woman holding a baby on the beach at sunset, nursing on the beach

I’ve been lucky enough to have nursed both of my babies seaside. I will always remember the calm of cuddling a snuggly salty baby while looking out at the waves and watching the sailboats drift by. Those moments of nursing on the beach were so peaceful.

Actually…not quite. That’s how I felt once I got the hang of it. But at first, I was a mess. Postpartum anxiety hit me HARD, and it was mostly around breastfeeding. Going to the beach those first couple of times, where I was out of my controlled environment and routine, was stressful. It’s hard enough showing up to the beach rocking a newly postpartum body; now you’re also supposed to be outside in public topless?

I’m here to tell you that you’ve got this. You’re doing great. You have permission to do whatever it is you need to do on that beach to feed your baby. Whether you offer straight from the tap or opt for bringing a bottle, you’re crushing it. Here are some tips that helped me feel more comfortable when nursing on the beach.

Ditch the Cover

This is your permission to chuck the nursing cover into the Atlantic (if you want to!). It’s hot. It’s cumbersome. You hate it. Baby hates it. When I was trying to nurse my newborn on the beach with a cover, I would get so stressed fumbling with it that I wouldn’t be able to get a letdown. It would ruin the whole nursing session. Once I realized that I was just feeding my baby and it was nobody else’s business, nursing on the beach and listening to the waves became a beautiful experience that I’ll always remember.

Find The Right Swimsuit

Next, slip on a swimsuit that makes you feel confident and also allows easy access so you can nurse without a hassle. Kindred Bravely makes nursing swimsuits specifically designed for breastfeeding. I lived in this one-piece from Summersalt. It comes in a hydrangea blue that’s perfect for the Cape. Target also has some great options, including this suit.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Whether you’re team Stanley, Hydroflask, or Swell, make sure you fill up before heading to the water. In the hot and humid summer months, hydration is even more important both for you and your baby. Aim for drinking at least eight ounces of water each time you nurse. If you tend to sweat a lot or if you have a hard time drinking plain water, consider adding electrolytes like Liquid IV or LMNT. Remember to nurse your baby more frequently on the beach to keep them hydrated as well.


I always found the most successful nursing sessions were when I was calm, which can be hard when you’re in a new environment with a lot of distractions. If you’re having a difficult time relaxing, consider a mindfulness exercise to give you some peace. Try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. Name five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. If you prefer more auditory mindfulness, put in some earbuds and listen to a guided meditation.

Always Have Snacks On Hand

Breastfeeding makes you ravenous! Make sure you’re packing calorie-dense snacks that will keep you full during long beach days. I like packages of nuts or trail mix since they’re easy to eat one-handed and don’t take up space in the cooler. I’ve also really loved these energy balls and these blender muffins, which pack the protein and are super portable.

Pack The Nursing Supplies

Going to the beach already involves so much packing! However, don’t forget a few supplies to make nursing on the beach feel a little more comfortable. Tuck away the lanolin cream just in case you need it. I found it helpful to bring some WaterWipes so I could wipe away any sunscreen or sand prior to nursing. If your routine involves a breast pump, bring that as well (and space in the cooler to store the milk!).  A Boppy pillow might feel too cumbersome to bring to the beach, but you can stack a few towels under your arm to feel as comfortable and supported as possible.

Still stumped on non-nursing packing for the beach? Check out our article on baby and toddler beach essentials here.

Shannon Brady
Shannon moved with her husband to Cape Cod during the pandemic to be closer to family. She is originally from Providence and married her high school sweetheart Tom. She went to college at Boston University and earned her degree in human physiology. She worked as a preschool teacher before applying to graduate schools to pursue her degree in physical therapy. She attended USC to get her doctorate in physical therapy and spent 10 years in Los Angeles with her husband. During the pandemic, she and her husband bought a home in Dennisport to be closer to family. After over two years of infertility, they welcomed their daughter Lily. They then welcomed their second daughter Hailey a short sixteen months later. Shannon is a physical therapist and a board-certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist, although she currently stays home with her girls, who are now one and two years old. She is passionate about using her knowledge in physical therapy to empower parents and give them confidence around their baby’s development. She is an avid runner and former Girls On The Run coach with a strong desire to advocate for young women and girls in sport. She also enjoys reading, cooking, snuggling with her dog Jack and watching reality TV. Shannon’s favorite part of living on Cape Cod is being able to watch fireworks from Chatham to Hyannis from the beach on the 4th of July.


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