it around to keep things clean or your baby cool.
It even provides a 30+ SPF to help provide a buffer from the harmful effects of UV radiation for both you and your baby’s skin.
The material itself ensures that any leakage is quick to dry from the fabric and it leaves you looking good regardless of the situation.
Not to mention, it doesn’t necessarily have to just be a shawl; you can customize it to be a scarf as well as a nursing poncho depending on your mood.
There’s not a lot of fanciness involved here, but do rest assured that getting coverage nursing is not going to be an issue thanks to how spacious and stretchy the fabric is.
This also ensures that the shawl grows with you as one size fits most, regardless of whether you’re plus size or ultra thin.
This product is made out of rayon which is created from renewable bamboo harvested directly by Bamboobies which assists with keeping our environment clean and green for future generations.
The one downside is that it doesn’t seem as though the shawl itself is machine washable, but a damp cloth might help to get rid of most stains while keeping the fabric quality from diminishing.
As for the overall potential for customization, the Bamboobies nursing cover offers a handful of different colors for you to pick from at your leisure.
4. Copper Pearl’s Baby Nursing, Car Seat Canopy and Car Seat Cover
Our first actual multi-purpose nursing cover comes from Copper Pearl and their lovely homely design.
Much like the Bamboobies one, the cover is made out of a stretchy rayon blend that allows for multi-purpose use through varying degrees of stress without having to worry about the fabric tearing or coming undone at any stage.
Naturally, the multi-purpose part is the main selling point of these covers and the Copper Pearl’s take on it allows the nursing cover to fulfill a variety of other roles.
Be it a car seat cover, a shopping cart cover, a car seat canopy, a high chair cover or just something as simple as an infinity scarf, this item can compete with the best of them while still remaining relatively affordable.
And, to top it all off, their nursing covers come in well over a dozen unique and colorful designs that are bound to catch the eye of anyone and make you the talk of the town.
My personal favorite has to be the little dinosaur pattern, though there are simpler designs for those who like the more practical side of things.
The fabric is machine washable despite being of a similar composition to that of the Bamboobies one, but that may just come down to the thickness of the fabric used.
With so many functions, the Copper Pearl nursing cover is bound to make an ideal baby shower gift if you’re struggling to figure out what to get your fellow mamma.
It’s certain to be a more unique gift that is less likely to clash with that of other moms. And, even if it does, you can never have too many on hand.
5. The Milk Snob Nursing Cover
Now here’s one that you may have missed during your very own excursion to the shopping jungle of Amazon because it’s mainly advertised as a car seat cover, the Milk Snob.
Despite the unfortunate marketing direction, the Milk Snob nursing cover is just as good as some of the best nursing covers on the market.
Produced from a rayon blend, a popular material for many nursing covers, the Milk Snob doubles as both a car seat cover and a stroller cover, allowing your precious baby to get shade whenever and wherever he needs it.
Not only that, but it even provides a level of sun protection and the 360 degree coverage allows for proper breastfeeding cover up at any point thanks to the 4 way stretch.
The cover itself is perfectly machine washable and will last you for years to come barring nothing extremely bad happens to it.
But, the reason why I put this one on the list wasn’t simply because of all these wonderful aspects, it was one other thing in particular, the sheer amount of customization that they provide.
It’s funny that this gem would be listed as a car seat cover first when it comes in such a great number of lovely, yet simple designs that are both captivating and pleasing to the eyes.
6. NuRoo Nursing Scarf
If you’re looking for practical but stylish, look no further than the modest NuRoo’s nursing scarf.
A rather convenient piece of kit that works best as a poncho with its simple patterns that don’t distract the baby during breastfeeding which allows the process to go by faster and with little trouble.
The beauty of specifically wearing it this way is that you don’t have to shuffle it around too much when you have to start breastfeeding as you’ll already be mostly covered thanks to the bottom lining that snaps shut on both ends.
The material itself is a mix of polyester and spandex and it is machine-washable. It also doesn’t wrinkle easily, and, even if it does, they’re easy to iron out.
7. Kids’n’Such Nursing Cover with Sewn in Burp Cloth for Breastfeeding Infants
Here’s a rather innovative take on the breastfeeding cover, one that comes with a sewn in burp cloth.
