What Is a Nursing Cover?

After your baby was born, it is likely that you spend the first couple of weeks inside because the baby is too small and you are still recovering from the delivery. But eventually, you will want to go out, hang out with your family and friends, you will be invited to different events, and so on. And of course, you will take a baby with you. Small babies nurse quite often, and the issue of breastfeeding in public will arise sooner or later.

There are a lot of opinions regarding feeding babies in public. Even though we live in the 21st-century people still discuss whether a mother is permitted to do that or not. A lot of women resort to throwing a blanket over their shoulder to have more privacy during feeding. Unfortunately, blankets don’t always do the trick, because they tend to slide and fall. Thankfully, a nursing cover scarf has been invented. While it is still your personal decision of whether you want to cover up while nursing, in this article we will discuss a breastfeeding scarf in details and we hope this will assist you in making a decision that works best for you.

Feeding cover stays where it should and doesn’t end up blown by the wind or piling up on a baby’s face. A nursing scarf is functional and easy to use. And believe it or not, it can be quite a fashionable accessory. A great thing about a nursing scarf is that it covers you from all sides: back, front and side. A baby will feel secure and not distracted by everything around her if you nurse her using a specially designed nursing blanket.

Breastfeeding blankets are made from different materials. Usually, cotton or muslin is used. Sometimes they are made from cotton blended with polyester. A nursing cover lets you have some privacy when breastfeeding even in public places. A prayer answered for many mothers.

If you wear a breastfeeding cover as a scarf, then it is quite easy to use it for nursing. If you wear the scarf as a double loop, then you can unloop it and drape it over the shoulder. After that spread the fabric nicely to create proper coverage. Place your baby in a nursing position and arrange the fabric so it would cover the baby completely. This is a rather simple procedure that will make nursing in public so much more pleasant experience.

How To Choose a Nursing Cover?

There are a few points to take into consideration when shopping for a nursing cover:

  • Adequate coverage – A good nursing shawl must completely cover you while breastfeeding from all sides.
  • Allows breathing for your baby – You need to cover your baby entirely while nursing, but it is necessary to make sure that there is air circulation and your baby breathes well. So, the fabric your breastfeeding shawl is made of should be breathable. If your baby falls asleep while nursing it is likely that she doesn’t get enough oxygen.
  • Washability – Your nursing cover must be easy to clean because it will get baby spits and milk leaking from your breasts. In fact, you will need to wash it quite often. So it is better to purchase a cover that you can wash quickly and that will dry fast. Some fabrics shrink after washing, so pay attention to that detail.
  • Color and pattern – The brighter the nursing cover, the more attention you will get. At the same time, if you double it as a scarf, you might prefer something flashy or just your favorite colors and patterns. This is something to consider before shopping for a breastfeeding cover-up.

Reasons To Use Or Not To Use a Nursing Cover

The Advantages of Using a Nursing Cover

  • Both you and your baby are covered up, and no part of your body is exposed while breastfeeding in public.
  • A baby doesn’t get distracted by the things going on around her. The cover will simply prevent her from seeing anything except your breast.
  • Milk overflow is often an issue when you are nursing. While you feed your baby on one breast, another may start leaking. A baby feeding cover will save you from embarrassment when you have to deal with this messy situation.
  • If you are a new mother, you may feel nervous while breastfeeding in public and this might even prevent milk flow. When you are covered up with a scarf, you will feel more comfortable and relaxed.

The Disadvantages of Using a Nursing Cover

  • If you feel that nursing is natural (which it is!) and you don’t think that covering up is necessary, then using a baby nursing cover is not the best option.
  • A baby might not like be being covered up and will start fussing and pulling the cover off, which is not a good breastfeeding experience.
  • A nursing cover brings attention to the fact that you are breastfeeding, especially if you have a bright breastfeeding scarf. This is not a situation where you will be discreet.
  • If you live in a warm climate or you are breastfeeding in summer, then you may feel too hot wearing and using a nursing cover.
  • If your baby is very small and is just learning to latch, then it might be difficult to adjust her to a proper position when using a nursing scarf.

