In the seven years from when I breastfed my first son to my fourth, social media, some forward-thinking influencers and an increasing disregard for what others think, especially their opinions on how to mother, helped me realize that there’s nothing about a nursing cover that’s comfortable or helpful for me—or my baby.
Yet, in certain environments, I wasn’t quite ready to bare my breast out into the open while nursing, especially during phases when my infant was so squirmy there was little I could do to be discreet about it. We had never been able to find a comfortable breastfeeding position and rhythm under a cover. I was caught in the middle of an ethical and logistical dilemma: Should I wear a cover in those instances where I felt I wanted more privacy, sending me and my baby into a total hot flash? Or use nothing at all?
Thankfully, for most parenting dilemmas I’ve run into, there always seems to be another parent who has been there and already solved the problem. Alison Ruks, in the midst of pandemic parenting, created Mobobaby’s 2-1 Nursing Cover+Hat.
The concept is simple, yet brilliant. What if the baby was wearing a sun hat that also happened to cover your breast, but not the entire act of breastfeeding? This also means my baby can still see me, which we both appreciate, and I can see him, an essential part of bonding while nursing. Also, neither of us feels like we are swimming under a hot blanket in the summer.
The Mobobaby Nursing Cover + Hat provides privacy to the nursing parent while doubling as sun protection for the baby with its wide brim.
It is lightweight and easily folds for packing into the diaper bag. The breathability comes from the materials: hemp, lyocell and organic cotton. The first time it landed in the dirt I learned that this fabric washes well, so I have no concerns about throwing it in the bottom of a beach bag or using it as a post-feeding cloth to wipe up some messy baby food. Unlike many butterfly, Pooh bear, and other character-covered items, this hat is surprisingly stylish and comes in colors such as natural, earthy olive and nautical navy.
If you picture a baby in a wide brim hat, you might realize that their visibility is low, but Mobobaby solved that issue, too. Right in the front is a large button, so you can fold up and secure the hat when you aren’t breastfeeding (or when you are, for increased eye contact) so the baby can see. This makes it a product that serves two purposes and thus also the perfect baby shower present.
If I could change two things about the hat, I’d like it to have slightly more structure, as it’s truly a “floppy hat,” and so it needs adjusting a few times during feeding. This is likely intentional, so that it’s malleable enough to fold up. Also, it would be awesome to have some SPF in the fabric of the hat given that babies under 6 months aren’t supposed to wear sunscreen yet.
Additionally, I’d love to see extra sizes offered for parents who are continuing to breastfeed past age one, as it currently comes in a 0-6 month option and a 6-12 month option. Finally, if there was an option for a chin strap to help my infant keep his hat on, I’d go for it. The first thing he does when I put a hat on him is promptly remove it and chuck it to the ground (hence the dirt incident).
As I start to wrap up my nursing journey with my fourth son, I look back on the moments I hid under covers around relatives who might not approve, or in public where I didn’t feel like explaining motherhood basics to teenagers at an amusement park . I feel sad that those nursing moments were interrupted by what I felt to be two options: to completely bare a breast in public or nurse under a hot cover with a squirmy baby who hated it. But now I’m hopeful, with the help of the nursing hat, other mothers will have the perfect level of privacy and freedom they want, while their baby is protected from the sun.
Here are a few of my other nursing essentials, especially in honor of World Breastfeeding Week. Don’t forget to check out our list of the best nursing bras, too.
Breastfeeding And Nursing Essentials
A Standout Nursing Bra
Silver Nursing Cups To Soothe Tender Nipples
Never Lose An Ounce With This Hand Pump
Eco-Friendly Washable Nursing Pads Stave Off Unexpected Leaks