If you want to protect your modesty while breastfeeding in public then a nursing cover is a must-have baby product!
Nursing in public has been normalised so much in recent years, which is fantastic.
But for some mamas the idea of taking down your bra and exposing your boob takes quite a bit of getting used to.
It can be particularly nerve-wracking in the early months of breastfeeding when you are unsure about the latch. As a result you’re probably fiddling around trying to convince your baby to get into the right position.
I don’t know about you, but for me I was just more comfortable being covered up to protect my modesty while my baby was fussing around at the boob.
Whether you want a breastfeeding cover for when you go out to a restaurant, for pumping at work or for feeding at wedding, there are lots of different options on the market to suit what you want.
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Why get a nursing cover?
Let’s talk about why you might actually need a nursing cover.
The truth is that there are a few downsides to having one, the main one being that your baby might hate it!
Some babies don’t want their heads covered when they are feeding, they just don’t like the feeling. It’s particularly apparent with older babies, who like to gaze around the room while they are feeding.
Another downside is that it’s one more thing to have to carry with you when you’re out and about with your baby. Considering we often feel like we already carry everything but the kitchen sink when we go out with our babies, this is something to think about.
Many ladies feed their babies in public without a cover and get along just fine. The baby’s head tends to cover the crucial bits anyway.
If you have good nursing tops and clothing you will find that after you get to grips with breastfeeding, nursing without any other cover it actually not too exposing after all.
However, many mamas, myself included, still want to feel at least a little covered up. It’s all to do with modesty, or the place where we are, and not wanting to draw too much attention to our private areas.
Yes, they’re just boobs. But they’re your boobs, and if you would prefer to keep then under wraps when feeding in public then that’s totally your choice.
Read more: Beginner’s breastfeeding tips
Types of nursing cover
There are a few different options for nursing covers, so it really depends on what you are looking for and how you are going to use it.
It’s about finding a balance between functionality, which is the most important thing, and appearance. You want something that you feel comfortable using in public, because that’s the whole point of the nursing cover.
Here’s a summary of the different styles to help you out with narrowing down your search for a nursing cover:
The apron style is very popular as it is easy for ladies of all shapes and sizes to use. It also has lots of room for things like double pumping or feeding twins.
The apron nursing cover features a large rectangular piece of fabric, sometimes made of muslin or cotton, and a strap that goes around your neck.
Most of the apron nursing covers include a stiff neckline which holds the fabric away from your body so that you can look down and see your baby.
This is a great feature, as it means you can see to latch your baby on (which can be really fiddly in the early days) and check on your little one.
A nursing cover poncho is the perfect option if you are really self-conscious about feeding in public. They provide all-round coverage for your body, including your back, so there’s no chance to accidental flashing!
You can buy ponchos that fasten with poppers and then can be undone and used as a scarf. Have a shop around to see what works best for you.
The poncho is perfect for cooler days as you can wear it as an extra layer, but it could be quite hot on warm summer days, so it’s worth bearing that in mind.
Perfect if you love to wear scarves and want a feeding cover that looks good while being practical too.
Infinity scarfs do not tend to provide a lot of extra room so they aren’t ideal for twin feeding, pumping or ladies who prefer a looser fit.
They are much lower maintenance to transport around however, and provide all-round cover for your front and back.
The infinity nursing scarves are made of a single wide loop of fabric which you wear around your neck, and then slip down your body to cover yourself for feeding.
Many are multi-purpose and can also be used as a car seat cover, or trolley seat cover for your baby.
What features to look for in a breastfeeding cover
- Coverage. Do you need to be covered front and back when wearing the nursing cover? If you have breastfeeding tops that need to be lifted up, you may feel more comfortable having something that covers your back as well.
- Baby’s comfort. Some babies are not keen on being covered up, while others aren’t fussed. Consider a cover that allows baby to still maintain eye contact with you, such as the apron design. Also if your baby has sensitive skin, be mindful of the material the cover is made from.
- Visibility. Are you struggling with the latch? New to breastfeeding? If this is the case it may be a good idea to go for a cover that offers you a good view of your baby so that you can see what you are doing.
- Style. Just because you are a mama, doesn’t mean you have to stop dressing like yourself! Find a cover that suits your usual favourite colours and wardrobe choices.
- Material. Do you live in a hot or cool part of the world? You may favour light, breathable fabrics or a cosier, stretchy fabric.
- Versatility. Do you want a breastfeeding cover that not only covers you up when nursing, but can also be used as a car seat canopy and more? Infinity scarfs offer a lot of versatility, but an apron-style cover can also be used for other things such as a tummy time blanket.
The 10 best nursing covers 2019
BEST FOR: Hot weather
The Rigflex neckline on this nursing cover is fantastic for first-time mamas trying to get the hang go breastfeeding.
It provides an opening so that you can look down and see your baby. This way you can see whether your baby has opened wide enough to latch on properly and double check they are feeding efficiently from the breast.
The material is breathable muslin so you won’t overheat in the summer, but it also keeps its shape so you won’t be struggling to keep yourself covered.
It comes in various different prints and colours to suit a range of tastes, so it’s a great blend of function and style for new mums.
- One size fits all
- Open neckline ensures proper air flow to keep mama and baby cool.
- Machine washable.
- Muslin fabric is perfect for hot days.
- Pretty feminine fabric designs.
- Doesn’t give 360degree coverage.
BEST FOR: Full body coverage
Similar to the Milk Snob cover, made famous for appearing on Shark Tank, but much cheaper.
We just love the black and white stripe print and buttery soft fabric!
The range of uses make this a really great value for money product, with the ability to pop it over your car seat or pushchair to use as a cover.
When feeding, it provides 360degree coverage for your body, so if you do have to pull your top up to feed, you’re not on show at all.
