What to wear to sleep while breastfeeding {so you can actually sleep}

Deciding what to wear at night while you’re breastfeeding can be a delicate balance between comfort and function.

You get robbed of enough sleep as a new mom without uncomfortable clothing making it more difficult to sleep. But you also want something that’s going to be functional for middle of the night feedings.

Check out our recommendations for the best things to wear at night while nursing for comfort and convenience.

We’ll cover what you shouldn’t wear as well as look at great options for tank tops, button down pajamas, nursing nightgowns, nursing bras, and more.

woman breastfeeding a baby at night

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What NOT to wear

The first thing that has to be mentioned is that whatever you choose to wear, make sure it’s not too tight, especially in the first few weeks of breastfeeding.

You will NOT want to wear things like sports bras or tight nursing bras to sleep. Basically, if it’s designed to keep your breasts from moving around it’s not going to be a good choice.

Below put in image of woman wearing sports bra with the red circle with X over it.

woman in sports bra with red X across the picture

Wearing something that’s too tight for a long period of time, can cause clogged milk ducts, which if not caught right away, can lead to mastitis.

Both of these are uncomfortable and a problem that you don’t need to have. If you ever feel flu like symptoms and notice any red or warm spots on your breasts, be sure to call your doctor right away as it can quickly become serious

If you do notice the beginnings of a clogged milk duct, check out my post full of foolproof ways to get them unclogged.

Wearing something that’s too tight and constricting could also effect your milk supply. Keep things loose and comfy especially during those first few weeks when you’re nursing frequently anyway.

Still trying to get your head around breastfeeding? Take the online breastfeeding course Milkology and you’ll be up to speed in no time.

To Bra or not to Bra

A common question new moms have is should you wear a bra to bed while breastfeeding?

The answer is, it depends on the bra. A soft nursing bra that provides just a little support would be ok to sleep in but you want to avoid anything tight or anything with an underwire that would be uncomfortable for sleeping.

Personally, I go braless at night but if you are especially large chested or is someone that leaks and needs to wear nursing pads then you may want some sort of bra.

I haven’t purchased a nursing bra from Kindred Bravely but I have used other items from them and they are super comfortable and functional. Their french terry items are super soft and comfy.

I highly recommend you read through the reviews on items as women often share their height, weight, and cup size which can help you zero in on the correct size for you.

If the weather is warm you can wear just the nursing bra to bed or you can cover it with a nursing tank top. You can also put a regular shirt overtop and use the two shirt method to nurse at night.

Tank Tops

During warmer weather a simple tank top can be a great choice too.

You can simply wear a loose regular tank top and pull it up to nurse. But, to keep from exposing your stomach to the cold night air a nursing tank top, or at least one that can stretch down so you can pop your breast out, is key.

These simple nursing tanks from Amazon actually have great reviews and they come in a multipack which is nice. They also come in a variety of colors so you can choose your favorite set.

Button Down Pajama Tops

One of my favorite things to wear to bed when it was a big colder were button down pajamas. You can easily undo just the top few buttons, nurse your little, and then button it right back up and get back to bed.

You can wear them with or without a nursing bra or nursing tank underneath depending on your preference and needs.

You can find button down pajama sets in the regular clothing section. They have nice ones at Target with both pant and short bottoms and short or long sleeves.

woman wearing black button down pajamas with short bottoms

You can also get a nice set from Kindred Bravely but they will cost you more there.

Kindred Bravely also offers a version they call a sleep shirt but I’d call it a nightgown. That leads us to our next option for nighttime attire for nursing moms, nightgowns.

Nursing Nightgowns

If you’re the type who likes nightgowns they can be a great choice for bedtime while you’re nursing. You may be able to get away with one you already own if the top is loose enough to pull down for feedings.

There are also many different nightgowns that are designed for breastfeeding that you can choose from.

Kindred Bravely has one called the Lucille Nursing Nightgown that is beautiful and has the easy clip down top for easy breastfeeding access. It’s fancy looking enough that you won’t even feel like you’re wearing nursing clothes.

woman laying on bed in pink nursing nightgown

For something more basic take a look at the essential nursing nightgown from motherhood maternity.

The lack of pants may also make a nightgown a great choice for sleeping if you had a c-section since there won’t be any waistband to rub on your incision.

Other Nursing Pajamas

There are also some cute options that don’t fit into any of the categories above.

Kindred Bravely has a nice set called the Davy Nursing & Maternity Pajama Set. They are super soft, the top has easy access for nursing, and the bottoms even have pockets!

I also found this cute set on Amazon. It comes it tons of different colors and you can get pant or short bottoms. I love the color options as many places only seem to offer black clothing for new moms.

The bottoms come with an adjustable waistband so you can wear them as maternity pajamas and nursing pajamas!

Whichever of these options you prefer just make sure you keep it as simple as possible so that you don’t have to move a lot of clothes around during middle of the night feedings.

Be sure to check out our tips for surviving the first few weeks of breastfeeding your baby.

For more clothing tips visit our Ultimate Clothing Guide for Breastfeeding Moms.

woman on bed with arms raised text overlay "what to wear to bed"

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