I just don’t know how some moms do it. They whip IT out without shame. They don’t care whether they are on a crowded bus or in the middle of a busy street. They flash IT around and don’t care if people stare. Some even go so far as to tell friends and family to take a closer look.
I can’t do this.
You see, I am a breast feeder and the “IT” I am talking about is a baby bottle.
Fortunately, I have a secret weapon. A nursing cover.
In the Guide
If you choose to breast feed then you will have to be a bit more discreet when feeding your baby.
Unless you are an exhibitionist, breastfeeding away from home for the first time is a big deal.
If you have smaller boobs then you may get away with sneakily pulling your top down without giving passers by a ticket to titty town. Most of your boob will be covered by your baby’s face.
However, if you have bigger boobs, discreetly breast feeding in public can be quite difficult. I can say from personal experience that big boobs; especially when filled with milk, want nothing more than to shout ”Hi world, look at me, I’m a big old booby”.
I tried to be discreet once and a nearby male gave me a look as if he was going to throw dollar bills at me. Never again!
If only you could breast feed your baby at home and be done with it. Unfortunately, there will be times when you get caught outside the home and your baby needs to eat.
You will be walking along when all of a sudden:
The dreaded cry of hunger.
Imagine if you could have your own personal space, that you could disappear into at a moment’s notice to privately feed your baby without feeling self conscious, no matter where you were?
Your prayers have been answered.
A nursing cover is just what you need to breast feed (or breast pump) in public without drawing judgmental looks from passers by.
What is a nursing cover?
A nursing cover is essentially a piece of fabric that covers prevents strangers from eyeballing your jubblies while you breast feed your baby.
Think of a nursing cover as the screens that go around a hospital bed. At a moments notice they can be pulled shut, blocking out the outside world.
To put it simply a nursing cover takes the following situation:
And turns it into this…
How’s that for a bit more privacy?
Choosing a nursing cover
A nursing cover needs to perform three very basic functions:
Adequately cover your exposed areas
Not just nipples, but the top and sides of your boobs as well. If you roll your top up the cover should also conceal your exposed back.
ALLOW YOUR BABY TO BREATH!
You will likely completely cover your baby with the nursing cover. A cover that doesn’t allow air to circulate it the equivalent of putting your baby in a plastic bag!. A baby falling asleep at your nipple may be a sign that he is not getting enough oxygen through the nursing cover.
Not cause stress when cleaning
Boobs leak. Babies spit up. You WILL eventually get something yucky on your nursing cover; it’s just a matter of time. Fortunately; if your nursing cover is easy to clean then this will not be a big deal at all.
There are two different types of nursing covers to choose from
1. Nursing cover canopies
A nursing cover canopy is basically an loose fitting apron. You carry it around at the bottom of your diaper bag and when feeding time you simply throw it on. Just be sure to tighten all the straps, canopies can blow all over the place on a windy day. You don’t want your boobs to have a Marilyn Monroe moment
A good canopy nursing cover should come with a rigid neckline. The neckline acts as a viewing window; allowing you to keep an eye on your suckling baby even while holding him with both hands.
Canopies are the cheapest type of nursing covers. If you are handy with a sewing machine you can even make one yourself!
2. Wearable nursing covers
The above model (who has obviously never popped out a kid by the way and apparently has a kink in her neck) is showing off a wearable nursing cover.
Nursing covers in disguise. These covers form a part of your outfit. Whether it’s a top with a built in feeding tent or a scarf that folds down to cover your baby, these covers can be deployed at a moments notice.
While some wearable nursing covers are downright ugly, others look so good you would expect to see them in a Paris fashion show.
Important! Whatever nursing cover you choose, buy one with a plain design! It always makes me laugh when I see women breast feeding in public and their nursing cover is bright pink and purple polka-dots. The idea of a nursing cover is subtly; not to draw attention.
The 8 best nursing covers
Now for the exciting part, I get to show you the leading nursing covers on the market. To put it simply, these nursing covers are great and it’s easy to see why they are loved by moms all across the world.
Nursing cover canopies
Canopies are a cheap and effective way of breast feeding. Like an apron, simply whip it on when you have to prepare a meal for your baby. When the deed is done, simply shove it back in your diaper bag.
My favorite of the canopy style nursing covers. I loved the durable cotton material (machine washable, of course). The designs are unique and good looking enough that don’t make you feel like you are hiding your baby behind a giant table cloth.
A rigid neckline stays propped open giving you the perfect view of whether or not your baby has latched.
No more juggling pacifiers or breast pads while you feed your baby. A built in pocket will allow you to store your while your baby goes to chow town
While this is an absolutely lovely nursing cover, it is a lot to pay for what is essentially an oversized apron.
