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There are so many things no one prepares you for with it comes to having a baby, but high on my list was 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 nightgowns.
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 breathable breastfeeding nightgowns quickly became my very best friend.
Why Choose a Nursing Nightgown?
There are TONS of options out there in terms of postpartum pajamas, so if nightgowns aren’t your thing, that’s totally fine. Check out our favorite nursing pajamas for other amazing options.
But nursing nightgowns are heaven, and we want you to know why.
- 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.
- 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 or Maternity Nightgown
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:
- Fabric: 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.
Nursing Gown Shopping Tips
When shopping for nursing nightgowns, there are features you want to look out for to ensure you’re choosing the best gown for your personal needs. Remember, the best nursing nightie for you might not be the same as the best for your friend. Here are our top tips for finding the best nightgown for breastfeeding:
- Learn what type of nursing access you prefer (snap downs, unbutton, lift-the-flap, wrap-style) and stick with gowns that meet your preferences.
- Check the size and fit based on your pre-pregnancy or postpartum size, not your maternity size.
- Look for soft, breathable materials like bamboo, cotton, and modal to avoid the pesky night sweats that are all-too-common after birth.
- Pay attention to built-in features like a built-in bra, support panels, or pockets, so you can choose the ones that work best for you. (I’m on the bustier side, so I’m always more comfortable in a nursing gown that has a built-in bra!)
- Check the care instructions! With a baby around, you want something you can easily toss in the washer and dryer.
- Read the reviews. Other moms have tried most products before and their opinions are so valuable!
Best Button-Down Maternity Nightgown
There are SO many adorable button down nighties on the market right now, and many of them are absolutely adorable.
1. Kindred Bravely Betsy Bamboo Ribbed Nursing Nightgown
Bamboo is my favorite material for nursing nightgowns, so I was stoked when Kindred Bravely started developing different lines of bamboo pajamas.
I especially love this ribbed nightshirt-style nightgown for its comfort, simplicity, and versatility as an amazing piece of nursing loungewear. Wear it at night as a nightgown or during the day as a house dress, and either way, you’ll be super comfortable with easy nursing access.
The quick snaps and built-in light bra are extra special bonuses!
2. Ekouaer “Menswear” Button Down Nursing Nightgown
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!
3. Ekouaer Sleeveless Button Down Nursing Nightie
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.
4. Undercover 24/7 Mama House Dress
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).
5. Clea Bamboo Classing Nursing Nightgown (Long Sleeved)
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 Gowns with Pull-Apart Flaps
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.
1. Kindred Bravely Eleanora Nursing Nightgown/Lounge Dress
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.
2. Ekouaer Sleeveless Pull Apart Nightgown
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!
3. Latuza Nightgown and Robe Set
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!
4. Evanhome Pull Down Strap Nursing Nightgown
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!
5. Motherhood Maternity Seamless Bra/Nursing Gown
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 Gown for the 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.
Here are our favorite labor and delivery gowns that you can
1. Frida Mom Delivery and Nursing Gown
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).
2. Yunar Labor and Delivery Nursing Dress
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.
3. Kindred Bravely Universal Labor and Delivery Gown
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?!
4. Baby Be Mine 3-in-1 Nightgown
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.
5. Kindred Bravely Ruffle Strap Labor and Delivery Gown
This cute and soft labor and delivery gown is fantastic for the hospital after labor. The full-length button-down and velcro openings make it easy for nurses to access your c-section scar, perineal pad, or epidural site.
And of course, nursing access is simple with these easy snap straps!
Best Nursing Nightgown and Robe Sets
Robes can be an amazing addition to nursing nightgowns because they’ll keep you warmer, they’re super comfortable, and it’s easy to cover if that’s your preference.
Here are our favorite nursing nightgown and robe sets.
(1) Lucille Nursing Nightgown with Emmaline Robe by Kindred Bravely
While sold separately, this gown and robe are made of the same fabric and pair wonderfully together. The soft, modal fabric is super breathable, which will keep you cool through all that late-night skin-to-skin with baby.
We especially love the 3-quarter-length-sleeves (a must for baby baths!) and the deep pockets, perfect for storing cell phones, burp cloths, and such!
(2) Clementine Nursing Nightie with Second Skin Robe by Nom Maternity
Nothing is better to sleep on than a soft bamboo fabric, so it’s no wonder Nom Maternity calls this robe a “second skin.”
Made of the same soft fabric, this gown and robe are the perfect combination to keep you soft, cool, and comfortable. Not to mention how luxurious you’ll feel!
Tell Us Your Favorite Nursing Gowns!
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!
Nursing Nightgowns FAQs
Whether you need a nursing nightgown is a matter of preference. Some people are able to wear wrap gowns instead of nursing nighties, but most prefer the easy breast access afforded by nightgowns designed specifically for nursing. If you choose to wear a nightgown that isn’t made for nursing, be sure to choose a breathable fabric, as nursing moms are often warmer at night.
A nursing mother should wear soft, comfortable, breathable pajamas with easy access for nursing. This access could come from straps that fold down with a clasp, side panel access, lift–the-flap access, button-or-snap-front pajamas, or wrap-style pajamas.
Whether to sleep in a bra while breastfeeding is a matter of personal preference, but most new moms prefer the comfort and support of either a sleeping bra, or of nursing pajamas that have a soft built-in bra.
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.