Breastfeeding is only natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to pull off in public. Nursing covers are the answer if you feel the need for privacy while nursing in a public space.
Today’s nursing covers are far more than a blanket thrown over the shoulder. They’re made in different styles — many are much like an apron or poncho. For added convenience, some have pockets lining the corners and burp cloths sewn into the back. In fact, a lot of the nursing covers available today can be used for more than just nursing.
Whether you’re nursing indoors or outdoors, lightweight and breathable nursing covers offer you and your sweetie your own bubble of privacy. If you’re in the market for one, you’ll no doubt want a nursing cover that provides coverage, comfort, and versatility. There are a plethora of nursing covers on the market that not only double as scarves, but also can be used as car seat covers, high chair covers, and more.
If you feel this way, know you’re not alone and a solution exists. Nursing covers have allowed plenty of people to feel confident nursing in public, so the only question that remains is which one is the perfect one for you?
5 Best Nursing Covers of 2021:
Milk Snob’s versatile design converts from breastfeeding poncho to an easy, stretchy covering that protects your baby from the elements (or keep the sun out of their eyes so they can sleep!) in their stroller, car seat, or carrier.
It can even be used as a cover for shopping carts or restaurant high chairs, so this is a perfect cover for moms who are constantly on the go. Made of super soft and stretchy fabric, it’s comfortable for both you and your baby. Our Lab pros loved that it can also fold down for you to easily stash in your diaper bag or purse.
Plus, the covers come in a large variety of prints, from classic stripes to cute Disney motifs. Be aware that you won’t be able to see your baby without lifting the fabric to peek in, and it does have a closer fit than covers with rings. The one downside about this cover is that the care instructions specify hand washing, which can be cumbersome with a newborn.
- Easy to put on and store
- Lots of cute prints
- Soft fabric
- Hand-wash only
This apron has everything you’ll need. It’s budget-friendly, it’s stylish and it’s cute in a pleasant neutral color that will go well with many outfits.
Plus, it has a sewn-in burp cloth that lets you switch from feeding your baby to burping them. This apron is made out of breathable fabric so air will be circulating and keeping everyone happy.
With a rigid neckline, you’ll be able to easily peek down at your baby to see how they’re doing. That will help you correct any problems they’re having with their latch, plus you’ll be able to enjoy that mother-child bonding time by making eye contact.
This nursing cover comes with a carrying pouch too, so your nursing apron can stay clean and fresh when you aren’t using it. Just pop it in the diaper bag and it’ll stay protected till you need it.
- The neck strap can be adjusted
- You’ll get full coverage with this apron
- It can go in the washing machine and dryer
- It does tend to get a bit hot in the summer
- Plus-sized women might need a bigger apron
This cover lets you look down and see the baby as you feed them, as well as giving you reassurance that he or she has good airflow. Unlike other styles, our Lab testers liked that the neckline has a rigid frame, which holds the fabric away from mom and baby so there’s more space. It’s made of soft and breathable cotton and comes in a variety of cute prints. Plus, there are pockets for stashing an errant pacifier or folded burp cloth.
One downside of this cover is that it’s not as versatile as the multi-use styles and is strictly for breastfeeding. Because of that, you might be less likely to want it to take up valuable real estate in your diaper bag when you’re out and about. It’s also a little bulkier than the scarf or poncho style covers.
- Comfortable, breathable design for both mom and baby
- 100% cotton
- Bulkier than others
This Hooter Hiders nursing cover will ensure your babies have plenty of air while they’re nursing. With two babies feeding under your cover, it’s more important than ever to make sure there’s enough air circulating. This cover delivers with its special Rigiflex neckline.
The neckline is rigid enough that the cover will keep its bowed shape, even when it’s on you. That bowed shape will mean that the cover stays away from your skin just above the breast, which will give your babies air and will also let you make eye contact with them.
Even with the rigid neckline, it’s still flexible enough to fold up easily when you’re finished, and you can store it in its matching carry pouch. These covers are big enough to give you complete coverage even with two babies. Plus it comes with an adjustable neck strap to make sure you can find the perfect fit.
- Machine washable
- Large enough for two babies
- Breathable cotton for hot weather
- Can be used as a car seat cover
- They don’t come in solid colors, only patterns
- It may take you a few tries to find the right length for the neck strap
If you’re more a fan of the classic apron-style nursing cover, Boppy has though of just about everything with this design. Can’t remember which breast baby nursed on last time? Don’t worry, it’s a common thing among breastfeeding parents.
It also features a mesh window so you can see your baby. Even though it folds up into a normal-sized scarf, this cover provides a nice amount of privacy and is made of a soft, breathable, and lightweight fabric. Keep in mind: Some testers noted it had too much fabric, and others found the strap tricky to adjust in public.
This nursing cover solves that forgetfulness issue with a ring that slides side to side across the neckline, so you can mark whether you breastfed from the right side or the left side (and remember for next time!). And when you’re all done, the cover folds up quickly and easily into a pouch that can be tossed in your diaper bag.
- Looks like a regular scarf
- Mesh window to see baby
- Adjustable strap
- Coverage area may be too wide for some
What to look for in a nursing cover
Unlike a crib or car seat, there aren’t any official guidelines or recommendations for nursing covers. There are plenty of solid breastfeeding covers out there, and picking the right option is really about finding one you feel comfortable wearing.
Ideally, your cover should be easy to use and adjust (no fumbling with a hungry, fussy baby, please!) and give you the coverage you want to nurse with confidence. The fabric should feel soft, touchable and breathable to ensure that your baby stays comfortable.
Also important: It should be machine-washable, because hand-washing spit up stains just isn’t something you need right now.
Types of nursing covers
There are many different types of nursing covers, but some of the big groupings are:
- Apron style. Like an apron you’d wear in the kitchen with the string around your waist, these nursing covers slip over your head and cover your chest area.
- Wearable covers. Fashion with a purpose! These nursing covers double as a piece of clothing (e.g., shawl or poncho) that you can wear and then use to cover up when it’s time to nurse.
- Convertible covers. Usually shaped like a large fabric loop, these can act as blankets or as covers for car seats, high chairs, and shopping carts when not in use as a nursing cover.
Q. Are nursing covers machine washable?
A. The vast majority of nursing covers are machine washable. After all, they’re going to potentially get sweat, milk, and spit up on them throughout the course of a normal day.
Q. How Do You Wear A Nursing Scarf?
A. As detailed in the previous nursing scarf reviews, like you would wear any other scarf. Some of the best-rated nursing coats double as scarfs, and you can’t tell difference if you don’t own one as well. The models are so stylish that you can easily use it as a day-to-day accessory if you feel like it.
Q. Will a nursing cover stay in place in the wind?
A. A random gust of wind could dishevel your nursing cover. If this concerns you, consider a nursing cover made of stretchy fabric that hugs your body; these are most wind-resistant. However, as long as your cover is attached to your body by a strap, tie, or wrap, even if it blows out of place, it shouldn’t leave you completely exposed.
Q. Is My Baby Safe Under A Nursing Cover?
A. Yes! But you should follow simple rules. Just provide for your baby enough of ventilation don’t pressed up the fabric against their nose or mouth.