Babies need to eat every 2 hours when you bring them home from the hospital, and most are still waking to feed after the first year.
So while you might hope that your baby will sleep through the night by 6 weeks, it’s highly likely that your little one will have other plans.
Nursing sleepwear allows you to stay comfortable and feed easily, even in the most sleep-deprived state.
So you might be exhausted, but you can at least make the task a little easier with a good set (or three) of nursing pajamas. Here are our top picks.
Our Top Nursing Pajamas Picks of 2018Read Full Reviews
Why Do I Need Nursing Pajamas?
Nursing pajamas are designed to allow for easy nighttime breastfeeding. They have a design similar to nursing tops.
Some will have a hidden panel allowing your baby to access your nipple during nighttime feedings easily. Others will have elastic necklines, allowing you to pull down the neckline to expose your breast and feed your baby. Others have a plastic clasp as you find on your nursing bra, allowing you to open it when you need to and securely fasten it when you’re done.
You can expect that your baby will wake at night and need to nurse for several months. Despite what you may have heard about babies sleeping through the night, the fact is that more than half of children are still waking at night at one year of age (source). Nursing pajamas can help make these midnight feeding sessions infinitely easier on you.
They also aren’t very functional for a nursing mother. You’ll need to expose your nipples to feed your baby, and this can be difficult to do in traditional sleepwear or oversized t-shirts. A pair of nursing pajamas can help make nighttime feeding sessions easier and faster for both you and your baby.
What Types of Fabric Should I Consider?
While you need your pajamas to be functional, you also need them to be comfortable. Different fabrics offer different benefits and drawbacks, so make sure you check the label of your sleepwear before purchasing to ensure that they’ll meet your nursing (and sleeping) needs.
Here are some fabric options (source):
- Cotton: Cotton is a breathable fabric and very popular for both everyday clothing as well as sleepwear. It’s not exceptionally warm, so you may need extra layers of bedding if you’re in a cold climate, but the good news is that it isn’t likely to cause you to overheat. One drawback, however, is that cotton does not wick moisture well. So if you choose cotton, you may want to make sure you either use nursing pads and a nursing bra to prevent leaks, which could be uncomfortable.
- Bamboo: Bamboo is soft, comfortable, and wicks moisture away from your skin. It’s a natural and eco-friendly option. While bamboo isn’t nearly as popular as cotton, it may be a good choice for a nursing mother, if you can find it in stores.
- Fleece: Fleece is excellent at wicking moisture away from the skin which is why it’s often used as an insert in cloth diapers. However, fleece isn’t breathable so it can cause perspiration. While this is a great option for the mama who tends to run cold (fleece will keep you toasty warm), it may not be good for the woman who quickly overheats.
- Flannel: Flannel is not a specific material, but rather a type of weave. Flannel tends to be breathable and warm and is perfect for colder seasons and climates. However, its moisture-wicking properties will vary based on the material from which it’s made.
- Nylon/Polyester: Nylon and polyester are synthetic (man-made) materials that are very breathable and wick moisture away well. However, they’re not as soft, supple, or comfortable against the skin as cotton tends to be (source).
What Should I Look For?
When choosing nursing pajamas, consider the following:
- Style: Do you prefer nightgowns? Short sets? Long pants? There are nursing pajama options for every taste. Choose one that will make you comfortable — both in your bed and while you’re trudging down the hall at 2 am.
- Fabric Weight: If you tend to run hot (or are in a warm climate), choose a lightweight fabric. If you tend to run cold, choose something that will keep you warmer.
- Bra Compatibility: If you’re in the early months of breastfeeding, leaking will be an issue. For some reason, nursing pajamas haven’t caught on to the idea that they need a built-in bra to hold your nursing pads. So to prevent leaving spots (and stains) on your bed sheets, expect to need a night nursing bra in conjunction with most pajamas. Make sure you choose a pair that has a neckline that works with your bra.
- Nipple Access: The main reason you’re buying a nursing bra at all is to feed your baby in the wee hours of the morning. Choose one with a design that is simple and will work for you — whether that’s an elastic neckline, hidden panel, or quick-release clasps. If you’re planning to wear a night nursing bra, make sure it works with the nipple access in the pajamas.
