Getting ready to have a baby or looking to expand your wardrobe of nursing tops to include something that doesn’t have milk stains on it?
Nursing is hard, exhausting, and time-consuming, but it’s a labor of love. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t look cute while doing it (and we don’t mean, “Aw, your baby is so cute.” We mean YOU look cute). You want something that is functional but that doesn’t necessarily look like a nursing top. And bonus points if you can continue to wear it after you’re done nursing because we’re all about reducing and reusing! You want stylish nursing tops that do double-duty if they can, and why shouldn’t you?
Different Types of Nursing Tops
Nursing tops provide functionality to allow you to nurse easily without having to get halfway undressed or hold your shirt down or up with one hand as you hold your baby with your other hand. They allow you to feel comfortable and confident throughout the day. There are several different types of designs and styles out there to help you find exactly what matches your personal style. Some are purely functional while others offer a style that hides the “nursing mom” aspect. The different types of nursing tops include:
- Vertical slits– These classic nursing tops have vertical slits on the chest to allow for easy access to the breast
- Dropdown– These tops have a separate piece of fabric that you can unhook, allowing it to drop down, giving access to the breast
- Double layer- Double layer tops have two separate layers so that you can lift the top layer for access to the breast without exposing your mid-section
- Wraps/Cross-Over- Some tops wrap over or cross along the middle allowing you to pull down one section of your shirt. Usually a camisole or crop top is attached for extra protection
- Buttons and zippers– Buttons and zippers are some of the easiest access nursing tops. Simply unbutton or unzip a section of the top access the breast
- Ruffles– Some nursing tops and dresses have strategically placed ruffles across the chest where a clipped up section of the fabric is hidden. Simply unclip that section when you are ready to nurse
RELATED: Why I Ditched the Nursing Cover
Planning Your Nursing Wardrobe
Nursing is a full-time task, so it is probable that your entire tops and tees wardrobe will have to change. You will want to have clothes that are functional, comfortable, and stylish but you also want enough tops that you aren’t doing laundry every day because of spit-ups and poop explosions. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re looking for the best nursing tops:
- Get cotton– Babies have sensitive skin. Cotton shirts ensure that there are no reactions due to unnatural materials. Better yet, opt for organic cotton brands so that you know that no chemicals were used to source or produce your clothing.
- Machine washable– Babies are messy. Even if they don’t spit up or you someone magically avoid having them poop on you at least once, chances are that milk will drip (or shoot like a fire hydrant), getting your tops and tees dirty. There may be a few coffee stains mixed in there, too.
- Comfortable- Make sure the shirts are comfortable for you. Nothing is worse than trying to feed a fussy baby in a shirt that keeps riding up or that you don’t feel confident wearing.
- It’s functional– Just because it says “nursing top” doesn’t mean that it actually works for nursing. Make sure it fits your bust size and that it works with your nursing bras. Pro-tip: it doesn’t have to be a “nursing top” either. Any shirt that makes you feel comfortable and is functional when you are feeding your baby can be a nursing top for you.
You are already spending a fortune on baby stuff, so you probably are hesitant to purchase new clothes for yourself that you will only wear for a relatively short period of time. But not having to stress about your comfort level or style is worth the few dollars for a couple of nursing tops. Additionally, you don’t necessarily have to purchase nursing tops- any top that works for you as a nursing mom is a nursing top in and of itself. So you can always buy tops that work as a nursing top and a regular top after you have finished your breastfeeding journey.
It is typically a good idea to have a top for each day, plus 2 to 3 extras totaling about 10 nursing tops on hand. Some of your other tops and tees in your wardrobe might be able to double as a nursing top. In addition to a couple of dresses (both nursing specific and not), you should have enough items to last you through your nursing journey.
Top Ten Stylish Nursing Tops for Nursing Moms
These ten stylish nursing tops will take you from #momlife to looking chic as you stroll through the aisles of Target. They are comfortable, stylish, and functional. Bonus points: they are all made from organic materials and are sustainably sourced.
Available on Amazon, Boob Design has easy-to-access nursing tops, tees, and more for postpartum moms. This comfortable long sleeve has an overlap design making it easy to pull it up to nurse. It comes in a variety of colors and is perfect for lazy days at home or even walks around the neighborhood.
2. Classic Tees
Another top pick from Boob Design offers a range of maternity and nursing clothing including tees, tops, dresses, pants, and leggings. This simple tee provides a design that is easy to pull down to allow access to the breast, or you can lift up the outer layer to access the breast. A second layer underneath will keep your midsection covered.
3. A Night Out
If you’re looking for something a little more dressy, but still functional, this Oakley Tank from Majamas is perfect. The double layer allows you easy access for nursing sessions, but it doesn’t compromise on style. The halter neckline gives it a cute and stylish look that can be paired with jeans and booties for an evening out, or worn with leggings and simple flats or sandals for a more casual look.
4. Sassy Tees
PACT is well-known in the organic clothing world to be the most affordable. They don’t have a dedicated maternity or nursing line, but several of their tops and tees can double as nursing tops. This soft tank can be worn with a simple camisole underneath, giving you access to the breast when your baby needs to eat. It can be worn with leggings, jeans, shorts, or even a maxi shirt, giving you a variety of options for wear. Bonus points because it can also be worn after your nursing journey is done as a regular top (and maybe without the camisole underneath).
This criss-cross nursing top from Kindered Bravely is perfect for any time of day. It works for both the day time at home with leggings and athleisure wear, or out in town for running errands or lunch with friends. It comes in a variety of colors like blush, grey, and black and can be moved to your “forever” closet even after you are done nursing.
No matter how many nursing tops, tees, or sweaters you have it is always a good idea to keep some layering nursing tanks on hand. This tank from Milker has a deep scoop neck and a vertical slit for easy access for your nursing baby to the breast. It can be worn alone or under another nursing top, non-nursing top, or sweater for extra coverage and ease of wear.
You always need something that is a little more dressy than at-home loungewear. This scoop-neck overlay tank from Latched Mama is nice enough to wear to coffee with your girlfriends or even those ever elusive date nights with your partner, but doesn’t compromise functionality. It comes in a variety of colors but the black dot look is perfect to switch from day time at home to a day (or evening) out in town.
8. Cozy Hoodies
Some days just call for comfort. This cozy hoodie from Latched Mama is made from organic cotton and is cozy enough to wear around the house. It’s long length is great to pair with leggings or atheleisure wear, too. And you don’t have to get undressed to nurse: this design has snaps at the corners to allow to easy access to the breast so you don’t have to pull up or take off the entire hoodie to feed your little one. And nothing beats a sweater with pockets (aka snack holes).
Camisoles are a perfect way to add a simple layer to an already existing tee, top, or dress that might not have a nursing function or style. These camis come in a variety of colors, making it easy for you to pick up a couple packs to have on hand. They are also great for those lazy days at home. They are made with organic cotton so they are soft, easy to clean, and perfect for a variety of occasions.
If you are just looking for a couple of tees that can be worn every day and add to your “oh, the baby threw up all over me again” wardrobe, these organic tees will help add to your collection. They can be worn throughout pregnancy, during your nursing journey, and even beyond. They come in a ton of different colors, are super comfy and don’t look like an obvious nursing shirt.
You just had a baby. You’re tired. You’re exhausted. And you’re probably uncomfortable. You deserve some clothes that not only help you through your nursing journey as well as boost your confidence and project the style you had before that style included “accessorized with spit up.” Go ahead and update your wardrobe with these 10 essential nursing styles to make your breastfeeding journey easier and more stylish.
Photo: Nina Buday/Shutterstock
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