How to Find the Best Nursing Covers To Keep Your Hoo-Hoo's Hidden (2018 Reviews)
When you’re breastfeeding, it isn’t always practical to look for the nearest empty room whenever your baby gets the urge to eat. Sometimes you have to breastfeed in public or at family gatherings, and there’s no shame in that. Nourishing a human life should come ahead of people’s sense of decency any day of the week.
But that still doesn’t mean you want to put your breasts on display for the world to see. What you need are the best nursing covers to keep your business private while your child gets all the nutrient-rich breast milk he can.
What Are Nursing Covers?
Nursing covers are a pretty simple concept -- they’re just fabric that you use to hide your fun bags while you are nursing your baby or pumping milk in public.
You can make them nondescript so they won’t draw any extra attention to you -- although your crying baby will do that for you, no matter what your nursing cover looks like. If you want something bright and colorful that pleases your fashionista side, they make those too.
Are Nursing Covers Necessary?
If you plan to breastfeed, you might think you don’t care if people catch a glimpse of your twin towers in the process. But feeling that way in your mind is a lot different than actually doing it (source).
The hostile stares from other people as you start to breastfeed while sitting in a restaurant can sting, even though you aren’t doing anything wrong.
Keep in Mind:
It’s a good idea to have a nursing cover, even if you aren’t sure you’ll use it. Because when you need one, you’ll desperately wish it was there, especially if you have large breasts because you’ll be putting on quite a show for the onlookers.
Sometimes there are no options when you’re breastfeeding, other than exposing yourself or letting your baby cry. And neither of those work for some moms.
If you don’t mind flashing your boobs in public, more power to you. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It didn’t matter if I was with friends or strangers. There was no way I was comfortable with it. When I was at a restaurant, I didn’t want to make some junior high boy blush because I couldn’t be bothered to throw a piece of fabric over myself to preserve his feelings.
To a mom, breastfeeding might seem like the most natural thing in the world, but to a 12-year-old boy, it can be a source of major embarrassment. I tried to always consider other people’s feelings when I was breastfeeding, especially if there were kids around. That mothering instinct doesn’t stop with just my kids -- I feel the need to mother everyone else’s child too.
Because of my sensitivity to other people’s feelings, I wouldn’t have breastfed in public without a nursing cover.
The Choice is Yours:
But whether you breastfeed without any shield or you use a nursing cover, it’s up to you. There’s no right or wrong way to do this (source). It’s entirely up to you.
What Are the Different Styles of Nursing Covers?
You won’t have to suffer through using a style of nursing covers that you hate because there are a lot of choices out there when it comes to cut and style. Make sure to give some thought to what style will work for you and your lifestyle before you buy one.
There are three main types of nursing covers.
- The apron design: Regular aprons have been popular for so many decades because they are a cinch to use and they do what they set out to do. So it makes sense designers would tap the popular apron style when it comes to nursing covers. You place the strap behind your neck, just like you would an apron. This style is great when it comes to seeing your baby while he’s feeding and making sure he gets enough air. The one downside is there isn’t a lot of fabric right above your boobs, and if your baby tugs hard on the apron, it can slide and create quite a show.
- The infinity design: This design is like the master of disguise in the nursing cover world. It doubles as an infinity scarf and as a nursing cover when you need it. You get a lot of material to cover up with when you go with this option. The material is typically light and breathable for your baby, but you won’t be able to see your baby very well with the infinity design.
- Ponchos: A raging trend in the 1970s, the poncho is making a comeback as a nursing cover. If you’re paranoid about part of you being seen while you’re breastfeeding, the poncho might be the right choice for you. You will keep everything covered with these bad boys and there’s no risk of your baby ripping it off of you either. But you need to make sure you don’t buy a regular poncho because the material might be too thick and heavy.
What Should I Look for in a Nursing Cover?
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to pick out a nursing cover -- it’s pretty hard to screw up this purchase. All you need to do is find covers that meet these simple needs.
They have to keep the wonder twins well covered: Finding a nursing cover that’s big enough to get the job done is important. You don’t want to leave any part uncovered that makes you feel uncomfortable. Your focus should be on feeding your baby -- not worrying about your boobs being in the spotlight.
How Many Nursing Covers Do I Need?
