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When I was recovering from having a baby, there were so many things I was unprepared for. One of the worst of them: postpartum night sweats. The hormonal fluctuations kept me so hot, and I quickly discovered that of all the postpartum pajamas I’d purchased, the most important were nursing nighties.
Don’t get me wrong. Nursing pajamas of all types are amazing, and I wore my pants sets and robes all day when I was home with Jack. But when nighttime came, I needed to be cool to have any chance of sleeping, and nursing nighties quickly became my very best friend.
Why Choose a Nursing Nightie?
Okay, so there are TONS of options out there for you in terms of postpartum pajamas, so if nightgowns aren’t your thing, that’s totally fine.
But we wanted to do this article because many mamas don’t realize just how awesome nursing nighties are for several reasons:
- They Won’t Rub Your C-Section Incision. If you’ve ever had a c-section, you know that pants are NOT your friend–even soft pajama pants.
- Nursing Nighties give you easy access to your poor, battered vagina. You’re likely going to want to change your mesh underwear or replace your padsicle in the middle of the night when you’re freshly postpartum. Or, if you’re trying to go when you feel that urge for that first postpartum poop, you don’t have to worry about pulling your pants up and down a ton of times.
- They feel like a dreamy (and cute!) t-shirt. You might be worried about your postpartum body after giving birth, and wearing something loose and comfortable will help you not worry too much. The nursing nighties we’ll recommend in this article are also actually cute, so you don’t have to worry if someone comes over and you’re still hanging out in yours at 11 am.
- Nursing nightgowns are AMAZING for feeding baby anywhere, any time. Obviously, mamas buy nursing nightgowns because they give baby access to the breast easily. Gone are the days when women would need to fully take off their shirts to feed baby. The BEST part about nursing nighties is that they give EASY boob access.
How to Choose the Best Nursing Nightgowns
When looking for nursing nightgowns, there are a few “best practices” to keep in mind to be sure you’re getting what you need.
Let’s run through them quickly to make life easier as you’re choosing the best fit for you:
- Material: Choose a material that’s lightweight, breathable, and won’t stain with breastmilk. Your nursing nightie also needs to hold up through MULTIPLE times in the washer and dryer. For these reasons, we love anything made of bamboo or modal (beech tree pulp)! (Also, stock up on Dapple laundry detergent and dawn soap to help those pesky milk stains come out easily!)
- Styles: Most nursing nighties are fairly straight forward: they either have sleeves or they don’t, and most run about knee-length. You’ll most likely want to gauge the sleeve situation on what time of year you’re delivering and whether or not you’re a hot sleeper.
- Sizing: Many nursing nighties come traditional S, M, L, XL, XXL+ sizes. They are made to be loose and comfortable, so size up if you feel like you’d like some extra room. Also, many brands have size charts on their websites, so it’s easy to do your homework beforehand.
- Neckline: I personally hate sleeping in necklines that are too tight, so I’m all for a boat neck or button down. You’ll find several different necklines out there, so go for what you’ll be most comfortable in.
- Nursing Access: Nursing nighties take breast access into consideration, so button downs, nursing access flaps, pull apart panels, easy-access straps and snaps are common. Check out a few different variations on necklines and nursing access mechanisms to see which you like best.
Our Favorite Nursing Nighties
Okay, so you’ve decided you’re on the nursing nightgown train! Congrats! You’re making good decisions already. But how do you know which ones will keep you calm, cool, and collected when you’re home with a fresh babe?
Here are our tried and true selections for you based on style, breast accessibility, and where you’ll be wearing them.
Button Down Nightgowns
There are SO many adorable button down nighties on the market right now, and many of them are absolutely adorable.
We love anything Ekouaer, but this nightgown is especially cute!
Made to look like traditional mens’ pajamas, this nightgown gives baby easy access with buttons down the front. It also comes in a bunch of cute colors!
Hate sleeping in anything with sleeves? Especially when you’re feeding a little heater every three hours or so? We get it. Try the Ekouaer sleeveless.
It has an adjustable spaghetti strap and three buttons on the front for easy access to the breast.
This adorable dress comes in all sorts of colors–both solid and patterns, but the ABSOLUTE best part is that you can wear it OUT of the house! Imagine that
With three buttons at the top, and an easy, chic style, you can sleep in it and then run to the grocery store, and no one will know (as if you really care at this point, though).
If you’ve read any postpartum clothing recommendation article on this site, you know we LOVE Kindred Bravely and recommend them without reservation.
So if you’re in the market for something a bit warmer to sleep in, we love this love sleeved button down nursing nightgown. Everything they make is SO soft!