- Moisture Wicking: When nursing, moisture-wicking fabric is preferable. Even if you use nursing pads or are nursing an older baby and no longer leak regularly, babies still tend to drool and experience milk dribble while feeding. It’s highly likely that you’ll regularly have wet spots on your pajamas, and choosing a fabric that will wick it away will help you stay comfortable.
- Coverage: Who is going to see you in your sleepwear? If it’s just your husband and kids, you might not be concerned about coverage or modesty. However, if you’re having guests stay with you after the baby comes or expect that visitors may come calling while you’re still in your night clothes, you may want to choose something that looks more like a two-piece shorts or pants set.
- Waistband: If you’re planning to use your pajamas either in the hospital or immediately after childbirth, choose a nightgown over a two-piece set. As you’re recovering, it will be easier to sleep in something without restricting bottoms, and if you’ve had a c-section, you aren’t going to want a waistband rubbing on your incision.
The Best Nursing Pajamas of 2018
The early weeks of breastfeeding an infant can make any mom feel a bit like a zombie. The absolute last thing you want to do when you wake up in the middle of the night for the third time is fuss with complicated straps, buckles, or folds. I lived in pajamas my first few days postpartum; if you’re like me, you’ll want to make sure those pajamas are working hard to keep you comfy. Here are some of our favorite products on the market right now.
1. Baby Be Mine Sleeveless Nursing Nightgown
If you like options, you’ll love choosing the perfect design for your new nursing nightgown. There are tons of different color and design choices, all made with 100 percent cotton so you can feel good about the natural fabric against your skin — and your baby’s.
The elastic neckline makes night nursing simple, and the thick straps offer good coverage for the mom looking for a modest pajama option. Because of the simplicity of this design, it would also be a great option to wear in the hospital.
- Machine washable.
- It has a modest neckline.
- The elastic neckline makes feeding simple, even when you’re groggy in the middle of the night!.
- It’s 100 percent cotton.
- You will need to wear a night nursing bra with it.
- Some reviewers complained the top ran small.
2. Cakye Maternity Nursing Nightgown
Available in attractive colors and designs, this nightgown is versatile enough to go from maternity to hospital to postpartum. Its cotton construction gives it softness, while the added spandex allows it to stretch as needed.
If your hospital allows it, you may be able to wear this through delivery. And postpartum, you’ll look put-together for your visitors, but your doctors and nurses will still be able to check on you to make sure you’re recovering as you should.
The pull-down elastic nursing neckline, though not ideal for discretion, it’s excellent for your brand-new baby. Since they’ll still be getting the hang of nursing, you’ll want to be able to expose as much of your breast as possible (not to mention promote skin-to-skin contact).
Not only will it be easier for your baby to get used to nursing, but you won’t have to deal with straps or clasps, either.
- It’s comfortable.
- The fabric is stretchy and forgiving.
- Easy to nurse in, especially when you’re just starting out.
- Not very discreet.
- There isn’t an opening for epidural access.
3. Amelia Nursing Pajamas Shorts Set
These are perfect for the mama who wants good coverage but also tends to get hot in layers of stuffy fabric. Made of a synthetic material, these are lightweight and ultra breathable. The neckline is modest but easily pulls down to feed the baby.
As they come in sizes XS through XXL, they’ll fit a variety of shapes and sizes. They also further ensure fit through a soft, stretchy waistband that adjusts with your body — and won’t irritate a healing C-section incision.
Best of all, the company offers a 100 percent money back guarantee so if you don’t love it, you can return it without question.
- Available through size XXL.
- There are several different color options, so you can get a few and always have a clean one on hand.
- Very breathable and lightweight.
- They run small.
- It’s not easy to feed discreetly.
- They are higher priced than other options.
4. Caramel Cantina Nursing Cami
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, sometimes you’ve just got to figure out the next best thing. Camis are comfy, supportive, and offer good coverage that won’t slip. What more could you ask for in sleepwear?
You get these three camis for the price of one, and each has a built-in bra that will allow you to attach your breast pads, helping to avoid leaks and stains. And since they’re constructed partially of spandex, they’ll also grow (or shrink) with you, making finding the exact fit not as critical as with traditional pajamas.