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t misplace anything and only nurses in public occasionally, you may be able to get by with one nursing cover. But if you’re like many busy moms where you’re constantly struggling to stay organized, you would benefit from having two nursing covers.
From a fashion perspective, it doesn’t hurt to have two different nursing covers -- one that is lighter in color and one that is darker so you always have one to go with your outfits.
Keep in Mind:
If you live in a climate that can vary greatly in weather depending on the season, you might want a thinner nursing cover for the hot summers and a thicker one to use during the winter to keep you both warm.
Nursing Cover Reviews
Now that you know about the different kinds of nursing covers, whether you'll need one or not, and exactly what to look for --
Here are our top 10 picks in 2018:
Best Multipurpose Nursing Cover
When you’re looking for the best all round nursing cover, you might want to focus on covers that can be used in multiple ways. Even after you’re done nursing your baby, you’ll still be able to use the nursing cover in other capacities.
This cover is tops when it comes to versatility. It also works as a baby car seat cover to block wind or bright light. You can also use this on shopping carts to keep the germs off your baby’s little hands or as a scarf.
Made out of rayon and polyester, it will stretch without losing its elasticity. And because it’s so stretchy, it’s easy to put on and take off.
As a nursing cover, it will give you plenty of room to hide your breasts from prying eyes. The material is thin enough that this would make a good hot weather nursing cover -- it won’t make your baby too hot in the summer.
Your baby will have no trouble getting enough air under this cover because the fabric is breathable.
When you aren’t using this cover, it can be safely stored in the matching bag that comes with it.
- The material is soft and comfortable against your baby’s skin.
- Versatile cover can be used in many ways.
- Big enough to completely keep you covered.
- Some moms have had problems with it snagging easily because it’s so thin.
- This cover might not be warm enough for winter use, unless you are indoors.
Best Nursing Cover for Twins
If you’re breastfeeding twins, you’ve already got your hands full. You don’t need a nursing cover that’s difficult to manage added to your juggling act. For nursing twins, the biggest thing you’ll have to look for in a nursing cover is size -- you need it to be plenty big to accommodate your double bundles of joy.
This Hooter Hiders cover will ensure your babies have plenty of air while they are feeding. With two babies feeding under your cover, it’s more important than usual to make sure there’s enough air circulating because they’ll need twice as much of it. This cover delivers with its 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 that’s included with the purchase.
These covers are big enough to give you complete coverage even when you have two babies with you. Plus it comes with an adjustable neck strap to make sure you can find the perfect fit.
- This cover has two pockets so you can keep small items handy, like breast pads once you’re done feeding your babies.
- It’s machine washable.
- This cover is large enough for two babies.
- The cotton material makes it breathable for hot weather.
- The carrying case fits easily into your diaper bag.
- They don’t come in solid colors -- only patterns.
- It may take you a few tries to find the right length of the neck strap to ensure a proper fit.
Best Nursing Cover for Summer
When it’s hot out, you don’t want to cover up your baby with a heavy cover. He’ll be hot and miserable and so will you. You’ll want to find a light, airy fabric that lets the air in and out so you’ll both be comfortable.
Moms may like that this material feels just perfect for summer -- it’s soft and super light. You won’t feel weighed down or like you’re roasting alive.
This cover has a Rigiflex neckline which will keep the cover away from your neck and upper chest so you can check on your baby and let the fresh air reach him. An Interlocking Cap System is used on the neckline to ensure that any sharp boning material won’t pop out through the ends.
There’s a neck strap on this cover to help keep it in place, even if your baby decides to tug on it.
You can use this cover as a changing mat, or a blanket for your baby. On sunny summer days you can drape it over her stroller for some shade.
When this cover gets dirty, you can simply toss it in your washing machine where it will hold up wash after wash.
- One size fits all -- it’s 36 inches wide.Lets you make eye contact with your baby while she’s nursing.
- Doesn’t take up much room in the diaper bag.
- Won’t be too hot in the summer.
- A bit on the pricey side.
- Wrinkles easily.
Best Nursing Cover for Pumping
When you’re pumping in public, you should stay away from the infinity scarf type of nursing cover because it won’t keep you adequately covered with the pump there too. You’ll be best served by a poncho style of cover, and it won’t matter how heavy the fabric is because your baby won’t be under there needing air.
