How Many Nursing Tops Do I Need? (A New Mom's Guide)

How Many Nursing Tops Do I Need? (A New Mom's Guide)

Welcoming a new baby into the world is a journey filled with love, challenges, and numerous decisions. Among these is the question of wardrobe – specifically, how many nursing tops does a new mother need?

This seemingly simple query is a significant one, touching on comfort, convenience, and the ease of breastfeeding or pumping. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the world of nursing tops, offering insights and advice to help new mothers make informed choices.

Whether you're preparing for your little one's arrival or adjusting to motherhood, understanding the role and necessity of nursing tops can make a world of difference in your daily life.

Are Nursing Tops Necessary?

are nursing tops necessary

The debate around the necessity of nursing tops is a common one among new mothers and experts alike. At its core, the question revolves around balancing convenience with personal preference and lifestyle needs. So, are nursing tops essential?

The straightforward answer is no, but this simplicity belies the nuanced experiences of countless mothers.

Personal Experiences and Expert Perspectives

Many mothers find nursing tops an invaluable addition to their postpartum wardrobe. For instance, a contributor at Pumping Mamas reflects on her own journey, noting that while nursing tops aren't strictly necessary, they played a crucial role in her life, especially when returning to work and pumping regularly.

The convenience of these tops, designed with easy access for breastfeeding or pumping, can be a game-changer for busy mothers.

Alternatives to Nursing Tops

While nursing tops offer specialized features, they aren't the only option for breastfeeding mothers. A loose, flowy top can be just as functional, allowing easy access for feeding while offering comfort and style.

The key is to choose tops that are not too tight, making it simpler to move the fabric around during nursing. An oversized top can provide enough space for your baby, and tops with a wide neckline allow you to maintain eye contact with your little one during feeding​.

The Role of Nursing Dresses

nursing dress

While nursing tops serve their functional purpose well, the role of a nursing dress in a new mother's wardrobe is often overlooked. Although not a necessity, the practicality and versatility of a nursing dress make it a worthwhile consideration, particularly for mothers who find themselves attending special events or preferring dresses in their daily attire.

The Case for Nursing Dresses in Special Occasions

Nursing dresses are designed with the needs of breastfeeding mothers in mind, offering ease and discretion during nursing. For instance, a mother's experience shared on Pumping Mamas highlights the lifesaving role of a nursing dress during events like weddings and dinners​.

These dresses eliminate the awkwardness and discomfort of nursing in regular dresses, which often require significant adjustments or even complete undressing in some cases. With a nursing dress, mothers can feed or pump with minimal disruption, maintaining their comfort and dignity during social events​.

Key Reasons to Choose Nursing Tops

three nursing dresses

Despite the non-essential nature of nursing tops, there are compelling reasons to consider them for your postpartum wardrobe. Here, we delve into some key factors that might influence your decision to invest in nursing tops.

  1. Modesty and Comfort During Nursing Nursing tops are designed to offer more coverage than regular tops, which can be particularly important for mothers who prefer to keep their chest and stomach covered while breastfeeding or pumping. This added coverage can significantly enhance comfort and confidence, especially in public settings​.

  2. Adaptability to Weather Conditions If you're breastfeeding during colder months, a nursing top can provide necessary warmth while still allowing easy access for nursing. These tops are specifically designed to minimize skin exposure, keeping mothers comfortable in various weather conditions​.

  3. Convenience for Outdoor Nursing While at home, the need for specialized nursing clothing may not be as pressing. However, when stepping out, be it for errands, doctor's visits, or social gatherings, nursing tops can offer a discreet and convenient solution for breastfeeding. They are particularly beneficial for mothers who frequently find themselves nursing in public or semi-public spaces​.

When to Buy Nursing Tops

nursing top

Deciding when to buy nursing tops is as important as deciding how many to get. The ideal time to invest in these garments can vary, but there are a few guidelines that can help you make the most of your purchase.

Pregnancy and Post-Delivery: A Dual-Purpose Investment

A strategic time to start looking into nursing tops is during the later stages of pregnancy, typically after the 5-month mark, or any time after giving birth.

Many nursing tops are designed to double as maternity wear, offering comfort and style during pregnancy while preparing you for the postpartum period. This dual functionality not only provides immediate utility but also offers long-term value as you transition into motherhood.

Considering the Longevity of Use

Nursing tops designed as maternity wear are often loose and accommodating, making them ideal for the immediate postpartum phase and beyond.

Investing in these tops during pregnancy means you're likely to use them for upwards of 18 months – throughout the latter part of pregnancy, the breastfeeding period, and potentially for subsequent pregnancies. This extended use period makes them a cost-effective and practical choice for many mothers.

Community Insights

large selection of nursing dresses

The number of nursing tops a mother might need can vary significantly based on individual circumstances and preferences. To gain a broader perspective, it's insightful to consider the experiences and recommendations of mothers from various forums and communities.

