Special occasion breastfeeding dresses don’t always need to break the bank. If you keep an eye on sale items (also watch our #lc2b tweets on Twitter!), there are lots of options. Here are a few to start you off:
For all of these, either layer over a nursing vest or add a cardigan buttoned “cape-style” over the top for extra confidence feeding in public.
If you’re looking for bargains, it’s always worth a quick look at the Ebay Fashion Outlet – lots of new items with the safety of a brand behind them and fixed prices, but at a fraction of the price.
If you’re feeling the pinch this winter, here are some quick ways to stretch your breastfeeding friendly wardrobe without breaking the budget.
1. Arm Shapers
Mary Portas’s invention wasn’t just good for hiding flabby arms… With Armery style sleeves, you can wear your short sleeved breastfeeding tops all winter long. They cover your arms without reducing boob access, so are perfect for nursing mums. With fashionistas across the country copying the Queen of Frocks, you’ll be right on trend too. And if you’re feeling crafty? It’s quick and easy to make your own tights for arms!
2. Belly bands
If you shop on MilkChic, you’ll know that I recommend belly bands under loose hemmed tops if you want to keep your tummy covered while feeding. They are also an easy way to change the look or length of a top and have become one of my wardrobe staples even now I’m no longer breastfeeding.
Maternity belly bands tend to be thin cotton and come in limited colours, but boob tubes or lycra tube skirts are often cheaper, do exactly the same job and there is far more choice in colour, design and fabric. I regularly use a fab gold lurex knitted boob tube (a souvenir from my mispent youth…!) as a belly band under dark jumpers – perfect for cold winter days. Mix and match colours for a stylish colour block effect.
3. Just add a collar
ASOS do a fab range of detachable collars which can be used on any top or dress to change your look completely. You can find lots of similar detachable collars on Ebay. If you’ve got loads of plain tops and you don’t want little ones breaking your precious jewellery, these are a great way to jazz up a simple outfit. Peter Pan collars look perfect right now – add one to a grandad top for a breastfeeding friendly Mod look or go ladylike with this gorgeous Victorian style lace option.
Due to a combination of dodgy finances, lack of house space and impending Xmas doom, I am avoiding the charity shops and car boot sales at the moment except for essentials, like clothing for small one.
It’s left me a bit short of inspiration for Magpie Monday this week, so I thought I’d write a joint post across my 3 websites and go window shopping online. The online charity shops not as cheap as shopping in person, but you can still get a bargain.
They also had some nice cropped cardis
, which are perfect as a quick breastfeeding cover-up at this time of year. Wear a top that pulls down underneath and lift up the cardi to breastfeed in comfort and warmth. The fake fur version is right on trend!
As some of you know, MilkChic is funded by sales commission. When you click through to buy a product online, I receive a percentage of the sale as commission. The income doesn’t justify the hours, but it helps.
My priority is to find great breastfeeding friendly clothes, so I use a mixture of paid and non-paid links. Products are listed on their own merit and I won’t list something that doesn’t work for the sake of short-term income. Equally, I won’t ignore something great, just because it isn’t profitable. My only criteria is that it must be available online.
Having said that, I’m very aware that the best products aren’t always available online. Here are my favourite bargain products in bricks and mortar stores, promoted here on a strictly non-profit basis:
- Sleeved bibs – £1, Poundland. These are cheap, wash and tumble dry brilliantly and, in my experience, are softer and more comfortable than any of the options sold by the major high street brands. The sizing is good and, while they aren’t as pretty (towelling with a yellow edge and printed design), they are a great basic.
- Toujours Nappies & Wipes – Lidl. The nappies have won various trials including, I think, a Good Housekeeping award and stand up well to most branded options. The sensitive wipes are excellent and cheaper than other own brands. Amazon Subscribe & Save is cheaper if buying in bulk, but if you don’t want to, these are brilliant.
- Cien sun cream – from £1.50, Lidl. Not available all year round, but I highly recommend this, particularly the kids SPF50. My daughter’s sensitive skin was fine, it applies well and lasts in water. The cost is fantastic compared to most other brands.
- Girls tights – £3.50 for 3 pairs, Primark. Less than half the price of most other retailers and lovely designs. Buy in the Spring sale and you often get 3 pairs for £1!
- Toy tea set – £1, Poundland. Not all of the toys in discount stores are worth the money, and I would usually recommend charity shops for true bargains, but the little netted turquoise & purple tea sets at Poundland are an exception. My daughter’s has been used every day for the last 6 months, is in excellent condition, and is just as good quality as her lovely Chad Valley teapot set (and its equivalent at M&S!). The set comes on a little “tea tray”, which is very useful for limiting the mess in pouring games.
- Miniature magic drawing board – £1, Poundland. The stylus needs to be attached to the board yourself, but for the hassle of tying a knot, it is a great buy. It fits in the pocket of the baby bag or attaches to her car seat, making long journeys bearable. Obviously with younger children, keep string short and supervise.
- Kids metal cutlery – £1, Poundland. Reasonable quality and a great size for little hands. Looks very grown up for independent toddlers!
- Plastic plates, bowls & tumblers – £1 for 4 pieces, Poundland. Lovely colours and, unlike most of the ones I’ve seen elsewhere, these don’t have a rim underneath so they actually stick to those useful suckered rubber placemats!
- Freecycle, freecycle, freecycle! If you haven’t already, join your local Freecycle group. People give away things you wouldn’t believe for free and you can save a fortune on toys etc. Even if you’re not comfortable with second-hand, many people overbuy on smaller nappy sizes etc. and then give away the unused packs. It’s great for a feel-good, no-effort clear out of things that aren’t worth selling on Ebay.
I would love to hear your tips for bargain products that are worth leaving the house for. Please post your comments below!
Very excited to see my guest post published on New Mummy’s Tips today.
Here are some useful links for fellow moneysaving mummies:
* Freecycle – find a group in your area
* Focus Groups – Focus Force, Focus4People
* Amazon Subscribe and Save – great for nappies, wipes, baby food etc. as well as other groceries
* Baby clubs â€“ Boots, Mothercare, Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Bounty, Hipp, Pampers, Huggies
* Tester panels â€“ BzzAgent, Tesco Mums panel, Clix Research
* TopCashBack – There are lots of other cashback sites but I have found this reliable and it’s free to sign up.
* As well as Ebay, Oxfam and Cancer Research sell good quality secondhand baby clothes online.
New Mummy’s Tips: Guest Post – Money saving mummy… (or how I bough…: “It all started with a trip to John Lewis, where we cooed excitedly over lovely prams and highchairs… and then passed out on sight of the …”