If you want a good cheap canopy nursing cover then this will be right up your ally:
Ridiculous name aside (Udder Covers…Really?) the nursing cover will allow your baby to feed in privacy at a price that wont make you cringe.
Bares more than a passing resemblance to the previous nursing cover by Bebe Au Lait, doesn’t it?
I have owned both of these covers and let me tell you; if you were to wear the two side by side you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. However, if you were to feel the material it will quickly become apparent where the savings are made. The material on the Udder Covers just isn’t as nice.
It is also worth mentioning that when I first opened up my Udder Cover there was a funny smell. However after I aired it out for a couple of days it seemed to disappear.
Okay, so that takes care of the canopy nursing covers. Lets take a look at something a little more permenant…
Wearable Nursing Covers
Because it is already on you, a wearable nursing cover is an absolute time saver. No more digging through your diaper bag each and every time your baby wants to feed.
Lets start out by looking at the best wearable nursing cover on the market.
Unlike other nursing covers that don’t care for fashion; this one looks like a super stylish poncho. In fact you wouldn’t even know this was a nursing cover until you saw it in action.
Hands down my favorite wearable nursing cover. I used this one for my first baby. It would have lasted through my second too If my dog didn’t play tug-o-war with it when it was drying on the line.
The material is a made from modal fabric. What’s so good about modal? It is incredibly hard to wrinkle. Even if you scrunched it up into a ball and stuffed it into the bottom of your diaper bag you will be able to pull it out days later without a wrinkle (why isn’t my skin made from this stuff?).
But wait… This nursing cover still have one other trick up it’s sleeve.
This nursing cover can also be used as a car seat cover (carrier type)!
With your infant tucked away in the car seat you simply slide the nursing cover over the top. Not only does it block out wind and dust from getting in your baby’s eyes but acts as a darkening blind; blocking out light allowing your baby to sleep without distractions.
A nursing and car seat cover in one? Beats buying the two separately, that’s for sure. You can check out the other 6 designs here.
Another popular wearable nursing cover is the:
Unlike the poncho above that can only be worn as… well.. a poncho, this nursing cover has a few more options in the ways that you can wear it.
The nursing cover is super easy to clean. Because hand washing is for chumps you simply throw it through the washing machine and it emerges good as new.
For those of you with a charitable heart you will be pleased to know that Boho Mama donates a portion of it’s profits to breast cancer charities.
Now while these wearable nursing covers are both beautiful and fashionable; they are definitely a little expensive. I am not arguing that you don’t get what you pay for (you definitely do) but if you are on a budget then they will probably be out of your price range.
While it definitely isn’t going to win any fashion awards, this poncho will not only keep you cool and comfortable in the warmer months, but effectively prevent any passers by from watching your baby attack your breast.
For the price this is an excellent nursing cover. The poncho is very roomy and once your baby starts sucking there will be no need to readjust. It is even machine washable!
For those of you looking for a bargain but are not convinced this is the wearable nursing cover for you then I do have another affordable option:
Nursing cover scarf
Cheap and can be worn in a large variety of different ways. Whether you prefer it bunched up, hanging low or tied a knot, you will be able to adjust your scarf to suit the outfit you are wearing.
An ideal nursing cover scarf will actually enhance the outfit you are wearing:
The scarf is available in 7 different colors; no elaborate “look at me” patterns here. Click here to see them all.
What is so amazing about this nursing cover is that it can be worn in an endless number of ways. Being able to look good and nurse your baby at a moments notice? Winning!
Check out the awesome video below that shows just some of the ways that the Chic Infinity Scarf Nursing Cover can be worn (or any other infinity scarf for that matter).
But what if infinity scarves just don’t suit your style?
You could always go with the traditional hanging scarf:
Don’t let it’s looks fool you, this is one luxurious scarf. While other nursing cover scarves are a little on the thin side, this one is both thick and soft (like how a Winter scarf should be). You could even get away with wearing this scarf when you don’t have your hungry baby with you.
Another plus is that if you do leak breast milk over the cover you can simply throw it in the washing machine without a care in the world. Talk about a time saver!
Ignore the models obviously forced smile (she’s probably wearing uncomfortable underwear), this nursing cover scarf ROCKS!
Even with the perfect nursing cover; you will feel a little awkward and uncomfortable the first few times you breast feed in public. But like riding a bike, driving a car or sex, you get better every time you do it.
Keep at it!
In time your confidence will grow and soon you will be breastfeeding in public without a care in the world; your only focus being your little baby, no matter how many people stare.
You know the drill guys. Leave me any questions, comments, love or hate in the comments below. Stay awesome!