Babywearing, Breastfeeding

Simple clothes for easy breastfeeding and babywearing

10 September, 2013

I use the word fashion kind of loosely here. More “items that you like that cover your nudey rudies.” You know me, I do like style but I also like being WELL COMFY and SPENDING NOTHING. Which I suspect makes proper fashionistas consider me much in the same way architects consider Bob the Builder.

I have tried lots and lots of different breastfeeding and babywearing combinations. It’s a bit trickier see as you can’t yank tops up and fiddle around with zips while you have a baby strapped on. I was enjoying shirts for a while, you know button right up hipstery ones and then realised that I only ever had the top button done up but was spending way too much of my day thinking about how I should do the other buttons up. So, buttons; on yer bike.

For me it is all about tops where you can pop your boob over the top. Some will call it immodest, I call it normalising breastfeeding! 90% of my life is spent with one mammary out of its hammock, but with a baby squashed in front as above.20130731-210821.jpg(I did aim for a proper shoot but it was quite ridiculous, with Tim juggling Juno and the camera and Ramona leaping into my arms at every opportunity!)

Because our living space is now about 2m x 2m I have stripped down my wardrobe massively. I took TWELVE BIN BAGS of my clothes to the charity shop! Scary or what?! So now I have about 5 strappy vests/ singlets (catering to both UK and kiwi dialects here as I know these two things mean the opposite- when I used to talk about wearing a vest on the hottest NZ days my friends would look at me with goggle eyes as a vest is one of those big heavy sleeveless jackets that farmers wear, pahaha) I have got from charity shops. And about 2 skirts and a pair of shorts and jeans. And two vintage wrap dresses. And… (I kid, really, I am basically a clothing monk these days.)

In “Moranthology” Caitlin Moran (really, read it!) talks about how women tell a story with their outfits. (It is one of her more frivolous chapters.) My story these days is “Mother with two nursing kiddos who needs booby access constantly and who chooses to laze around in the mornings rather than picking out a complex and fantastic display of garments.”

I think I have cracked it with the bright skirt and basic, low key tee combo. With two retro cardis that can wrap all the way around the two of us too.

What combinations have you found to be the easiest for babywearing and breastfeeding? How important is style? Do you have to compromise on fashion a bit when the kiddos are tiny?

PS We are currently in Northern Italy, by Lake Como. We were going to hotfoot it to Croatia but our van is a bit crook and needs to see a Dr, and we’ve had tragic news from home that we are trying to process. It is a bit of an alright spot to figure out our next steps.

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  • Mrs C 10 September, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Love that cardigan in the last photo. Been looking out for something similar for ages, but with no success. Have you been checking out any charity shops on your European travels?

  • Thalia Kehoe Rowden 10 September, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    I’m really sorry to hear you have had hard news. All the very best for the coming days and months.

    I have back trouble, so don’t babywear my toddler, but I’m with you on breastfeeding gear. I have no patience for ‘modesty’ if it means faff and discomfort. Except on hot days I tend to wear two layers so I can pull the top layer up for a bit more cover (I’m talking temperature!)

    Thanks for the reminder about wraparound dresses. I found when I wore one early on to a wedding that it was hard to tie it so that I could feed easily and it didn’t then gape in between (maybe I just needed a sling and baby in front!).

  • Carolyn 10 September, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I was always a pop it out the top of a tee kind of breast feeder…. and in cooler climates combine that with a light weight scarf for my tot to snuggle under. Modest, comfy and I found it to be the easiest way to hide my boobie when my baby decided to have a breather. It also gave me time to wind her, without having to faff sorting myself out first.

  • Bex @ The Mummy Adventure 10 September, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Vests and cardys are my stables for breastfeeding and babywearing and a wrapover dress of course as well. I am wearing more shirts though, buttoned up at the bottom with a vest underneath

  • Melksham Mum 10 September, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    You, my lovely, would look gorgeous in a bin liner 🙂 Almost makes me want to have another! Enjoy your adventure and sorry to hear you have sadness to deal with x

  • teeny 10 September, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    HEe! I love the photo of Ramona scrabbling on you, and you’re all askew but smiley both. All of those outfits are sunny and bright. Sorry to hear that you’ve had sad news. x

  • Kat Wray 11 September, 2013 at 5:02 am

    Stretch jersey like fabric for tops so you can just yank it down! I did spend all of last summer wearing buttoned tops, but then I’d forget to do the buttons back up. I’ve now invested in a few (cheap) maternity bra-singlets (singlets with a bra built in and the straps unhook) so it’s an easy two-for-one and I can just layer other stuff over the top so people don’t keep saying “Gee does she only own one black singlet or what?”

  • Kat Wray 11 September, 2013 at 5:07 am

    P.S. So sorry to hear about bad news *hugs*

  • Bake 11 September, 2013 at 6:05 am

    I’m sorry to hear you have had some tragic family news. I hope everything will be OK and that you aren’t feeling too far away from your loved ones. Enjoy the lake, we love hearing about your adventures! xoxo

  • Giselle 11 September, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    See, I never feed out the top, perhaps my tops are all too high-necked or my boobs aren’t the right shape for that. I vastly prefer the ‘pull the top up’ method. Doesn’t work with non-stretch cotton tops though, although jumpers are great…

  • Katy Beale 11 September, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Looking great! Think ‘traditionally-clashing’ outfits are the wish to go, mix up the patterns – they show the baby sick / small child jam hand prints less.

    Agree with Giselle though, I also struggle with the ‘boobs out the top’ method. Might be because they are now a stonking 32FF and I find that I stretch my clothes out of shape by pulling them down.

    Hope the van gets fixed up soon and you have time to process your thoughts.

  • Anna 11 September, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    I agonised over what to wear in the early days – I was so worried out about people seeing my boob – now I just whack it out everywhere with no cares at all ha ha! Deffo comfort is the way forward – I’m afraid I’m a bit of a leggings-a-holic, but have one beautiful wrap dress for special times!
    Lake Como is SO beautiful we went there (Domaso) last year when our bambino was just a bumpino… happy times!

  • Vickyb 12 September, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Sorry to hear about your news.

    Yes, reading Moranthology at the moment – so good! So perfect for parents/busy people as well, because you can dip in and out!

    Have you read How To Be A Woman? So good!

  • Samara 21 October, 2017 at 9:05 am

    This made me laugh Lucy, especially when you described yourself as a “mother with two nursing kiddos who needs booby access constantly and who chooses to laze around in the mornings rather than picking out a complex and fantastic display of garments.” I am that mom right now! Luckily I work from home, so I pretty much live in my pajamas, but going out is very challenging because I’d love to wear something fun and stylish, but I need to be able to discreetly get my boob out. I end up lifting my shirt and exposing my entire midsection any time we’re in public—it’s not pretty : )