10 Genius Ways to Save Money on Nursing Clothes

Stay on budget with multi-use finds, DIYs, and secondhand steals

Neve Spicer
Written by Neve Spicer Updated on September 22nd, 2021

Breastfeeding is the most economical choice for feeding your new baby, but it doesn’t come without costs. A comfortable nursing wardrobe that allows you to easily and discreetly feed your little one is something you’ll rely on, but if you don’t shop carefully, the price on this niche gear can be high.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for a savvy mother to save money on nursing clothes, from sale shopping and thrifting to simple DIYs (and the oft-overlooked registry).

Ready to learn more?

1. Consider your purchases carefully

Because maternity and nursing clothes are such a niche market, manufacturers are eager to capitalize on new moms who envision themselves in a totally new and fully nursing-compatible wardrobe. This may be overkill.

Instead, opt for simple, layerable pieces; key wardrobe elements that are comfortable, well-fitting, and match your style. 

If you want to include a couple of sundresses and fun tops, go for it, but know that you can successfully get through your breastfeeding years without a full overhaul of your closet. Nursing bras, t-shirts, and tank tops will be among your best friends, and other, fancier pieces may hang unworn in favor of your comfort options. 

Related: 7 Best Nursing Pads of 2021 (No More Leaky Boob Mishaps!)

2. Talk to your mom friends

If your friend group contains some mothers of older babies or kids, talk to them about your plight. If like many of us, they’ve been slow in getting their old clothes to the donation bin, they might have some nursing pieces hanging around and no intention of using them again.

Most mothers are keen to pass on baby and nursing gear once those years have passed, as it helps to declutter and free up more room in the closets, and friends with no plans of reselling their maternity and nursing gear are frequently eager to pass it along to new members of the motherhood club. 

3. Head to the secondhand store

You may be surprised by the amount of maternity and nursing gear available at your local thrift store. Do a bit of online research to figure out which shop in your area is the biggest and best-stocked, or head to your favorite secondhand or consignment shop to do a little bit of exploring.

Not every piece here will be a win, but it’s often possible to find very lightly used clothes, and even those with tags still on. As a plus, many consider thrift shopping to be more environmentally conscious than buying directly from a retailer, as it doubles the life of a garment and saves on the water use and pollution which occur during manufacturing.

Related: Does Breastmilk Stain? (Yep! and Here’s how to Remove It)

4. DIY your nursing wardrobe (Even if you’re not a seamstress)

Not everyone is a whiz with the sewing machine, but simple DIY tutorials that require little more than a pair of scissors and a simple hand-stitch are easy enough for even the craft-inept. You can convert your old tank tops and bras to nursing gear, and even make a simple nursing cover.

These video tutorials have step-by-step instructions, including helpful visuals.

How to make a nursing top out of T-shirts

DIY hands free pumping bra

How to make the easiest nursing cover ever! – 4 uses, simple, quick, and easy!

Related: Does smoking weed while breastfeeding harm my baby?

5. Pay attention to sales before your baby arrives

Through the last few months of your pregnancy, keep a close eye on sales and coupons happening at your favorite stores. Ask a friend to score you some nursing tanks at that superstore Black Friday sale, or wait till you can stack that great 25% off coupon with a discount on softlines and stock up. 

Being prepared with gear before your baby arrives will save you from the stressed-out, urgent feelings that often lead to buying the first thing you find, regardless of quality or cost. It will also give you the opportunity to do things on your timeline and maximize your savings. 

6. Buy maternity clothes with nursing features

In many cases, maternity tops and dresses have the added bonus of doubling as nursing tops. These are invaluable purchases, because not only will they keep you comfortable during your pregnancy growth, they’ll allow you to easily nurse your baby without needing to drop any more cash on clothes.

When you’re shopping for your maternity clothes, don’t just opt for what’s cute — shop with purpose. Look for pieces that have built-in nursing features, because you can be sure you’ll continue to wear them after your baby comes.

7. Stick with tees and tanks

As we mentioned previously, clothes and gear for pregnant and nursing women are a high-value niche market, which means everything from multi-packs of nursing tanks (a good idea) to fancy designer dresses (probably not necessary) are on offer. 

Maternity t-shirts and tanks with nursing features will be among the most important items you buy. They’re comfortable to sleep or lounge in, but paired with a light blazer or cardigan and a nice pair of slacks or jeans, they can be part of a breastfeeding-friendly layered look that’s great for any season. 

Not only do these tops dress up and down easily, they’re among the cheapest nursing clothes out there, so centering your maternity and nursing wardrobe around them is wise.

Related: Using a Pacifier While Breastfeeding (Truth Bomb!)

8. Put them on the registry

When all else fails, put some nursing clothes and bras on your registry, if possible.

If you’ve registered at a chain store like Target which also sells maternity and postpartum clothes and gear, there’s certainly no harm in throwing some functional items for yourself on the registry. This can include things like nursing tanks, tees, bras, tops, and dresses, as well as helpful products like moisturizing nipple cream, stretch mark cream, and other cosmetics.

A knowing mother who remembers the piles of onesies received at her own shower may see these items and quickly gift them, knowing just how valued they will be.

9. Make use of upcycling apps

Rather than drop clothes in a donation bin or send them to a consignment shop, useful apps like Poshmark, ThredUP and others allow users to sell their used clothes online. For the shopper, this offers the benefit of shopping options far beyond what’s in your local thrift stores, but keeps the thrift store hallmarks of lower price tags, ecological friendliness, and the chance of a great bargain on a new or lightly used item.

Selling on these apps is a fairly easy process as well, which can be a great way to clear out your closet for new nursing clothes and make some money to offset the cost in the meantime.

Related: Which cold remedies are safe while breastfeeding?

10. Join a maternity swap group

Social media is (sometimes) a mom’s best friend, especially in a good maternity swap group on Facebook. This is a place where many local moms can gather to request needed items, offer up things they’re done with, or make a mutually beneficial swap.
These types of groups have become very popular, and most cities and counties have some variation of a maternity swap meet group online. In some areas, large annual or semi-annual physical maternity consignment sales take place — in America, Just Between Friends is among the most popular of these.1jbfsale.com Make money on stylish children’s clothing

Neve Spicer
Written by Neve Spicer Updated on September 22nd, 2021

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