Looking for the best nursing cover?
Breastfeeding in public can be daunting for a new mom. You’re fiddling around attaching your baby with the fear that everyone will be staring at your boobs or postpartum tum.
A good nursing cover can offer you modest coverage for you and baby to do your thing in private.
If you type nursing cover into google, you’ll see hundreds of options to buy. So it’s handy to know what you want from your nursing cover. We created this guide to help you find a nursing cover that will fit your needs.
In this guide, we’ll discuss:
- Choosing a nursing cover
- 5 Best Nursing Cover Reviews
- Nursing cover alternative
- Types of nursing cover
- Nursing cover buying guide
- Benefits of nursing cover
- Disadvantages of nursing covers
First, let’s start by looking at what we think is essential for all nursing covers to have.
Choosing a Nursing Cover
Breastfeeding covers come in various styles with different uses. However, there are three basic functions a nursing cover must have to be of any use to you at all. This is what you need to look for:
The whole point of buying nursing cover is to help you feed discreetly. You’ll need to consider how much coverage you want for you and baby.
Without good airflow, it can be difficult for baby to breathe. Remember to consider the weather too. When it’s hot outside the heat can really build up under a nursing cover. Look for breathable fabrics or air flow features.
Since it will mainly be used when you’re in public places, you’ll need to carry it with you. You may need to fold it into a bag, so make sure it’s not too bulky to carry around. Some covers can be worn as an item of clothing.
Now let’s check out our favorite nursing covers.
5 Best Nursing Cover Reviews
The nursing covers we’ve picked here are all great buys. They’ve all been thoroughly road tested by thousands of moms, who have rated them highly.
1. Copper Pearl 5 in 1 Cover
- Style: All in one
- Colors: 19 patterns
The Copper Pearl 5 in 1 is a fantastic multi-use cover. It’s a lot like the popular Milk Snob, but with a huge range of designs and cheaper. You can wear it as an infinity scarf, then unravel to use as a nursing cover. It can also be used as a canopy, cart cover and high chair cover. They are great for using to prevent your baby from having to sit in a grubby public baby chair. The stretchy rayon fabric is soft, comfortable to wear, allowing airflow and keeping you cool.
What we love
The variety of modern designs which aren’t ‘mumsy’. There is a lot to choose from, you’ll find a color or print to match your own style. The only trouble is having to choose which one.
What we dislike
You need to be quite careful with the lightweight material as it can be prone to getting holes when snagged. You should care for this like a quality t-shirt otherwise it won’t last long.
2. Kiddocare Nursing Cover
- Style: All in one
- Colors: 7 patterns
The Kiddocare nursing cover is a great basic and affordable option. It’s designed to be worn as an infinity scarf that folds down into a nursing cover. It’s available in 7 basic designs, which will match pretty much everything in your wardrobe. The versatility of this scarf is ideal for all new moms. You can look effortlessly stylish and have your nursing cover to hand at all time for pure convenience. Plus it can be used as a sunshade, car seat cover or a swaddle blanket if you’re not keen on using it as a wardrobe piece.
What we love
There is a lot of material, and more than enough for full coverage if you are plus-sized. We would highly recommend this if you are breastfeeding twins. The material is super soft and flexible enough to give you coverage to feed both babies.
What we dislike
Although good quality, the material is quite thin. It’s great for keeping you and baby cool, but can be slightly see-through in some lights.
3. EnBabies 360 Full Coverage Cover
- Style: Poncho
- Colors: 3 stripe colors in black, Grey and Navy
The EnBabies 360 full coverage is the best option if you want maximum coverage. It’s a poncho design which you can throw over your regular clothing, and it just looks like a normal top. Whether you have a petite or large frame, there will be no need to adjust it. The simple stripe design won’t draw any attention to you as you feed. This nursing cover is high quality and not transparent, even in bright light. The jersey fabric makes it extremely lightweight to carry around, wear when it’s hot out and machine wash.
What we love
The coverage this cover provides is fantastic. It’s ideal for feeding an older baby who won’t stay still for too long. This design covers you all the way around, making it difficult for baby to pull it off or randomly expose you during a feed.
What we dislike
This cover is quite pricey compared to our other top picks. Although the neck is more than wide enough to see your baby, you will need to pull the material forward.
4. Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover
- Style: Apron
- Colors: 15 patterns
The Bebe Au Lait nursing cover is a high-quality option. There are so many designs and colors to choose from, you’ll find one to suit your tastes. Although they are quite heavily patterns, they are a lot more subtle than the udder cover designs. It comes with a rigid neckline so you can see your baby as you feed. The neck strap is adjustable to offer modestly for your frame size. Compared to the Uddercover, it’s larger. We’d recommend this for regular, plus sized and tall women. Lengthwise it may swamp petite frames with too much fabric.