- They’re stretchy and accommodating.
- They’re soft against the skin.
- You get three in a package, making this an economical pick.
- You can attach breast pads.
- They’re not traditional “pajamas”.
- They do not come with bottoms, so you’ll need to purchase these separately.
5. Motherhood Night Nursing Nightgown
This strappy nightgown made of light jersey material will not only keep you comfy but can help you stay cool as well. Plastic clasps release the front panel when you need to nurse.
The neckline won’t work very well with a night nursing bra, but you might not need that since it has a built-in shelf bra to offer a bit of support overnight.
And even though the fabric won’t overheat you, it has enough weight to help you feel good about the amount of coverage it gives when you’re walking around the house.
- It offers a little breast support.
- It’s comfortable and feminine-looking.
- Clasps keep panel securely in place.
- The fabric shows leaks easily.
- The neckline will not work well with a bra.
6. Ekouaer Women’s Comfort Sleepwear
These super-soft pajamas have a luxurious chiffon trim and are amazingly comfy. They also have several different design options so you can choose the perfect one that fits your style. And even though they have long pants and long sleeves, you’ll stay warm without overheating thanks to their cotton construction.
The buttons are functional for a nursing mama, and since they’re not even technically “nursing pajamas” you’ll be able to keep wearing them well after your baby weans.
The drawstring waist will also help make them appropriate over the long haul, since you’ll be able to adjust them down or up to whatever size you happen to be as your body changes post-pregnancy.
- They come in several different designs.
- Works well with a cami or nursing bra.
- They are mostly cotton.
- Provide no breast support.
- They are not specifically designed “nursing” pajamas.
7. Mothers en Vogue Bamboo Caminurse Set
You deserve the ultimate in comfort, and between the ultra-soft bamboo (rayon) material and the bottoms designed to resemble yoga pants, this set will deliver. The pants can even be worn over or under the belly, so if you’ve had a C-section, you can decide what feels best for you.
The nursing cups adjust based on breast size — which is good, because your breast size may fluctuate. And since this set comes with a robe, you’ll be fully covered if friends drop by and you’re still in your jammies. They might just think you’re wearing loungewear.
- Made of comfy and eco-friendly bamboo.
- The breast cup sizes adjust.
- The pants resemble yoga pants and are just as cozy to wear.
- A robe is included.
- It does not hold a breast pad in place.
- There are plastic clasps which some moms might find fiddly.
- Longer pants may be too hot in summer.
8. HOTOUCH Nursing Nightgown
This nursing nightgown is cozy, stretchy, and available through size XXL. It’s made of cotton and spandex and available in a number of different colors. Because it has plenty of give, it can be worn while pregnant but will also offer to be a comfort during the postpartum period.
The dual neckline allows discretion while wearing it, but allows for easy nursing when your baby gets hungry. There are also two different styles to choose from — a v-neck or scoop neck.
- It’s inexpensive for the quality.
- It comes in many colors so you can get multiples if you like them.
- Two possible style options.
- It cannot go in the dryer.
- Nursing panel is not very discreet.
10. Smallshow Women’s Maternity Nursing Pajamas
These will keep you warm all winter long with the long pants and long sleeves, and the V-neck makes midnight nursing a breeze. There are no snaps or clasps to fumble with in the dark, which means you’ll be able to feed and get back to bed quickly.
Because they’re made of an elastic material, they’re able to fit women in a number of sizes, which is particularly helpful as women’s bodies are constantly changing in the months after pregnancy.
- Elastic fabric offers a flexible fit.
- V-neck makes nursing simple.
- They’re warm for winter.
- They are fitted.
- They tend to run small.
- Material is not specified.
My top pick is the Baby Be Mine Sleeveless Nursing Nightgown. It’s made of 100 percent all-natural cotton, which will be breathable and keep you from overheating while snuggling your little one.
The elastic pull-down makes feeding access a breeze, while the neckline and thick straps offer modesty and work well with most nursing bras.
I’m sure you’ve done plenty of shopping for adorable pajamas for your baby, but now you need to buy yourself a pair, too. Which one is your fave?