Nursing your baby is part of motherhood, and if you want to nurse and ever leave your house sometimes you are faced with the dilemma of public nursing. I was surprised to find that most moms I know here in NYC don't have a problem doing this - just flip a blanket over the shoulder and voila! Somehow I missed the boat on this technique because neither I nor my babies have ever been able to do this gracefully. Most attempts have ended up with an angry, hot (and usually hungry) child and some level of compromised modesty on my part. What fun. I bought two different nursing covers/aprons when I had Hazel but neither one worked out because they either didn't provide the needed coverage, or didn't allow us to look at each other, which are the same problems a blanket has.
When Ginger was born, I resigned myself to planning outings to begin and end between feedings unless I knew there was going to be a place I could nurse in private (like at church.) So trips to the park or other public places with both kiddos have had the added stress of extremely sensitive timing.
I was complaining about this to my friend Kristin and she asked if I'd ever heard of a Hooter Hider. Have to admit, the name made me smile because it so perfectly described what I needed. She said someone gave her one for a shower gift and it works pretty well. So I looked it up and sure enough it thoughtfully addressed the problems I'd had with other covers. Products invented by moms instead of companies tend to do that. I also appreciated that they offer an alternative product name - Bebe Au Lait - for those of us just too prude to wear something labeled "Hooter Hider."
Anyway, so I found a website that sells them with free shipping and ordered immediately. It came in a few days and I used it at home for practice, then at the park for real - twice. I even used it in the back row of church during sacrament meeting, just to see if I could. It actually worked, for the most awkward public nurser there is.
In particular I like:
- There's an adjustable apron-style loop that goes around the neck, to keep it from falling out of place.
- It's super lightweight, so neither of us get too hot.
- It folds up very small so it doesn't take up any more precious diaper bag space than a burp cloth.
- It's wide enough to cover me all around.
- The best part is the rigid collar - I think it's corset boning or something they slip in there. Anyway, it stands out away from my neck so I can look down and see what we're doing. And Ginger can watch me, too, which helps her nurse better.