As a nursing mom, breastfeeding your little one in public is part of the territory. While you don't have to invest in a breastfeeding cover to nurse in public, you may be more comfortable using one.
Options for Breastfeeding Covers
Breastfeeding covers come in a variety of styles, patterns and prices, so you're sure to find one that meets your budget and preferences. Of course, as a mom-to-be, you want to understand all your options before making a decision. With that said, there are a few styles of nursing covers to choose from.
Breastfeeding covers with a neckband are a common and popular style. They are basically a large piece of cloth designed to cover your chest and baby while he nurses. The cover has a neck strap that you slip over your head to hold it in place and a stiff neck so that you and your baby can make eye contact while you're nursing. They're easy to use and super convenient because they fold up and will fit into the pocket of a diaper bag.
- Hooter Hiders by Bebe au Lait come in a variety of fun patterns, and you can even have them personalized with your name or your little one's name. Choose from masculine, feminine or gender neutral fabrics, and revel in the luxe feel of the material. Some have pockets for stashing a burp cloth, pacifier or anything else you have in your hand when your baby gets hungry. On top of that, the cover is the only one to feature a patented Rigiflex neckline, which makes it easiest to make eye contact with your baby while nursing. The covers have been featured in a variety of media including BabyList's list of gifts to get your pregnant friend. The covers start at $18.00.
- Kiss Kiss Hug Hug offers neckband covers in a variety of eye-catching fabrics with a comfortable feel for both you and your little one. The cover was featured in the Australian Cosmo Pregnancy's Ultimate Pregnancy Checklist as an alternative for moms who would like to cover up while breastfeeding in public. Choose from both girl, boy or gender neutral patterns. The covers start at just under $45.
- Udder Covers feature a fabric neckband for comfort and come in a variety of stylish patterns with soft fabrics. It also has a unique adjustable ring to make seeing your baby a bit easier and more comfortable. Reviewers say that it works great for newborns, although as the baby grows it is harder to use. You can add embroidery details for a small fee. Udder Covers retail for under $35.
Many moms report trouble nursing in public because of the inconvenience of having to adjust clothing and undergarments for modesty and breast access. At the same time, you want to look fashionable and not have to give up your style. Enter breastfeeding covers that do double duty as a beautiful wrap, scarf or other accessory. No one will know you're wearing a breastfeeding cover, but you'll be able to efficiently feed your little one in public without having to wrestle with your clothing.
- You'll love the Pashmama by Jolly Jumper. It looks like a luxurious wrap, but it's actually a breastfeeding cover in disguise. Available in many colors, you'll find one to match all your favorite outfits. Reviewers note that it looks very stylish and really can be worn without looking 'dowdy.' Prices vary by store, but you can expect to spend around $30.
- If you're a scarf kind of girl, check out the Gabrielle by Reno Rose. It looks like a scarf, but doubles as a breastfeeding cover. It makes the Bump's list of Top 10 Nursing Covers for its stylish versatility. When your baby is done nursing, wear it as a headband, tie it on your purse straps or keep wearing it as a scarf. This stylish accessory/nursing cover is approximately $40.
Covers that Do so Much More
Moms are by nature multi-taskers, so a breastfeeding cover that does more than one job is perfect. You're spending your hard-earned dollars on a cover, so there's no reason not to expect it to do more than just shield your breasts from prying eyes. Check out these covers, which you can use in many more than just one way. They'll grow with your baby and save you money!
- The Babee Covee does six jobs! Use it to cover up while nursing, then cover the car seat or stroller with it to keep your little one warm while you're out and about. Use it as a blanket for playing on the floor at home. When your baby gets older, use the award-winning Baby Covee as a shopping cart or highchair cover to keep germs away from your child's hands. Made with durable fabric, the cover is a cinch to wash and reuse. You'll never leave home without it! This versatile product is around $50.
- The Covillow is your go-to choice if you're super modest. Not only does the cover shield your front, but it also wraps around your sides and covers your back so you know you're not giving anyone a sneak peek of what's beneath your clothes. To top it off, the Covillow has a built-in pillow underneath so you can get comfortable even if you're nursing in public. The Covillow receives high reviews on Amazon. You can get a Covillow for around $60.
Pros and Cons
Just like with any baby product you buy, there are pros and cons associated with breastfeeding covers. They are convenient and keep you from showcasing the goods when your baby gets hungry and they offer warmth in cool weather, but there are downsides to consider. Take these things into account before shelling out for a nursing cover:
- Breastfeeding covers limit eye contact. Part of the wonder of breastfeeding is being able to gaze into your baby's eyes as you feed her, thereby cementing the bond between the two of you. Covering up with a nursing cover keeps you from being able to see your little one. Balance this out by skipping the cover when you're at home and no one is there to try and steal an eyeful.
- Many breastfeeding advocates discourage the use of a cover in public because it stigmatizes breastfeeding as something to be ashamed about. Whether or not this sounds ridiculous to you, it's important to remember that there is nothing embarrassing or shameful about nursing your baby in public.
- They cost money. Some breastfeeding covers don't come cheap. Add up everything you have to buy to be ready for your new baby and you might not have enough left over to spend on a breastfeeding cover. A simple receiving blanket, which you no doubt have in droves, works almost as well.
Make Your Cover Work for You
You're busy with a nursing baby, which can take hours out of every day, so you don't need another thing to occupy all your waking thoughts. As you decide which breastfeeding cover to buy, consider how it will make your life more convenient. For example, if you don't like to wear necklaces or turtlenecks, a neckband cover might not be comfortable for you and you'll just spend all your nursing time readjusting it. Seek out recommendations from your close friends or family to find out what worked for them. Try out a couple of options, if possible, to see which one you like the best. If you opt out of the breastfeeding cover trend and just grab the nearest blanket, there's nothing wrong with that either.