Top Nursing Covers – Price Comparison

Buy on Amazon
Kids N’ Such Baby Nursing Cover for Breastfeeding with Sewn-in Burp Cloth & Matching Pouch, ChambrayKids N' SuchBuy on Amazon
Kids N’ Such Baby Nursing Cover for Breastfeeding with Sewn-in Burp Cloth & Matching Pouch, ArrowKids N' SuchBuy on Amazon
Breastfeeding Nursing Cover, Trcoveric Lightweight Breathable Cotton Privacy Feeding Cover, Nursing Apron for Breastfeeding - Full Coverage, Adjustable Strap, Stylish and ElegantTrcovericBuy on Amazon
Kids N’ Such Baby Nursing Cover for Breastfeeding with Sewn-in Burp Cloth & Matching Pouch, HerringboneKids N' SuchBuy on Amazon
Kids N’ Such Baby Nursing Cover for Breastfeeding with Sewn-in Burp Cloth & Matching Pouch, Vintage Navy FloralKids N' SuchBuy on Amazon
Pobi Baby Premium Multi-Use Cover - Nursing Cover, Baby Car Seat Covers, Shopping Cart, High Chair, and Breastfeeding Cover - Ultra-Soft, Stretchy, and Versatile Floral Scarf for Baby and Mom (Allure)PobibabyBuy on Amazon
Wearable Infinity Nursing Cover for Breast-Feeding Moms by Tykes & Tails - Black & Gray Stripe Pattern. Multi-Use as Scarf, Burp Cloth, Changing Pad, or BlanketTykes & TailsBuy on Amazon
Pobi Baby Car Seat Covers and Nursing Cover - Soft and Stretchy Floral Pattern (Charm)PobibabyBuy on Amazon
Parker Baby 4 in 1 Car Seat Cover for Girls and Boys - Stretchy Carseat Canopy, Nursing Cover, Grocery Cart Cover, High Chair Cover - Gray/White StripesParker Baby Co.Buy on Amazon

Types of Nursing Covers

There are three basic types of nursing covers, so you can choose one that will be more suitable for your personal situation.

A Nursing Scarf

This is a wearable scarf that is part of your outfit, but you use it for nursing when you need to. You usually loop the scarf twice around your neck for wearing and unloop it when you need to nurse. A nursing scarf is wider and longer than the usual scarf. It doesn’t have loose ends. There are a lot of nursing scarfs designs nowadays – all kinds of colors and patterns. We, however, suggest buying something of natural color, a scarf that will be subtle and will not draw too much attention to you when you are nursing.

A Nursing Canopy

This is basically a loose-fitting nursing apron. You take it with you in your bag and then pull it out and put it on when the feeding time comes. If you use a canopy, you need to make sure you tighten all the straps so it wouldn’t be blown all over the place instead of hiding your breasts. A nursing apron should have a rigid neckline that will allow you to watch your baby while she is nursing.

A Poncho

A nursing poncho is an ideal nursing cover because it is a stylish piece of clothing, and very practical for nursing at the same time. Moreover, it can be used as a stroller or car seat cover. Truly, a versatile item!

10 Best Nursing Covers

#1 Bebe Au Lait Premium Muslin Nursing Scarf, Nightingale

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This wonderful scarf is made of 100% cotton muslin, which makes it very breathable and pleasant to the skin. It is very comfortable and soft. The fabric is also very durable, which is essential when you need to wash the item many times. It is entirely safe for your baby and doesn’t contain any chemicals. The scarf is machine washable, and you can wash it as many times as needed.

This scarf will provide you and your baby with the privacy you need since it will cover you from the front, back and side. The color and pattern are very beautiful and fashionable and it will be a nice accessory for your outfits. This is a versatile accessory that you will be able to use for breastfeeding and match it with many of your outfits.

#2 En Babies Poncho Style Nursing Cover

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This is a poncho nursing cover, which is also a wonderful outfit. It covers you from all sides when you are nursing and thus provides complete privacy. The poncho is made of cotton with the addition of some spandex. This makes this material very durable. The fabric is light and breathable, and at the same time, it is not see-through. The big plus of this poncho nursing cover is that it doesn’t have any straps that need adjusting. You need to slip it over your head and you are ready to wear it and feed your baby. The neck is quite wide and allows you to see your baby while nursing.

This nursing poncho will fit any mother and any baby because of its generous size. The navy striped pattern is very fashionable and stylish. If you are thinking about a baby shower gift, then this nursing poncho will be perfect for any new mother.

#3 Bay’s Nursing Scarf

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This is a very versatile item. You can use it as a breastfeeding cover, pumping cover, and a fashionable accessory. The material of the scarf is very soft and breathable, which is pleasant both for a mother and a baby. A baby will feel very comfortable nursing in this scarf and will not be distracted. You can wash the scarf in the machine and not be afraid that it will get deformed because the edges and collar are reinforced.

It is super easy to use: just slip it over your head for nursing and slip it off when you are done. You can use it as a stylish scarf afterward or just put it away. The scarf is wide and long and covers you and your baby completely while nursing.

#4 Boho Mama Luxury Nursing Cover

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This luxurious nursing cover is manufactured from organic bamboo modal with the addition of spandex. It is very light, silky soft, and breathable. Thanks to the organic fabric it is completely hypoallergenic and naturally antibacterial.

The natural color of this nursing scarf is very stylish and will match almost any outfit. It will not attract much attention when you are nursing, which is its great plus too. This could be a perfect gift for a baby shower – it is packed nicely, and you can wear it straight away because it doesn’t have any chemical smell.

