5 Tips for Choosing a Breastfeeding Chair

With dozens of styles ranging in price from hundreds to even thousands of dollars, the process of settling on the best nursing chair for your nursery can be downright intimidating.

Need help narrowing your options? Start by choosing a style you like, and then ask yourself the following five questions. If you can answer, “yes” to each one, you and your little one will be just fine.


Is It Comfortable?

Asian mother feeding baby
Andersen Ross/Blend Images/Getty Images

If you think spending half the night feeding a fussy baby is a challenge, try doing it in an uncomfortable chair!

While coziness may seem like too obvious a point to mention, you’d be surprised how many soon-to-be mothers sacrifice comfort and practicality for style.

Like it or not, you and your nursery chair will likely become well acquainted over the next few months, so be sure to choose a chair that you can live with.


Can You Get out of It?

While a soft and cozy nursery chair is a must, there is such a thing as too comfortable. A good breastfeeding chair should offer enough support to allow you to stand up easily after nursing without disturbing your little dreamer. If the surface of the chair is too soft, or if the chair is too big, it can be difficult to get up without waking the baby you’ve just spent the last half-hour rocking them to sleep.

Another potential pitfall? Adjustable or reclining chairs. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a little luxury, but before you buy an adjustable chair, be sure you can operate it comfortably from a seated position without having to reach over the side.


Can You Breastfeed Comfortably in It?

Nursing can be a tricky business, so it’s important to choose a breastfeeding chair that will make the experience as comfortable as possible for you and your baby.

First, look for a chair with wide padded armrests. Babies can feel heavy after you've been holding them for awhile! If you still want to be able to feel your arms 20 minutes into a feeding, you’re going to need a little help. Supportive armrests also allow for better positioning while nursing, ensuring a successful and sustainable latch.

Footrests are another handy feature, especially if your legs are on the shorter side. Elevating the feet takes pressure and discomfort off your lower back and can help you settle more deeply into the chair.

Finally, you’ll want to choose a stain-resistant, easy-to-clean fabric for when things get messy. Micro-fiber is usually a good bet, and you can’t go wrong with leather or other leather-like products that can be easily wiped down. Protecting your purchase with a special stain-resistant treatment (commonly referred to as “Scotch-guarding”) is another great way to prolong the life of your upholstery. This process is most effective when it’s done in the factory, but you can also treat furniture yourself after you take it home.


Is It Safe?

Rocking chairs and even gliders have a reputation for pinching little fingers and toes. To prevent accidents, choose a glider, preferably one with a stop-lock mechanism that prevents the chair from gliding when not in use, and be sure that all gears are encased and out of reach.

If you have your heart set on a reclining chair, choose a model with an easy-to-reach lever or button. Never leave your recliner’s footstool up when you’re not in the chair, and always double check to ensure that the space beneath you is clear before putting it back down, just in case your little one is crawling around on the floor.


Does It Have Staying Power?

You won’t get to nurse your little one forever, but that doesn’t mean your breastfeeding chair shouldn’t withstand the test of time.

Think ahead. Blue corduroy may seem like the perfect fit for your little guy’s room right now, but what about five years from now? Ten?

A practical chair could take your child all the way from cradle to college. If you can’t imagine your child curling up in it to study or offering it to their teenage friends when they're entertaining, you might want to opt for something a little less cutesy.

Create a Stress-Free Breastfeeding Station

Once you’ve settled on the perfect breastfeeding chair, consider creating a dedicated feeding station to ensure you have everything you need for nursing your child—as well as a few well-deserved luxuries for yourself—close at hand.

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  1. American Pregnancy Association. Breastfeeding Latch. Updated October 14, 2019.

  2. Cleveland Clinic. Low Back Pain: Coping. Updated January 22, 2014.

  3. Division of Child Development, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Infant-Toddler Zone Handbook. 2012.