Hazel was born in November, in what I like to call ‘perfect weather for breastfeeding’. Cold, wet, grey – British winters are ideal for staying inside and cuddling up to a teeny hot water bottle, watching endless Netflix boxsets and wearing a jumper and jeans for months on end.
But now we’re in July, and it’s quite a lot warmer than November. Over the past month we’ve had some very warm weather and let me tell you – nothing will make you more boiling hot than breastfeeding a sweaty, writhing baby in 30 degree heat. Especially if you’re still wearing that trusty jeans and jumper combo.
It’s hard enough adapting your wardrobe to allow for instant boob access (goodbye, dresses. I miss you) but when you need to factor in the temperature too, your options are even more limited. After sweating my way through a day of feeding while wearing too many layers, I decided enough was enough… and went shopping. A few weeks later and I’m feeling much cooler, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite Breastfeeding in Hot Weather Outfits. Catchy title, right?
1. The ‘Pop Over The Top’ Dress
Dress, Topshop (same style, different print) | Sandals, Reiss | Headscarf, M&S
Topshop have a few versions of this dress in different colours and prints – the shirred neckline is super stretchy and pulls down easily, so you can pop a boob out over the top and feed away. If you’re a little shy of pulling your entire breast out in polite company (as I am!), try wearing a bandeau bra that you can pull up to cover your chest a bit.
The floaty material makes this dress wonderfully cool for hot days – it’s a real no fuss style.
2. The ‘One Up, One Down’ Separates
One Up, One Down (OUOD) is popular among breastfeeders – the idea being you wear a vest under your normal top so you can pull the top up and the vest down to feed. All well and good for a rainy day but when the sun is blazing down, another layer of clothing is the last thing you need.
I’ve tried the BreastVest – basically just a vest with the boob part missing – but found it didn’t really help my soaring temperature. I wear separates almost every day and have found the key is in the waist – a high-waisted bottom means there’s less on show when you lift your top. Teamed with a baby body shield, high-waisted trousers, skirts or shorts provide enough coverage to keep me comfortable without needed an extra layer over my stomach. Plus, there’s nothing like a stiff breeze on a bare belly to cool you down. Aaaahhh!
3. The ‘Quick Unbutton’ Dress
I love anything with buttons. Buttons make it all so much easier – undo one, two, three and you’re away! If you prefer to keep a little covered when feeding, buttons are very handy – just keep the top one done up and unbutton from the middle to create a little access pocket. Sneaky!
This dress is denim, and black, so probably not great for wearing in hot weather actually (lol) but I have a few similar shirt dresses in different styles and I love them all.
4. The ‘Oh Never Mind, It’s Pissing It Down Again’ Combo
It’s bound to happen, isn’t it? You treat yourself to a lovely new wardrobe of summer breastfeeding garms and it rains for three weeks solid. I feel you.
For those 15-17 degree days (which, let’s face it, is most of the time bar a week in July and Endless Winter), I wear a rotation of jeans and tees. Topshop’s Sidney jeans are my new fave – I love the skinny leg and the mid-waist is great for feeding without a vest, as mentioned above. I pair them with a slightly cropped tee (no need to tuck it in – tucking in is a right faff when you have to untuck and retuck a million times a day) and fancy flats for an easy daytime look. Add a longline cardigan and you’ve got my mum uniform right there… good for feeding but also crawling about under the highchair to retrieve dropped broccoli, sitting cross-legged on the floor in Baby Sensory and running after the pushchair when you forget to put the brake on.