This poncho gives you full coverage from front to back when you’re pumping milk in public. People who are nearby won’t be able to see a thing.
This breathable fabric will keep you cool while pumping, meaning you shouldn’t break a sweat. The material feels soft on the skin so it shouldn’t irritate you, even if you have sensitive skin.
It comes in solid colors, which some moms may like better than patterns that will clash with their clothes. You can wear this with jeans or a dress -- it can look formal or informal.
This cover only comes in one size fits all, and it can be cleaned in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. If you plan to dry it in the dryer, you’ll have to put it on low, or you can air dry it if you have the time.
- When you aren’t using it, this cover can double as a blanket.
- It’s stylish enough that you may want to keep using it long after your pumping days are over.
- This is good for older babies who tear off flimsier nursing covers. With the poncho style, this one isn’t going anywhere.
- Great for cooler weather too.
- Can’t see your baby well with this poncho.
- A little more expensive than other covers.
Best Nursing Cover for Plus Size
When you’re plus size, you can have a hard time finding a nursing cover that is big enough for your needs. You still want total coverage, but you aren’t sure where to find it. Don’t worry -- we’ve got you covered with our pick for the best plus size nursing cover.
At 32-inches across and 24 inches in length, this is a big nursing cover that will work for plus-sized women. It uses stainless steel d-rings that will let you adjust the neckline to get the right fit and level of modesty.
This Udder Covers product has a more rigid neckline that is shaped away from your neck and upper chest area. That will let you have some room to easily check on your baby and to stare into his precious eyes.
Made out of 100 percent cotton, this material is fairly thin, which makes it breathable. It will stay relatively cool in the summer, and it even provides a bit of warmth in the winter. The non-creasing fabric will always make it look fresh and ironed, even if you just took it out of the diaper bag.
These come in eight different patterns that you can choose from, ranging from bright and vibrant to subtle. So whether you want to stand out in a crowd or blend in, you’ll find a pattern to suit you.
- One of the more affordable covers on the market.
- It folds up easily and compactly to store in the diaper bag.
- Big enough for taller moms.
- Some moms had problems with the cover shrinking while they washed it.
- Doesn’t come with a matching bag to carry and store it in.
Best Nursing Cover Apron
Moms who want full coverage but plenty of airflow for their babies while they are nursing may like nursing aprons. They’re popular for a reason -- they keep your modesty intact and they are super easy to use. There’s no complications with this kind of cover.
This nursing apron has everything you’ll need. It’s budget friendly, and it’s stylish and cute while using a 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 it. This apron is made out of breathable fabric so air will be circulating from every direction for your baby.
With a rigid neckline, you’ll be able to easily check in on your baby to see how they’re doing. That will help you correct any problems they’re having with their latch. And you’ll be able to enjoy that mother-child bonding time by making eye contact with your baby.
It comes with a carrying pouch too, so your nursing apron can stay clean and fresh when you aren’t using it. You can pop it in the diaper bag and it will stay protected.
- The neck strap can be adjusted.
- You’ll get full coverage with this apron.
- It can go in the washer machine and dryer.
- It does tend to get a bit hot in the summer while using this.
- Plus-sized women might need a bigger apron, although the size of this one will be good for many women.
Best Nursing Cover For Airplane
Airplanes can be a challenging setting for breastfeeding moms. It’s not like you can go in that tiny airplane bathroom to breastfeed, so you’ll have to do it in your seat instead. You may want a lot of coverage since you’ll be shoulder to shoulder with the other passengers and their prying eyes.
On an airplane, you’ll want full coverage so you can breastfeed in peace. That’s what this nursing cover can offer you. It gives you 360-degree coverage.
But since you’re traveling, you’ll also want your cover to offer other purposes as well since packing space can be tight when you have a baby. This one can be used as a baby seat cover or a high chair cover. You can also use it as a shopping cart cover, which will help you cut down on your baby’s exposure to germs while you’re traveling.
Plus, this cover can also work as sun shade for your baby when you aren’t breastfeeding and can double as a blanket. The fabric is breathable so you’ll also be sure that your baby is getting enough air to breathe.
