Best Nursing Covers For Breastfeeding In Public (2018 Guide)
Some moms are comfortable breastfeeding in front of anyone and everyone, while others are a bit more modest and require some privacy and space.
Personally, I fell in between the two for a few reasons.
One, breastfeeding is natural and isn’t anything that should be viewed as shameful.
Two, if my child is hungry and fussy, I was going to feed him on the spot.
But, in order for me to feel 100% comfortable and confident with my choice, I needed to use a nursing cover.
I just couldn’t come to terms with giving my grandparents an eye full when they came to visit around my son’s lunch time!
So, if you are like me, let me explain why a nursing cover is a great idea, what you should look for in a great one, and allow me to suggest a few of my favorites!
What Is A Nursing Cover?
A nursing cover is a piece of constructed material that lays over top of your breasts and covers your baby as they drink milk.
It folds up and travels with you wherever you need to go and can even double as a scarf.
Nursing covers also serve as shields from the elements and keep the sun out of your baby’s face.
And they aren’t just designed for direct breastfeeding: some moms like a little coverage as they’re utilizing their breast pump.
Why You Really Need A Nursing Cover
As I mentioned, when it was time to feed my son, I couldn't care less if I were at home in front of my husband and daughter.
The process is natural, it’s a bonding experience, and let’s be honest, when your child wants to eat, you don’t have all the time in the world to worry about being discreet or modest.
But, when I started to get a lot of visitors once we were home from the hospital, I noticed myself feeling a bit odd doing a bare boob feeding in front of friends and family.
Enter, the nursing cover.
A nursing cover is great because it allows you to do your thing, but without showing it all!
And, when in public, I just couldn’t feed my son in front of strangers or other children at the park without being covered up. I give props to the moms who can, but I felt as though others should be shielded from the process of my public nudity episode.
The Different Types Of Covers
There are a few styles of nursing scarves you can choose from:
Much like an apron, this style of nursing cover ties around your neck and drapes down the front of your body.
It leaves you with ample room and is comfortable to wear, while being light and airy and leaving you plenty of space for your baby to nurse properly.
It does sit lower on your breasts, so they won’t be fully covered. If your baby moves a lot of tugs hard on the cover, it can be revealing.
Some nursing scarves are available in an accessory form that creates an infinity loop.
Simply pull on it when you need it and it will leave it’s circular form in order to create a sheet of coverage.
Its material is light and breathable, and it covers your breasts well.
The poncho style goes over top of your head and drapes over your body so you can enjoy full coverage and move your arms freely.
The fabric tends to be a bit heavier and less breathable, and they fit loosely and come in a wide range of colors and styles.
6 Important Features to Consider
There are a few things that separate an okay cover from an amazing cover.
#1. Cotton. Cotton is totally the way to go! And, if you can find one that is organic cotton, even better. You want only pure fabrics touching your delicate baby’s skin, and your most delicate areas!
#2. Washable. For obvious reasons, you want something that is easy to wipe clean and is washable.
#3. Easy to wear. Putting on a cover should not be frustrating or difficult. Look for a cut and dry design that a monkey could literally put on!
#4. Durability. Since you'll be using the cover for an extended amount of time, you want to make sure you don’t have to purchase more than one and you get your money’s worth. Look for high quality fabric and stitching to guarantee you won’t deal with tears, frays, or fading.
#5. Fashionable. Ok, so this is not a necessity, but I certainly wanted to look fashionable while feeding. After all, that’s pretty much all you’ll do when you have an infant. Why not look stylish?
#6. Cost. Covers shouldn’t break the bank. But, you do get what you pay for. I found that the higher priced covers were a bit more durable and of better quality. And, they also had a trendier design and more color and pattern options.
How Many Covers Are Enough?
It’s a good rule of thumb to have at least two nursing covers.
This way, you can utilize one if your main cover is being washed.
This also allows you to keep a spare in your car in case you forget to pack one in your diaper bag.
Spit up happens, and much like a burp cloth, your nursing cover will need to be washed and treated frequently, so always have a few extras on hand.
Best Nursing Covers
Hands down, my favorite nursing cover on the market today is the Udder Cover (click here to check the price on Amazon).
What I love about the Udder Covers is that they have a pretty, feminine design that give you lots of coverage.
One thing that was important to me was having and maintaining eye contact with my baby while feeding, and this cover allows you to do so.
The cover is composed of 100% cotton, which is important because it is ultra-breathable. After all, you don’t want to make your baby uncomfortable, or give them difficulty when breathing and eat, especially during hot, summer months.
It is fully washable so you don’t have to worry about sanitation issues or any kind of staining. It also has adjustable steel rings that help you adjust your neckline to your liking and comfort level.
I love the fact that it has a super chic design.
And, when you remove it from its initial packaging, don’t worry, it will soften up after a few washes.
The Udder Cover also very lightweight yet sturdy, so it folds up easily and doesn’t take up a lot of room. I used to pack mine easily away in my diaper bag and roll it up and put it in the base bin of my stroller so I could access it easily.
Overall, it’s a high quality cover at an affordable price.
In fact, I ended up purchasing one for each vehicle, so I always had one if I was on the go and had to leave the house in a hurry.
Another popular option among a lot of moms I know, the Baby Bee Infinity is a great nursing cover as well.
Priced in the mid-range area (click here to check the price on Amazon), the Baby Bee nursing cover doubles an infinity scarf. And, as moms we certainly love items that have duo or multiple functions.
It is very lightweight, which is important since it will be hanging around your neck and draping down your body. It is also composed of a cotton blend, so you can ensure comfort and breathability.
One concern most moms have with a cotton blend cover is that it will be transparent. This scarf remains sturdy and strong, so you never have to feel self-conscious while using it.
You will remain totally covered and discreet.
Plus, it’s long and large enough to cover your entire nursing area, so feeding in public is a snap.
You know you have a durable, high quality item because all the seams are finished, so they will not rip or fray. It’s machine washable, but is recommended to be done so by hand, and set out to air dry.
And, if you are a fashionista like I am, you can wear it in a variety of ways, so your nursing look will always be updated. Wear it as a poncho, blouse, and halter top.
Or, you can use it as a car seat cover, burp cloth, blanket, swaddle, or even a sunshade.
So, you are buying one item in essence, but will end up with dozens of wearing and pairing options!
Rounding out my list of the best nursing covers is the Itzy Ritzy Nursing Scarf (click here to check the price on Amazon).
This Itzy Ritzy has a trendy chevron design, which complements lots of color schemes and outfits.
I love how you can wear it as an accessory first, and instantly transform it into a nursing cover—that’s how much it spreads out!
Plus, there is nothing to take on or off, or even pack. It will simply travel wherever you and your baby go.
The scarf is half cotton, and half polyester jersey knit. It has finished edges for durability and is ultra-soft.
Lightweight materials are best to use in conjunction with nursing because it allows you to retain your natural smell so your baby can bond and attach with you.
This nursing scarf can be machine-washed, but is recommended to be air dried.
The main thing moms love about this scarf is that there are not buttons or straps. They love how lightweight it is, yet how it’s not see through.
The only complaint that it receives from time to time is that the print is not on both sides of the scarf. This means moms have to adjust it from time to time to maintain the pattern, so it faces outward.
Overall, the Itzy Ritzy makes a great gift to give a new mom, or is a must for your baby registry!
A good nursing scarf or cover is a definite necessity for breastfeeding moms, especially if you desire a bit of privacy and intimacy with your new baby.
Check out these three nursing covers to determine which one is best for your lifestyle and your budget!