Summer is officially here and the long, hot days have many parents concerned about keeping their children cool. The heat seems relentless, but this is also the time of the year for vacations, beach trips, camping excursions, and pool parties. For a breastfeeding mom, the worries of overheating their baby can be even more intense thanks to so much skin-to-skin contact and being out in the sun. If a mom isn't comfortable breastfeeding in public, the added layers of protection to shield themselves may leave them wondering, "Can my baby overheat in a nursing cover?"
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Kate Fresso tells Romper that while she didn't really use one, she doesn't think they impede breastfeeding or are an issue for moms to use. "They might be really beneficial for breastfeeding for certain moms," she says. "Whatever helps a mom to feel comfortable feeding her baby is OK in my book."
But can your baby overheat in one? According to Baby Center, babies are very vulnerable to heat stroke and overheating, especially if it's warm out and they're dressed in too many layers. So in theory, yes — a baby could overheat under a nursing cover, especially if they're dressed and up against your warm body. But that doesn't mean you have to toss your nursing cover. If you're most comfortable using one, you might need to get rid of the thicker material and try something lighter.
"When it's hot out, those Aden + Anais muslin blankets make a good breathable cover," Fresso says. You can find this brand almost anywhere and a four pack ($35) can give you all the covers you need for the summer. The website Exclusive Pumping also recommended a breathable nursing cover — the Bébé Au Lait muslin cover ($21). The fabric is light and airy and can keep your baby from overheating as they breastfeed.
Overheating can be scary, but with a light cover and continuing to breastfeed, your baby should be OK. Parents noted that keeping your baby hydrated is a great way to combat the heat, so breastfeed often to keep your little one from getting dehydrated. If you'd prefer to breastfeed without a cover so neither of you start sweating, go for it. Remember, comfort matters for you and your baby, so do whatever feels best to you.