When it gets dirty, the fabric washes well and it will hold up well after multiple washes.
- Considering how many different purposes it serves, this nursing cover is a bargain.
- It comes with a drawstring storage bag.
- The fabric is really soft.
- You only have one color to choose from and it has polka dots, which may not appeal to every mom.
- Because this cover is so dark, it may feel extra hot in the summer from absorbing the sunlight.
Best Nursing Scarf
Nursing scarves may look stylish, but they also really do help when it comes time for breastfeeding your baby in public. No one will even be able to tell that your scarf is pulling double duty until they see it in action. All you have to do is unloop the scarf once when it comes time for breastfeeding and you have instant cover.
If your main concern about using nursing scarves is how see-through some of them tend to be, you might appreciate this infinity scarf’s double layer that makes it less transparent than some other nursing scarves.
This scarf can look dressy or laid back, depending upon what you pair it with. Although it doesn’t look like it would offer much coverage, it covers up your front, back and sides from people who are trying to get a peek when you’re breastfeeding your baby.
The fabric is soft so it won’t be irritating to you or to your baby’s skin, which is nice since many babies struggle with sensitive skin. If the scarf gets dirty or gets some milk or spit-up on it, you can clean it in the washing machine. There isn’t a need to hand wash it so it won’t suck any precious time out of a mom’s busy schedule.
- It comes in 28 colors.
- It’s affordable.
- This scarf can also work as a blanket for your baby when you’re in a pinch.
- This may not give enough coverage for plus-size women.
- Several moms complained about an unpleasant smell coming from this scarf.
Best Full Coverage Nursing Cover
If you think that what goes on under your nursing cover is no one’s business but you and your baby’s, you should opt for a full coverage nursing cover. You’ll love having your privacy and your baby can eat as much as it wants without you feeling the pressure to cut a feeding session short.
This is a versatile nursing cover that can do so much more. You can use it as a stylish wrap, a baby blanket, a burp cloth or scarf. It’s something you can continue to use long after your baby outgrows its breastfeeding days.
It’s so big that it will give you 360-degree coverage, which will ensure you privacy when breastfeeding even if you are in a crowded room.
The 100-percent cotton fabric is soft and gentle on the skin and the cover is so lightweight it will even feel comfortable in the hot summer months. Even though it’s breathable, the fabric isn’t see-through.
You won’t be tugging to pull this one up or struggling keep it on because it stays in place better than some other styles of nursing covers do.
- It is compact enough to fit inside a purse.
- It remains soft even after being washed.
- This cover has a lot of versatility.
- You only get one color choice, but it is neutral enough to go with many outfits.
- It’s a little pricey.
Best Poncho Nursing Cover
Ponchos are a great choice for a nursing cover. They are roomy and airy so your baby will be comfortable in any season. You’ll have lots of space to work with and you can constantly peek in and make sure your baby is doing well.
This poncho nursing cover will give you complete privacy while you’re breastfeeding your baby. But the thing that really makes this nursing cover stand out among competitors is that your arms go right through the arm holes for this one, which eliminates that awkward reach-around thing moms have to do while wearing other covers.
If they don’t do the reach-around correctly when they are grabbing for something out of the diaper bag or anything else nearby, they risk exposing themselves by pulling the cover away from their body. With this one, they can reach for anything and they’ll still be covered. That gives moms a lot of freedom.
You can also make this cover appear a lot more fashionable by doing a knot at the side to gather up the extra fabric when you aren’t breastfeeding.
- You can get it in 27 colors so you’ll be able to find options to go with any outfit.
- It can be used as a stroller cover too to protect your baby from the sun or wind.
- It’s large enough to fit plus-size women.
- It can’t be put in the dryer.
- This cover is a little more expensive than some others.
Our Favorite Nursing Cover
Hooter Hiders nursing cover is my favorite of those on this list. That Rigiflex neckline really helps the air circulate under the cover so your baby can keep breathing and stay cool. Plus, it’s nice because moms can keep making eye contact with their beautiful babies during breastfeeding.
It won’t take up much room in the matching carry pouch that comes with it, and it’s big enough that you can use with twins if you need to.
The pockets are a nice touch as well because keeping a few breast pads in there is handy for when you stop your breastfeeding session.