The Right Steps to Know How to Use a Nursing Scarf
I was hesitant at first. Breastfeeding in public can make you think twice. It was a huge struggle especially when my baby is hungry and crying. What would people think? What if they see even a glimpse of what should not be viewed? How will I handle it without appearing offensive to others?
It feels like people are all looking at us and I do not know what to do. Fortunately, I came across a good solution to my breastfeeding needs in public. I got myself a nursing scarf.
It was a dream come true for breastfeeding mothers like me. But then, I struggled on how to correctly put it in my body and cover my baby without the risk of suffocating him. I tried different angles, but sometimes, some sides are already exposed or too covered that I cannot see my baby.
I wanted to do it the right way, so I started searching for tips on how to use a nursing scarf. In this post, you will learn the proper steps on using a nursing scarf and a few tips on how to maintain it.
Things You Need to Know When Using a Nursing Scarf
What Is a Nursing Scarf?
A nursing scarf is a piece of soft and versatile fabric that can be used to cover your baby you’re your breast when breastfeeding in public. It can be used as a scarf while traveling or placed in the bag. Whenever the baby needs to feed, you can just unwrap it and use.
Benefits of Using a Nursing Scarf
A lot of mommies love the idea of having a nursing scarf to cover them during breastfeeding. But, most nursing scarves can be used in other ways.
Apart from covering your baby, it can be used as a car seat cover. You can shield your child from sunlight when inside the car. You may even use it to cover him when carried on a stroller or a baby carrier.
You can also make use of it as a cover for your child when you need to run outside in the rain. Having to umbrella can be no problem for light showers when your baby’s head is fully covered inside your scarf.
The nursing scarf can also be used to carry infants. When going shopping or strolling in the mall, it is easier to carry your baby around when there is extra support from your scarf.
Lastly, your nursing scarf is a stylish accessory. You do not need to bring another scarf to warm you up when going outside. Its multi-purpose function eliminates the need to carry a lot of things when going outside.
What to Consider When Looking for a Nursing Scarf
There are several features when it comes to a nursing scarf. However, not all of these useful features are found in just a single scarf. You need to determine the priorities that you want so you can maximize your use of the fabric depending on your utmost need.
When buying a scarf:
Look for an easy to use and wear – It must be at the right size where it can fit around your neck while at the same time fit enough to cover your baby or put him in it. It must also be comfortable to wear on the body at any time. Choose a fabric that is soft on the skin so you and your baby would not feel itchy or uncomfortable when using it.
Consider warranty – There are nursing scarf brands that offer warranty upon purchase. Anytime there is a defect on the item; you can have it replaced. It is ideal to consider warranty since a nursing scarf is an investment and protection for your baby. You do not want to end up having a damaged fabric that you cannot do anything about except throw away and buy a new one.
Make sure it is safe for your baby to use – See to it that there are no added snaps or buckles as well as other hard accessories that may cut the skin of your child. Also, ensure that the fabric is thick enough to hold your baby in it for a long time.
Choose a stylish and beautiful fabric – Why risk exposing your nursing scarf when you can use it like any other scarves you have? Pick a nursing scarf that you can use every day even if you do not use it on your baby.
It needs to be functional – Despite its overall appearance and ease of use, when it is not functional; it is not effective at all. Make sure your nursing scarf can provide full coverage of your baby. It also needs to cover your breast while maintaining good airflow on your child. It should also allow you to have a good eye-to-eye contact with your baby during breastfeeding.
You can easily clean it – Constant use of your nursing scarf will require consistent cleanup. With the time needed to maintain your scarf, see to it that it is easy to maintain and in less time.
How to Use a Nursing Scarf
A. As a Scarf
Step 1 – Arrange Your Scarf
Gather the fabric at one end of the scarf with both hands. Grip the fabric tight to determine the opening in the middle for your head. Place the scarf over your head and smoothed the fabric on both sides using your two hands.
Step 2 – Create The Second Loop
Grab the other end of the scarf with your two hands. Smoothen both sides of the end and create a small opening for your head. Place the end of the scarf over your head through the middle opening to create The second loop over your shoulders. Smoothen the fabric on both sides and arrange the loops.
Step 3 – Style it!