This versatile breastfeeding cover can also be used as a stroller canopy protecting your baby from dust, wind, or sun. You may also cover a car seat with it. You can use it as a darkening drape in the room when the baby needs to have some sleep. Moreover, it can be used as a light blanket since it is very soft and organic. All in all, we must say that this is one of the best nursing wraps in the market and is totally worth the money that you will pay for it. Besides, another great thing is that Boho Mama donates some money that you spend on purchasing their items to breast cancer charities. Apart from being fashionable and versatile, this nursing shawl is easy to clean – just through it into the washing machine, and it will be as good as new.

#5 Bamboobies Nursing Cover Shawl Scarf

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This is a very stylish accessory that also serves as a breastfeeding shawl. There is no trick in putting it on or adjusting. You just slip it over your head, and you are ready to go. This shawl is made for pregnancy and nursing, and it will serve you for a long time. Definitely worth the money that you will pay for it. The shawl is made of lovely soft fabric (organic cotton mixed with bamboo). It drapes over your body beautifully.

And of course, it is perfect for breastfeeding. Both you and your baby are covered completely. At the same time, the material is breathable, and your baby will feel safe and comfortable while nursing in this shawl. Besides, this nursing cover-up can be washed in the washing machine in warm water. It dries out really fast. It is super light and can also be used as a car seat or stroller cover.

#6 Bozeman Baby Company Nursing Scarf

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This stylish scarf provides perfect coverage for a mother and a baby. Its two sides can be folded together, and this is the best nursing cover because it is light but not see-through at the same time. There are 26 color and design options so you can find something that you will like and that will match your outfits. You don’t have to look boring and not interesting while you are breastfeeding! Because it is double-sided, there is no wrong side of the fabric.

Apart from being a stylish accessory and from being used for nursing, you can also use this scarf as a baby blanket or stroller cover.

This scarf is a perfect baby shower gift. Besides, when you purchase it, you also participate in charity. Bozeman Baby donates one of every ten scarves sold to different health departments to those mothers and babies who need them most.

#7 Fashionable Nursing Covers by DRIA Oslo Style

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This is another poncho-style breastfeeding cover that is made of soft light Modal fabric that stretches four ways. Oslo style striped fabric will make you a fashionable mommy of a wonderful baby. It is very comfortable for a mother and a baby. The material is very practical, and it almost doesn’t get wrinkled, so you can crumple it and put it in your diaper bag. The biggest advantage of this nursing cover is its versatility: it can serve not only as a breastfeeding cover, but as the canopy for a stroller or car seat, or even a beach cover-up. Not to mention the fact that this is also a fashion garment for a mother. The neckline is rather flexible and you can quickly pull the cover off.

This poncho provides full coverage and protects a baby from the sun, wind, and any distractions while nursing. These fashionable nursing covers are hand-cut and manufactured locally.

#8 Full Cover Nursing Poncho by Duckery Kid

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This poncho is very roomy, and you will like the nice green color and cute mock buttons. It is made of Modal, which is a very light and breathable fabric. You and your baby will feel cool and comfortable in it, and there will be absolutely no sweat. This nursing garment provides complete coverage for a baby and a mommy.

Even when you are out in public you can reach complete privacy while nursing your baby: just put on this stylish poncho and enjoy the special time with your baby.

#9 Softest Bamboo Chic Nursing Infinity Scarf for Stealth 360 Breastfeeding Privacy

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This is a thick and soft nursing scarf (unlike other scarves that are usually thin). The scarf is made of organic fabric, and it is entirely hypoallergenic: 95% of bamboo with addition of spandex will make your nursing time a nice experience. The fabric will be pleasant even for very sensitive skin. The scarf is quite big and will fit babies and mommies of all sizes, and will provide full coverage.

This is another versatile item that will serve as a scarf, breastfeeding or pumping cover, a shawl, and a wrap. It is easy to take care of: just throw it into the washing machine.

You can use this scarf in all seasons because it is thermal-regulating and you will feel comfortable in any weather. The rose or fuchsia colors are beautiful and will be nice additions to any outfit. It can be worn as a long scarf or a loop around your neck.

#10 LK Baby Infinity Nursing Scarf Breastfeeding Cover Ultra-Soft Premium Jersey Polyester

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This nursing scarf is made of soft Jersey Polyester, which will not irritate the skin as there are no harmful dyes in it. The material is light and breathable, and your baby will feel comfortable nursing in it. The subtle, great color will not draw attention to you while you are nursing and at the same time, it is very stylish and can be an excellent addition to your wardrobe. You can single wrap or double wrap it, use it as a shawl or poncho. This nursing scarf with providing you and your baby with the privacy you need while nursing.

Article by Emma Bishop
Article by Emma Bishop
Doctor, gynecologist, and pediatric therapist from California
Hello, my name is Emma Bishop. I am a doctor, gynecologist and pediatric therapist from California. Last 10+ years I help women to become mothers and lead the pregnancy process throughout the period. I am a newbie blogger, but hope my maternity tips will be useful for future mothers.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency.