Some women seem born to breastfeed in public. They can position their baby quickly and with ease, sit with their heads held high and proud, and breastfeed openly for all the world to see. Most women are not comfortable breastfeeding in public. A nursing blanket can help remove the discomfort by keeping you covered when your baby needs a snack at the mall.
It may be the taboo that it is unacceptable for a woman to show her breast in public, or the fear of fumbling and looking inadequate. It takes time to become comfortable with breastfeeding in public. A nursing blanket will keep you covered while you position and breastfeed your baby.
Nursing blankets are typically made of 100% cotton or flannel, with a soft, light weight knit backing to help keep your baby cool. Nursing blankets are can be machine washed and dried and are usually pre-shrunk.
Available in many styles and patterns, the most common nursing blankets are the simple poncho style and the over-the-shoulder style blanket. The poncho style nursing blanket is a large square of cloth with a neck hole in the center that drapes around your entire body. The shoulder nursing blankets use an extra long shoulder piece that is padded and weighted. Throw the weighted piece over your shoulder to help hold the nursing blanket in place.
Some have an arm hole that you slip your arm through to keep the blanket draped over your baby. Many nursing blankets use a suspender-style clip which wraps around your neck, holding the blanket in front of you and over your baby. You can also use a suspender clip that fastens to any receiving blanket, towel, or covering for privacy while breastfeeding.
There are also apron style nursing blankets with a flap hiding an opening in the apron so your baby can access your nipple, very similar to nursing clothes. Some nursing blankets are just adult-sized bibs with a mesh window so you can always see your baby.
Nursing blankets do provide a measure of comfort and privacy when your baby needs to be fed while out in public. You need to do what it takes to be comfortable and not worry about what others think. You may find yourself on your way to becoming one of those women destined to breastfeed in public with pride and gusto; a nursing blanket offers a bit of comfort along the way.
- I never really had a need for a nursing blanket – I lived to breastfeed in public. I also assumed most nursing blankets were quite frumpy, until I discovered the Lovedbaby Nursing Shawl. It is made of a lightweight fabric in subtle, muted colors and is shaped like a poncho. The deep v-neck provides enough room to watch your baby nurse and allows air to circulate while your baby is nursing. Not surprisingly, this shawl can be worn as a poncho when pregnant, used as a nursing blanket, and also used as a stroller cover and baby blanket. I myself am partial to the olive green – fashionable and functional!