Not only is it discreet, but it also helps you transition your child from one task to the other, letting you burp them properly and help prevent colic even in public while keeping the rest of your clothes dry and clean from any unwanted spills.
This specific design won them the 2017 top parenting award which only serves to further prove the value that comes with this particular nursing cover.
The material that’s used to make the Kids’n’Such cover is pure, organic cotton that’s completely breathable and won’t leave you or your baby sweating on hot days.
The cover also comes with an open, rigid neckline that lets you keep tabs on your baby and keep them knowing that they’re safe and secure, providing an easier time latching onto the breast and feeding in general.
The cover is quick to wash and doesn’t require much special care to clean.
And, as a final bonus, it comes with a free carrying pouch that fits the cover perfectly and complements the floral pattern that adorns it.
8. EMMA MOE’s Premium Nursing Cover
Last, but definitely not least on our list is the EMMA MOE’s Premium nursing cover.
It’s a nursing apron resembling that of a neat, white Mediterranean sundress minus the back that grants it a rather unique look, one that may appeal to you mammas who want to present yourselves in something a bit more unique when breastfeeding.
Made out of pure polyester that’s free of any BPA’s, latex and phthalates, the people at EMMA MOE’s have made sure to keep their cover as allergen free as possible for both you and your baby’s comfort.
Speaking of comfort, the nursing cover sports a wide and open neckline to allow breastfeeding moms a window to look at their bundles of joy to make them feel safe and to make sure they’re latching properly.
The whole thing is machine washable too, allowing for an easy time cleaning after spills and the like.
And to top it all off, each breastfeeding cover comes in a neat little package that you can keep after opening to serve as storage for either the cover or for items that serve as your little one’s precious memories.
What To Look For In A Nursing Cover
Now, if none of these options seem to strike your fancy and you’d like to find something that’s more your style, do keep a few things in mind that you’re definitely going to want in a nursing cover.
1. Machine Washable – Believe me when I say that this is the one thing you cannot live without in a nursing cover. It ends up being such a time saver when you don’t have to hand wash this piece of kit, something many new moms tend to overlook when looking to buy a breastfeeding cover.
2. The Material – There’s nothing worse than buying some baby gear and then discovering that your little one is allergic to the fabric or some sort of harmful chemical that it may or may not contain.
Always make sure to read the labels before buying and know what your child is allergic to.
This way, you’ll end up saving yourself both time, money and nerves and it will prevent you from making any shopping mistakes.
3. Ease Of Use – As cool as having a multitude of functions out of one item sounds, the thing needs to be practical.
Nobody wants to fumble about with a nursing cover for 15 minutes while they figure out how to adjust it into a proper breastfeeding position.
It just ends up being more trouble than it’s worth. A solid breastfeeding cover should be practical and should help rather than be a burden to you.
That’s why a multi-purpose cover isn’t always the right choice, especially if there are too many hoops to go through to access all of them.
4. Affordability – While having a beautifully colored nursing cover is all fine and well, don’t go about splurging your money just to get that one specific flower print you’ve always wanted.
While I’m all for fashion, there are more important pieces of baby gear you should be looking out for and for which you should be saving your money.
Is Having A Nursing Cover Necessary?
Absolutely not. While, much like many other pieces of baby gear you’ll end up finding on the internet, the goal is to help moms in their day-to-day lives through covering niche aspects, a nursing cover is entirely optional.
Touching on what I said earlier when mentioning what to look for in a nursing cover, if you can’t afford it, don’t break your back trying to get it.
While, yes, it is a great help especially for some of us who can be a bit shy with their bodies, it can wait its turn for after you’ve ensured that the baby has enough diapers and a bed to sleep in.
A nursing cover can be a lifesaver if you’re not someone who houses a lot of self-confidence within themselves.
I was one such person after my first birth and having a breastfeeding cover really helped me get over it quicker than I would have normally because it provided a feeling of safety for both me and my child.
I know that it has helped many of my fellow mammas in the same vein as well and I wholeheartedly recommend getting one if you’re someone plagued with similar issues, but know that it’s at a lower priority than getting more crucial items for your baby.
That said, I do hope you manage to find one that fits your personal needs and the needs of your baby while still making you look stylish in the process.
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