Best Nursing Flaps and Pull Apart Nightgowns
So you don’t want to worry about having to unbutton anything? When baby is screaming in the middle of the night and you need fast access, we recommend nursing nighties with pull up flaps or easy access straps. Here are our favs.
Remember earlier when we said we love a nursing nightgown that you can sleep in and then go to the grocery store in? Well this one can actually take you to the doctor, to see your Mother-in-law, and is definitely cute enough to entertain family and friends in.
Plus, it’s made of bamboo, and has an easy access nursing flap for those middle-of-the-night nursing sessions when fast access is a huge deal. OH, and it has POCKETS.
Again, if you hate sleeves when you sleep, this pull apart strapless nightgown is your jam.
It’s baggy with a fuller skirt, so treat yourself to one during pregnancy, and rest assured that you’ll still love it postpartum. It has easy pull apart front paneling for breast access anytime. Also, it comes in tons of fun colors!
I LOVE a good robe, so when I saw this set, I got excited! The best part besides the matching robe and belted nightgown combo?
It’s made from viscose, which is a form of bamboo fabric. The nightgown has pull apart panels for easy breast access, and a cute lace trim. We love this set!
This light-weight nursing nightgown has a pull-down shoulder strap that allows for easy breastfeeding.
The shoulder strap strap attaches by buttons, so you can pop it off easily when you need to. It’s also a great price point, so you can buy a few in several different colors if you like it!
Feel like the girls need a little extra support even at night? Understandable. You might have breast pain due to engorgement or just plain soreness due to their new size.
For added support at night, Motherhood Maternity has a great bra/nightgown combo with easy breastfeeding access.
Best Nursing Gowns for Hospital
Honestly, any of the above nursing nightgowns would work in the hospital as delivery/postpartum nightgowns. But sometimes you want something just perfect for that delivery experience…something that is NOT a scratchy hospital gown.
So what do you need in a good nursing nightgown for the hospital? Consider the following:
- Your healthcare team will need easy access to just about every part of your body. Arms for blood pressure cuffs and your IV, belly for your monitor, vagina (obviously), and your back if you choose to have an epidural.
- With this in mind, you’ll need something loose and sleeveless or short-sleeved and preferably with snaps in the back, so you don’t have to pull it up or over your head for an epidural.
- As with any nursing nightgown, make sure your hospital gown can be washed easily, is breathable, and is COMFORTABLE.
This delivery and nursing gown literally has snaps in all the places you’ll need them! It has snaps for nursing access and snaps down the back, as well.
Plus, it’s super soft, AND it has pockets! What’s not to love? (Also, we LOVE the Frida Mom Postpartum Recovery Kit if you’re in the market to make life a lot easier when you return home from the hospital or delivery center).
Looking for something at a great price point that will also look cute in those first photos with baby?
The Yunar Labor and Delivery Nursing Dress in pink polka dots or black and white hearts is a great option. It has buttons in the back and side flaps for nursing access.
One of our favorite nursing and maternity clothing brands really brings their A game with this L&D gown!
It has durable velcro in the front and back, and it’s as comfortable as your favorite, super soft T-shirt! Seriously, what’s not to love?!
Want something that will carry you through labor, delivery, and postpartum…but make it REALLY CUTE? For those of you who like to take amazing photos a few moments after your little one makes her appearance, first of all, KUDOS, and second of all, this gown is for YOU.
It’s truly stylish and comes in lots of fun patterns and colors. And don’t worry, if you come out of labor looking like you’ve been hit by a truck, you can still wear this adorable nightgown with everything you need to carry you through the whole process.
Are We Missing Your Favorite Nursing Nightie?
As connoisseurs of comfort, we’ve tried to find the best (read: SOFTEST) nursing nighties out there from our favorite brands, but hey, we also rely on our community to tell us what they love!
If we’ve missed anything here, be sure to reach out. We love your input on the best, most comfy nursing gowns for labor, delivery, and just being comfortable at home with your newborn.
What are your favorite nursing nightgowns? Tell us in the comments!
Other Breastfeeding Articles
- How to increase breastmilk supply
- Breast milk oversupply
- Dairy free breastfeeding
- Exclusively pumping tips
- How to choose a breast pump
- Best nursing nightgowns
Katy Huie Harrison, PhD, is an author, mom, recurrent miscarriage survivor, & owner of Undefining Motherhood. She lives in Atlanta with her husband (affectionately known on the internet as “Husband,”) son (Jack), and dog (Charlotte). She believes our society puts too many expectations on women that make womanhood and motherhood restrictive. Her goal is to shift the paradigm about what it means to be a woman and mother, giving all women a greater sense of agency over their own lives. You can find Katy and her work featured in places like CNN’s Headline News, Romper, Scary Mommy, Demeter Press’s Motherhood and Social Exclusion, & more.