Diverse Opinions and Personal Preferences

On forums like The Bump, mothers share their personal experiences with nursing tops. Some mothers found that starting with a couple of nursing tanks and bras was sufficient, while others preferred having a larger collection for convenience.

One mother mentioned having four tank tops and three bras initially, which she sourced from Target. Another shared her preference for having a larger number – up to six tanks and several bras – citing the ease of having more options during maternity leave and the desire to avoid constant laundry.

Finding What Works for You

These shared experiences underscore a crucial point: the "right" number of nursing tops varies from one mother to another. Factors such as lifestyle, frequency of nursing, and personal comfort with laundry routines all play a role in determining how many nursing tops you might find necessary.

Some mothers emphasize the importance of trying different styles and brands to find what works best for their needs, offering practical insights into the utility and comfort of various nursing top options.

Comparative Analysis of Nursing Tops

breastfeeding clothes selection

Selecting the right nursing tops involves more than just deciding on the quantity. It's about finding quality products that meet your needs for comfort, accessibility, and style. A comparative analysis of various brands and their offerings can guide you in making an informed choice.

Top Brands and Their Offerings

Renowned for their quality and comfort, brands like Latch Luxe, Seraphine, Blanqi, and Boob Design have become go-to choices for many nursing mothers. These brands offer a range of nursing tops, each with unique features such as ease of access, comfortable fabrics, and stylish designs.

What to Look for in a Quality Nursing Top

  • Ease of Access: Look for tops with discreet yet easily accessible nursing panels.
  • Comfort: Soft, stretchy fabrics that accommodate postpartum body changes are crucial.
  • Style: Choose designs that align with your personal style and can be worn in various settings.
  • Versatility: Tops that double as maternity wear offer better value and longer use.

The Necessity of Nursing Bras and Clothes

nursing bras selection

While nursing tops are a topic of much discussion, the role of nursing bras and other specialized clothes in a breastfeeding mother's wardrobe is equally important. These items, though not essential, can greatly enhance the nursing experience.

Functionality and Comfort of Specialized Nursing Wear

Nursing bras, tops, and clothes offer functionality that regular clothing cannot match. They provide easier access for nursing or pumping, especially when outside the home, and offer longer-lasting comfort and support.

For many mothers, the convenience these garments provide justifies the investment. Moreover, most of these items, like flaps, zippers, and snaps, are designed for easy adjustment, adding to their appeal.

Choosing Key Pieces Based on Lifestyle

The decision to include specialized nursing wear in your wardrobe may depend on your lifestyle. For those who stay at home most of the time, a few comfortable nursing bras and some loose-fitting clothing may suffice.

However, if you're often out and about or a working mother, you'll benefit from nursing bras and tops that facilitate easy and discreet breastfeeding or pumping. This distinction is crucial in determining what types of nursing wear to invest in, ensuring that your choices align with your daily activities and needs.

Practical Considerations for Nursing Bras

nursing bra

When it comes to nursing bras, the number and types you need depend on various practical factors. Understanding these can help you make informed choices that cater to your comfort, convenience, and lifestyle.

Determining the Right Quantity

The basic guideline for nursing bras is at least three: one to wear, one to wash, and one as a spare. However, the exact number may vary based on your laundry habits, lifestyle, and wardrobe needs.

For example, if you're not keen on doing laundry frequently or if your baby tends to spit up often, having more than three can be a practical choice.

Types of Nursing Bras for Different Needs

Your nursing bra needs may also vary depending on your activities and preferences. Consider having:

  • Standard nursing bras for everyday wear and when expecting visitors.
  • Nursing bras for sleep that are soft and comfortable for nighttime use.
  • Cami-style nursing tops for summer wear or layering in winter.
  • Nursing sports bras if you're active and need extra support during workouts.

Timing Your Purchases

It's advisable to buy one or two nursing bras during your third trimester and then wait until after delivery to purchase more, as your body shape and size may change postpartum. This approach ensures that you have nursing bras that fit well during the early weeks postpartum and beyond.

Final Thoughts

As we conclude our comprehensive guide on nursing tops and bras, it's clear that while these items are not essential, they offer significant advantages in terms of comfort, convenience, and functionality. The choice to include them in your postpartum wardrobe is deeply personal and should be based on your specific needs, lifestyle, and preferences.

Whether you choose to invest in several nursing tops and bras or find that a few suffice, the key is to select items that provide comfort, ease of access, and suit your personal style.

Remember, every mother's journey is unique, and what works best for you may differ from another's experience. By considering the insights and advice shared in this guide, you can make informed decisions that enhance your breastfeeding experience and support you in your journey as a new mother.

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Author, Founder @ Latch Luxe

Stefanie Statler

Stefanie Statler is an author and the founder of Latch Luxe, with a loving husband and daughter. She is a dedicated advocate for breastfeeding mothers and understands the challenges and joys of motherhood firsthand. Email me at

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