What we love
It had handy little extra terry toweling corners. They act as cloths to mop up any baby spit without having to search around of a burp cloth. The corners also double as pockets to hold something small like breast pads, nipple shield or a pacifier.
What we dislike
The price really fluctuates depending upon the design you get. Some will cost you around $35 and others you get for around $21. You can pretty much buy another nursing cover for the difference you’ll pay.
5. Intimom Cover
- Style: Apron
- Colors: 2 patterns
The Intimom Cover is the most popular apron style cover on the market. For starters, it’s a lot cheaper than most nursing covers, and you can pick one up for under $20. This cover is a large rectangle sheet of fabric with an adjustable neck strap. It’s made from 100% cotton, which will keep you and baby cool when it’s hot outside. It’s available in 2 different patterned designs.
What we love
This cover makes it really easy to see your baby when feeding. The neckline is rigid; this helps to keep it off your chest without having to pull the material back.
What we dislike
The cover is quite small. This makes it easier to carry around. However, if you want lots of coverage or are plus sized we wouldn’t recommend this cover.
If you feel that a nursing cover isn’t for you, don’t despair mama. A large swaddle cloth is a handy alternative. You can buy these in packs of three for around the same price you’d pay for a nursing cover. They are amazingly versatile for general baby care. The fabrics are very lightweight with excellent airflow for baby. We love theZiggy baby swaddle blankets. They come in a pack of three, and you can choose whether you want a modern or baby design. They are large enough to knot two corners together and sling over your shoulder as baby feeds.
Types of Nursing Cover
There are three types of nursing cover you can choose from. Each has their own benefits and drawbacks. Let’s find out which one is right for you.
Like an oversized apron, it’s a large square or rectangle of fabric with a neck attachment. This style provides a lot of coverage for the front and sides of your body. They are usually the best designs for seeing your baby, as modern styles have curved necklines for you to look down. This makes it easier to have eye contact with baby. You’ll also see what you’re doing when putting your baby on the breast.
The drawback of an apron style is that they don’t provide full coverage. This means there is a slight risk of exposure if you have a wiggly baby or are still getting used to breastfeeding. Apron styles are more obvious as a nursing cover, so they may attract more attention than any other style.
A poncho nursing cover is designed to go over your head and cover your whole upper body. This style is best for super discreet feeding as most will look like a regular top. The oversized design makes them a ‘one size fits all’ solution. We would recommend them for all sizes and moms of multiples who need lots of coverage.
The drawback of poncho covers is that they can be quite pricey to buy a good-quality brand. You can get cheaper versions, but they are often made from low-quality materials, which are not durable.
All in one
As the name suggests this style can be used for more than a simple nursing cover. They are made from stretchy jersey fabric designed to wear as a fashionable infinity scarf. The fabric can then be opened up to a larger shawl size. You can use the fabric to cover your car seat, high chairs, baby swings and shopping carts. They protect your baby from the grubby surfaces or protect the surface from your messy baby. They are the most modern nursing covers and will certainly get you lots of compliments.
The biggest drawback is that the fabric has a tendency to cling to you. This can make you or baby feel quite restricted when feeding especially if you are plus-sized.
Nursing Cover Buying Guide
There is a lot to think about before you buy a nursing cover. We’ve designed this buying guide to help you find a nursing cover that best suits your lifestyle. These categories will help you to narrow down your favorites.
- Size – The size of the nursing cover will have a big impact on how much it covers. Ponchos are a great option if you don’t want to worry about it fitting a small or plus-sized frame.
- Adjustability – Some nursing cover can be adjusted to adapt to your body size. This is handy if you need a better view of baby, whilst keeping your modesty intact. Make sure they adjust easily, and with one hand as you may need to fix the cover when your baby is feeding.
Ease of use
- Wear – Having a cover which is instantly accessible will make it so much easier to use. Think of how your cope searching in a bag, and putting on the cover with a screaming, hungry baby. If you want convenience, pick a cover which can be worn a clothing.
- Portability – You’ll be using the cover when you’re out of the house. That means it will have you be easy to carry around with you. Most will fit into a baby changing bag. Some covers can be worn as clothing or as a cover for baby gear, making it easy to carry around.
- Baby View – Having a good view of your baby under the cover will make thing so much easier. Baby will be less likely to pull on the fabric. For beginner feeders, you get a better view of what are doing when attaching baby.
- Weather Appropriate – Consider the usual weather you’ll be feeding your baby in. If you live somewhere really hot, you won’t want to be wearing a poncho or scarf all day. On the other hand, stretchy covers offer a snug fit, without the risk of blowing around in windy weather.
