Nursing has been such a great thing for me and my baby. I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to nurse her this long (16+ months!). It’s not always easy, but I’m happy to do it and I love having that connection and bond with her.
With this week being World Breastfeeding Week, I would like to share my tips for finding nursing friendly clothes with you!
In the whirlwind of the last weeks of pregnancy and then labor and delivery, I got home from the hospital and realized I hadn’t prepared my wardrobe for nursing a little one. I had plenty of clothes, but not many that were easy to nurse in. Sure, you can pull any shirt up to nurse, but I wasn’t really comfortable with that approach (no one needs to see my belly, or stretch marks for that matter). So, I began my search for tops and dresses that made nursing easy. Here’s what I learned.
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I personally always use a nursing cover in public. I just feel more comfortable that way. (This is the one I like the best.) That being said, these tips that I’ve listed here are what I’ve found to be easy and comfortable even for nursing with a cover.
Nursing Specific Clothing
First, let me just say, there are lots of companies that make nursing specific clothing. While that is great, I usually only shop for clothes at the thrift store (here’s how I thrift shop), so I’ve never actually bought clothing that was nursing specific apart from nursing bras. Personally, I like to find pieces that are pretty and flattering without being totally made for nursing. That’s just me. And, clothing is always cheaper at the thrift store anyway!
So here are four things to look for in a nursing-friendly piece.
I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind for nursing friendly clothes are buttons. It’s true, they are pretty convenient. There are many styles of shirts and dresses that have buttons which make nursing a breeze.
In those styles, there are dresses and shirts that button all the way down, but I prefer shirts/dresses that only button halfway down. I find it more flattering and easier to stay covered on the bottom without having to worry about all of the buttons coming undone.
Make sure to test out the buttons so that you know you can button it with one hand. As your baby gets older, you’ll most likely have to button it with one and hold your baby with the other.
I’ve found several pieces of clothing (tops and a romper) that have a zipper down the front. Boy, are they easy to nurse in! Actually, whenever I fly with my baby I wear a top with a zipper. It’s just so convenient for the small space. And I like the look of the zipper in the front. It makes the outfit feel a little bit dressed up, especially if you skip the necklace and add bigger earrings.
The only drawback with zippers is now that my daughter is older, she likes to unzip my top whenever it’s in reach… She keeps me on my toes!
Tops and dresses that are meant to be off the shoulder work really well for nursing! I have several dresses and a few tops in this style. With elastic at the top, it’s super quick to pull down and pull back up when nursing. And, I like to just pull the sleeves up over my shoulders so that it is not off-the-shoulder, it’s a little more modest, but more importantly, you don’t have to wear a strapless bra that way!
Thankfully, I think this look is popular right now, I see it all the time. So it shouldn’t be a hard one to add to your nursing wardrobe.
4. Wrap Tops
Wrap dresses and tops also work well for nursing. I have a dress that wraps and ties in the front that is perfect. I have found that some wrap style dresses and tops are too low cut for me.
So I have sewn in a little snap on the wrap to make it higher cut. It’s super easy to do. Just try on the dress/top and pin it where you are comfortable with the snap going in. Take it off and hand sew on the snap to both sides of the wrap. (These are the snaps that I like to use.)
So those are the top four styles that I look for in nursing-friendly clothing. I find that they make it the easiest and give me the most confidence when nursing in public. What do you look for in clothes for nursing?