Whether you're a first time breastfeeding mum or a veteran, there are always times when you feel awkward or self-conscious when you need to breastfeed your baby or pump milk when you're out and about. Different people will find it harder or easier, but if you are wanting to feel covered while you're doing your thing, then a breastfeeding cover may be the right answer for you.
Should I get a breastfeeding cover, nursing scarf or loose fit poncho?
If you're not sure whether a nursing cover, breastfeeding scarf or poncho is the right answer for you then check out this blog here: What is the difference between breastfeeding covers, scarves or ponchos. Nursing covers are fabulous for a few reasons:
- The neck strap means it stays in place, even if your baby tugs on it
- Breastfeeding Covers with wire boning mean you can easily look at your baby while you are nursing, which is great for bonding, for getting the attachment right, and for putting everything back together afterwards!
- The stiff wire boning will also allow airflow, so hot air flows out the top, helping to keep baby cool. When they are nursing, babies tend to get quite warm, especially their head, so keeping the air flowing is important.
- The size of the cover means that your sides and tummy stay covered all the time
How to Choose the Best Nursing Cover
It can be overwhelming looking at the different nursing covers available on the market. What are the differences, and as a new mum what do you need to be aware of? Our Milk and Love team (with 14 kids between us) put our heads together to identify the most important features you should look for:
- Choose Breathable Natural Fabrics - when your baby breastfeeds their body temperature increases, particularly their head. You firstly want to make sure your cover is made with natural fabric so it's breathable, and secondly if you're having a baby in summertime we prefer a lightweight muslin cotton fabric which is a loose weave to let air flow best. If you're having a winter baby, then a solid cotton might be better.
- Get a Large Size Cover - making sure that the cover is large enough to cover your sides and tummy is important. A cheaper cover might be 10cm smaller at the sides or bottom, making it a lot less comfortable when you're breastfeeding with a baby and your baby is wiggling around!
- Make Sure the Neck Strap Is Thick and Comfy - If your baby is pulling on the cover you may find a thin neck strap will cut into your skin, whereas a thick strap that you can adjust will make everything more comfortable
- Other Features We Love - some nursing covers have additional features, such as terry fabric on the corners to help weight it down (and provide a handy wipe for milk spills or dribble!). These can be helpful and are a personal preference.
Our preferred brand at Milk and Love is Bebe au Lait cotton nursing covers. They come in a lightweight muslin, or a solid cotton fabric. They are the largest size cover we have found and have a variety of gorgeous prints you'll love using!
Other Uses for your Nursing Cover
You can multipurpose your nursing covers in a variety of ways:
- Sun Cover for Your Baby Carrier: When you have your baby in a baby carrier, you can loop your nursing cover over your head to provide sun cover (with airflow!) over your baby. This is especially fabulous when they are sleeping
- Use it as a Blanket to Put Baby Down On: just undo the neck strap and you can use your cover as a handy blanket to put baby down on anywhere
- Cover your Pram: You can use the neckstrap to tie the cover to the handles of the pram, and a simple pram clip to attach it to the hood, and use as a sun cover (remember to leave one side open to allow for airflow and avoid overheating your baby).
What are your favourite nursing covers and how have you used it?
Watch the video below for a quick demo on the different breastfeeding covers at Milk and Love and the features I love.
xox Corryn and the Milk and Love team.