- Coverage – You’ll want your nursing cover to provide as much fabric as you need. If you only want front coverage, then opt for an apron style. If you want full coverage a poncho or all in one cover is your best option.
- Print – You may totally love the funky color and patterns, but remember they have a tendency to draw attention to you feeding. For discreet feeding opt for plain color or patterns, which look similar to everyday clothing.
- Flexibility – Nursing covers with a bit of stretch or extra fabric offer you a lot of flexibility. You can easily move baby around without any risk of exposure. This is especially ideal if you want to change baby’s position during a feed.
- Comfort – A lightweight fabric will be most comfortable for you and baby. The fabric should be soft and free from any harsh seams, buckles or tags, which can rub.
- Cleaning – You’ll need to keep your cover nice and clean to prevent it getting smelly or staining. Most can be machine washed, but you may want to put them in with delicate clothing. This will keep lightweight fabrics lasting longer.
- Air Flow – one of our essential for buying a nursing cover. You do not want your baby to overheat as they will get cranky and won’t feed. Look out for moisture-wicking fabrics such as cotton, bamboo or rayon.
Benefits of Nursing Covers
Let’s look at the benefits you get from using a nursing cover.
Help To Feed In Public
We all know there is still a huge stigma attached to breastfeeding in public. Plus breastfeeding is hard enough to get to grips with. You don’t need people ogling you or making you feel like an exhibitionist. The privacy a nursing cover offers you, help you feel more relaxed when feeding in public. Making you and baby lest stressed and will help your let-down reflex.
Cover Up Leaks
Until your milk supply is established (i.e. more settled) you will leak, a lot. It will happen at the most inconvenient times and is downright embarrassing. IF you are caught short with your trusty nursing pads, then you can disguise it with a nursing cover. Although we wouldn’t recommend this with an apron style, it might look a little strange.
No Need for Alternatives
Using a nursing cover means your baby can exclusively breastfeed, without the worry of where you are. If you choose not to feed your baby in public, you have two options. The first is to never go out for longer than 2-3 hours when your baby needs to feed. The other is to express milk or use formula when you are out. The easiest way to do this is by a bottle, which can open up to a whole host of breastfeeding problems.
For some babies, the privacy of a nursing cover can be really soothing. Babies can be extremely sensitive to sensory overload. When out in public too much noise, sounds, and smells can make them cranky and looking for reassurance. A nursing cover gives them a womb-like den where they can just focus on you and be calmed by feeding.
I find that most moms don’t care about other knowing they are breastfeeding. They simply don’t want others to see their body. A nursing cover is a great way to discreetly feed without your breasts or tummy being on show. This is particularly important if you have large breasts and feel that you can’t be discreet as moms with small breasts.
As your baby gets older, they will get distracted during feeds. This often results in the randomly pulling off your nipple and leaving it completely exposed. A nursing cover won’t stop your baby from becoming distracted, but it can help you if baby catches you off guard during a feed.
Breastfeeding is a learning process, especially for new moms. In the first few weeks, you’ll probably fiddle about with your breast, baby or changing position. This all takes time and a lot of new moms won’t nurse in public during this time. A nursing cover can help you to take your time with your baby, whilst building up your confidence of feeding baby in front of other.
Good for Expressing
If your plan to express a nursing cover can be just as useful. You can pump hands-free in your car using a nursing cover. None of your fellow road users will be any the wiser. For working moms, you can wear it when expressing at work. This will save any embarrassment if any of your colleagues accidentally walk in on whilst using your pump.
When you feed multiples you literally have it all on show. You have to when using both breasts at the same time. It’s much harder to be discreet about breastfeeding. Using a nursing cover can help you to feed two babies at once, without having to bare all in the process.
Disadvantages of Nursing Covers
Nursing covers are great; however, there are a few drawbacks we think you should know.
Your baby may not like it
Unfortunately, some babies hate having their head covered. This usually happens more with older babies who want to see more. The only way you will know is to try one and see.
Nothing screams ‘I’m breastfeeding’ like a woman with a large piece of fabric over her in a 90-degree heat. We’ve already mentioned that apron style covers and bold designs are much more likely to draw attention to you feeding. If you feel this will make you anxious we highly recommend opting for a wearable nursing cover with a plain color or subtle print.
Hiding Role Models
This is more a societal issue than anything. Once you’ve mastered breastfeeding, give it a try without the nursing cover. You can absolutely inspire other moms to do the same. The more we normalize breastfeeding in public, the sooner it becomes a ‘norm’ for everyone. This would undoubtedly help breastfeeding rates and impact on the health of a whole future generation.