Which nursing cover is best?
As soon as your baby is born, breastfeeding becomes a full-time job. To keep your baby happy and fed on the go or when you have visitors over, you may want to consider a nursing cover. It provides you with an easy way to feed your little one discreetly and comfortably.
The Bebe Au Lait Premium Muslin Nursing Cover is the top choice for its soft, breathable fabric, adjustable strap and pretty design.
What to know before you buy a nursing cover
Nursing cover types
There are four types of nursing cover: poncho, apron, shawl and scarf.
- Poncho covers fit over your head and cover your entire upper body all the way around. This is perfect for anyone concerned about an errant gust of wind blowing their cover wide open. However, they offer no breathability, so they can be hot and uncomfortable, for you and your baby.
- Apron covers focus on the front of the body. Just like an apron, they secure using a neck strap, which is usually adjustable. Some use wiring to push the top of the apron away from the body, leaving more room for you and your baby. Unfortunately, they have the highest chance of billowing open.
- Shawl covers let you express a little style. When not in use, they look like any other shawl. They provide similar coverage to ponchos, but with a higher risk of accidental exposure.
- Scarf covers are also worn when not being used, but they wrap around the neck like a scarf. When it’s time to be used as a cover, you simply shake it out and let it drape. They provide similar coverage to aprons.
Most nursing covers come one-size-fits-all. When an item is designed to cover your body, it’s imperative it fits your body appropriately. Look for covers that are marketed as long, short or extra-wide if your body type necessitates it.
What to look for in a quality nursing cover
Most nursing covers are made of cotton, synthetics or stretch knit.
- Cotton is the best material thanks to its low cost, high breathability, softness and low cleaning effort.
- Synthetic, commonly polyester, is much the same as cotton save for one key difference: it doesn’t breathe. This can make feeding your baby unbearably hot in the summer but may be beneficial in the winter.
- Stretch knit is made from stretchy materials such as spandex mixed with a main material such as cotton or polyester. This is most commonly used for covers designed to serve multiple functions. It also struggles to breathe well and may feel too restrictive for you, your baby or both.
Apron and shawl nursing covers have a leg up on the competition thanks to their adjustable fit.
- Apron covers’ neck straps aren’t always adjustable, but most are. Non-adjustable aprons don’t save you enough money to be worth the lack of consideration.
- Shawls require you to tie the ends of the cover together, which is inherently adjustable. Make sure the shawl you’re buying is appropriately sized; otherwise, you’ll have too much material on your shoulders or not enough.
Multifunctional covers can be used in all manner of ways, though they may only be marketed as being used for covering your body. These options are usually made of stretch knit so they can adjust to most object sizes, including car seats or grocery carts.
How much you can expect to spend on a nursing cover
Nursing covers are among the least expensive pieces of baby gear, with prices that rarely exceed $40 and go as low as $10. The majority of options run $15-$30.
Nursing cover FAQ
How should I wash a nursing cover?
A. Aside from the rare exception, nursing covers are machine-washable and -dryable. After all, it’s going to get awfully dirty, quickly and often.
What’s the best way to pack a nursing cover?
A. This depends on the nursing cover. Most include no method of carrying, instead assuming you intend to keep it in your diaper bag. A few include a carrying bag or even have a pocket sewn into the side that the rest of the cover can fold into. Others may be designed to be worn around the neck as a scarf while you’re out and about.
What’s the best nursing cover to buy?
Top nursing cover
What you need to know: This nursing cover is adjustable, attractive and well-priced.
What you’ll love: It’s made of muslin cotton for softness without sacrificing durability. It uses a patented rig flex open neckline that pushes the cover away from you and your baby and the neck straps are fully adjustable. It comes in three designs.
What you should consider: It’s a little on the thin side, and a few users reported shrinkage after washing. Others were unhappy with its softness.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top nursing cover for the money
What you need to know: This nursing cover doubles as a fashionable infinity scarf.
What you’ll love: When not in use as a nursing cover, you can simply wrap it around your neck and it becomes a gorgeous infinity scarf. It can also be used as a cover for a carrier, shopping cart and high chair. It comes in five designs.
What you should consider: It doesn’t provide as much coverage as cover-only models, and its durability isn’t as high as other models.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This all-in-one cover is worth a look for function-focused moms.
What you’ll love: The five cover uses as marketed are nursing, car seat, carrier/stroller, high chair and shopping cart. It comes in a large variety of designs, including multiple patterns and prints. It’s soft and easy to stretch, plus it’s machine-washable.
What you should consider: Some buyers felt the material was too thin for comfort, and a few had issues with holes forming along the seams.
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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