You can choose to create an uneven loop for your scarf. Arrange the loops where the outer loop is longer than the inner loop. You may also want to consider even loops where the inner loop overlaps the outer loop.
Another style is to put one end of the scarf inside the other end and tighten it around your neck. Just make sure it is comfortable to wear.
You may also want to consider a knot. Only tie the loose end of the scarf to a slip knot. If you feel cold, you can even use your scarf as a shawl. Just wrap the scarf around your back and push one arm to the first end and your other arm to the other end.
B. During breastfeeding
Step 1 – Unloop the Scarf
Given that you are already wearing the scarf, first, unloop the double scarf. Remove the fabric from your neck.
Step 2 – Drape the Fabric over Your Shoulders
Using both hands, wrap the fabric around your shoulders having one arm inside and the other outside. The arms inside will be used to support and hold your child during breastfeeding while the other hand will be used to control all things needed.
Step 3 – Arrange the Fabric over Your Body
Spread the fabric over your shoulders and in front of you. Spreading it will create added support and coverage for you and your baby. Arrange it correctly before placing your child in it.
Step 4 – Put Your Child in
Place your baby in front of you supported by your inner arm. Position him as if ready for breastfeeding. Cover your baby and your body. Now, you can uncover yourself for your child to breastfeed.
C. As a Car Seat Cover
Step 1 – Slide the Nursing Cover in the Car Seat or Your Baby Stroller
Determine the opening of the scarf. Slide the nursing scarf from the top over to the seat. The opening of the fabric must be able to push the handle out so you can carry your baby.
Step 2 – Arrange the Scarf to Cover the Seat Entirely
Spread one end of the scarf to cover the left side. You might want to tuck the excess fabric in so it will not quickly remove from the seat. Do the same to the right side of the seat.
Additional Tips on How to Use Your Nursing Scarf in Public
How to Maintain Your Nursing Scarf
Over time, your nursing scarf will experience wear and tear. While it may seem easy just to buy a new one, it can also mean additional expense on your part. Proper maintenance of the scarf can lengthen its service to you, so you do not have to part with it for a short while.
Also, your nursing scarf has been with you as you went through your breastfeeding journey. The added sentiment can give you more value so best to take care of it.
How to Properly Take Care of Your Nursing Scarf:
Clean it often. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean your nursing scarf. Different materials would mean varying ways of cleaning, so know how to clean yours. Most scarves require hand washing with mild soap and water. Cleaning your scarf often will also ensure safety for you and your baby health wise.
Store it in a safe place. When not in use, keep your nursing scarf inside your cabinet. Ideally, you can use your scarf whenever you need to go out with your baby. But, you may choose not to use a nursing cover when breastfeeding inside the house.
Keep it out of reach. Your children and pets can easily tear your scarf apart especially if the colors are attractive to their eyes. Do not leave it lying around for them to play with.
Avoid spills and stains on your scarf. If you store in inside your baby bag, keep it apart from your baby bottles. Make sure that it is away from liquids that might stain it. Avoid using harsh chemicals when removing stains. The chemical particles might linger on the fabric even after you rinse and dry it. It will pass on to your child and cause allergic reaction.
If possible, avoid ironing your scarf. The thin fabrics can quickly get burnt and damage your scarf. If you need to iron your wrinkled scarf, use the lowest heat setting. You can also place a bath towel over the scarf before ironing it.
It takes a lot of courage to breastfeed in public. You may encounter disapproving looks from other people and even inquiring people.
However, be positive and remember that it is all for your baby. Do not mind your surroundings but focus on what you and your baby are doing. Remember, breastfeeding is a unique activity that strengthens the bond between the mother and the baby.
Many mommies fight their shyness simply because the needs of their children always come first. You need to think of the welfare of your child before thinking of what others would have to say.
It is a good thing that nursing scarves and other nursing covers are there to help us. These fabrics can conceal the private moments our babies are doing so they can feed in peace. At the same time, it enables us to connect with our children without the disapproving look discreetly.
I was delighted when I used my first nursing scarf. It was easy to use, and I find it very helpful when we go to the park or at a restaurant. There was a time when my baby’s feeding time was caught in between going somewhere or doing errands. Even if I tag my baby along, I know I can feed her anytime.
How about you? How are you using your nursing scarf? Share to us your stories!