Can be machine washed again and again!
Measures 24ins at its widest point and is 31ins high. The neckline is 13.5ins. Some mamas report it is a little tight for use for larger ladies.
- Machine washable
- Full coverage, including back.
- Multi-use – can be used as a car seat canopy, nursing cover, shopping cart cover, baby blanket, changing mat, infinity scarf.
- Ultra soft.
- Affordable .
- Pretty designs.
- Not enough extra room for plus size.
- Some ladies say they find it a little too hot when nursing baby.
BEST FOR: Ease of use
The open neckline helps you to maintain eye contact with your baby, which is so important for bonding with your little in the early weeks and months.
The cover is slightly weighted at the bottom so that it is held in place for discreet feeding in public.
It’s very much a one-size-fits-all design thanks to the large fabric cut and loop neck fastening.
The inner pockets where you can stash tissues and nipple cream are the icing on the cake as they keep essentials handy for you when you’re in the middle of a feed.
- Internal Terry cloth pockets for cleanups and storage.
- Can get warm on hot days.
- Needs ironing after washing.
BEST FOR: Convenient feeding
We love the arrow grey and white design on this pretty nursing cover. But what’s really great is the burp cloth stitched into the cover.
This means you can transition from feeding to burping in just a few seconds. No more scrambling around in your changing bag for a muslin.
The neckline is made with a flexible bow that allows you to maintain eye contact with your baby and check the latch is correct.
It’s made from 100 per cent cotton to keep mama and baby cool while breastfeeding.
The neck strap is adjustable so you can set it to fit your own needs.
- Extra large burp cloth included sewn into the cover.
- Adjustable neck strap.
- Machine washable.
- Breathable cotton.
- Wide cut fabric for super discreet feeding.
- Does not provide 360degree coverage.
BEST FOR: Affordable style
Stepping out wearing this, no one will guess it’s a breastfeeding cover!
Wear it as a poncho and it just looks like it’s part of your normal wardrobe.
It has a lovely, flattering drape with a discreet side opening for easy nursing access. The cover can also be draped over your baby’s car seat for sun protection.
It comes in four colours – black, grey, blackberry and graphite.
- Can be used as a scarf, poncho, nursing cover and more!
- SPF30 sun protection
- Can be worn in pregnancy.
- Full 360degree coverage
- A little fiddly to get used to wearing and feeding for some.
- Some mamas report struggling to see their baby underneath it as fabric is dark.
BEST FOR: Fans of organic products
This pretty nursing cover is made from breathable organic bamboo cotton to keep you and your baby cool. The fabric is silky soft but also strong, so perfect for coping with the challenges of caring for a baby on the move.
The fabric has not gone under any chemical treatment, so is safe when placed against baby’s delicate skin.
The neckline has a bendable boning feature which means it holds its shape away from your neckline, allowing you to see your baby while feeding.
There’s plenty of fabric, so you can rest assured you will be given full privacy when nursing your baby in public.
- Made from organic bamboo cotton.
- Open neckline means you can maintain eye contact with your baby.
- Some mamas report it is a little see-through.
BEST FOR: Versatility
A multi-use cover that can be worn by mama as a scarf or a poncho, and used for baby as a nursing cover, carseat canopy, pushchair cover and more.
The infinity shape makes is super quick to get it in place for nursing on the go, plus it gives your all-round coverage for back as well as front.
The fabric is stretchy and breathable, making a comfortable environment for your baby to feed.
No straps or fastenings are needed to use, just pop it on and you’re ready to go. Some mamas struggle with the fit as a little tight however.
- Multi-use cover.
- Pretty fabric patterns.
- Light, stretchy material.
- One-size fit is a little tight for some mamas to be comfortable.
- Not ideal for pumping or nursing twins.
BEST FOR: Value for money
An affordable apron-style nursing cover that offers fantastic privacy for ladies who want to feed discreetly in public.
Features an adjustable neck strap to fit all sizing needs.
The cover doubles up as a car seat canopy when out and about to give baby privacy.
- Inexpensive apron nursing cover.
- Adjustable neck strap.
- One-size-fits-all design.
- Some ladies report it is too lightweight and easily lifts in certain weather.
- Some reviewers reported it was too short.
BEST FOR: Baby shower gift
This would make a fantastic baby shower gift for an expectant mama.
The stripy print is adorable and stylish, plus it comes with both a bag to sleep the cover and a matching hat for your baby.
- Soft and stretchy fabric.
- Versatile product can also protect baby from sun, wind and bugs when in the car seat.
- Doubles as an infinity scarf.
- Matching hat included.
- Some mamas reported getting a little too hot when feeding while using it.
BEST FOR: Luxe style
The most expensive nursing cover on our list, but it’s so beautiful it would be wrong not to include it.
The simple and bold stripe pattern is a style statement, but the design is all about functionality.
Use it as a fitted infant car seat cover when out shopping then effortlessly transform it into a nursing cover for on-the-go feeds.
Protects your baby from harsh sunlight, wind and stimulation when out and about.
Made of a lightweight and breathable rayon blend fabric. We just love the range of Disney fabric print options too!
- Easy to use.
- Multi-use product can also be used as a car seat cover.
- Stylish stripe design.
- More expensive than other similar products on the market.
- Not ideal for plus size ladies.
Bonus nursing cover idea: Muslin swaddle blanket
Giant muslins are one of the best new parent products you can get!
Snap up one with a subtle design and you could wear it as a scarf before rolling it out for use as a breastfeeding cover.
You can also use them as a swaddle (of course), tummy time blanket, car seat cover, outdoor play blanket, burping cloth, and changing mat cover.
These are one of my absolute must-have baby products!