Reusable Nursing Pads: The Smart and Comfortable Choice for Breastfeeding Parents

by Bailey Bouwman

Nursing pads are a must-have for any breastfeeding parent to avoid unexpected leaks through your favourite nursing bras and shirts. Unfortunately disposable nursing pads are expensive and uncomfortable. Sometimes they dry out your nipples, sometimes they make you itchy - and sometimes they just fail. 

This is where reusable nursing pads come in. Not only are they more cost-effective in the long run, but they are also eco-friendly and comfortable to wear. Reusable nursing pads come in many shapes, sizes, and styles to suit different parent needs and budgets. You can even make your own.

Nest & Sprout offers a variety of reusable nursing pads and wet bags that can be a game-changer for nursing parents. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of using reusable nursing pads to help you see if it's the best choice for you, or not. 

What Are Reusable Nursing Pads?

Reusable nursing pads are a washable alternative to disposable nursing pads for breastfeeding parents. They are eco-friendly, cost-effective, and gentle on the skin. Reusable nursing pads are also available in different styles and materials - generally a circular pad made of absorbent textile like cotton, hemp, or bamboo. They may or may not feature a waterproof backing. The thickness of the nursing pad will depend on the weight and design of the pad. 

Other terms for reusable nursing pads include washable nursing pads, cloth nursing pads, and fabric nursing pads. Some brands also refer to their reusable nursing pads as breast pads or nursing discs.

Benefits of Using Reusable Nursing Pads

Reusable nursing pads are a fantastic choice for parents who want to save money, reduce waste, and always have enough nursing pads on hand (provided you keep on top of laundry). While disposable pads may seem more convenient, they can quickly add up in cost over time, and be uncomfortable to wear. If you hate wearing disposable pads during your monthly's, chances are you might not enjoy wearing disposable nursing pads.

Using reusable nursing pads can also have benefits for your skin health. Disposable pads can be rough on the skin, causing irritation and discomfort. Reusable pads, on the other hand, are often made from soft and absorbent materials, such as cotton, bamboo, or hemp, that are gentle on the skin. Some reusable pads also come with a waterproof layer to prevent leaks, without compromising on comfort.

I loved how reusable nursing pads were always there for me, and it was simple to wash them up if I needed more. Tracking down disposable nursing pads are hard to find in Prince George, and not always something I remembered to buy. But with reusable nursing pads I always had something when I needed it - even when I thought I might be done leaking. 

Because sometimes you start to leak again later on during your nursing journey.

Disposable Nursing Pads Reusable Nursing Pads
Cost $0.25 - $0.50 per pad $2 - $15 per pad (packs of 2-8 pads)
Lifespan Single-use Washable and reusable, with a lifespan of 6-12 months or longer
Environmental Impact Contribute to landfill waste Reduce waste and environmental impact
Skin Health Some brands can be rough and uncomfortable for sensitive skin Made from absorbent textiles, including organic cotton or hemp, and gentle on skin


It's important to note that the cost of reusable nursing pads can vary depending on the brand, material, and quantity purchased. However, in general, the initial cost of reusable pads is higher than disposable pads. However, in the long run, reusable pads are more cost-effective as they can be washed and reused multiple times, while disposable pads need to be continually purchased. Additionally, reusable pads are gentler on the skin and are more environmentally friendly as they reduce waste.

Different Types of Reusable Nursing Pads at Nest & Sprout

At Nest & Sprout, we carry a few different types of reusable nursing pads, including:

Kinder Cloth Diaper Co. Nursing Pads: Made from absorbent bamboo terry and featuring a TPU water-resistant patterned outer layer, these pads are super absorbent and quick-drying. Plus, they're environmentally friendly and made from scraps leftover during the manufacturing process.

Naked Tank Bamboo Nursing Pads: These nursing pads are made from ultra-soft bamboo and feature a waterproof layer to prevent leaks. They also come in a pack of eight and are machine washable.

Tips for Using Reusable Nursing Pads

  1. Wash before use: It's a good idea to wash your reusable nursing pads before using them to increase their absorbency - you'll know they are absorbent if they absorb your milk. If they don't, keep washing. 

  2. Change pads frequently: Changing your nursing pads frequently helps to maintain hygiene and prevent leaks. And because they are washable, no guilt about how many you go through. It doesn't cost you more. Just toss in the next load of laundry. 

  3. Consider a wet bag: Invest in a wet bag to store your used pads until you can wash them. This will prevent them from getting lost or misplaced - these can also be great way to store them in your diaper bag  - perhaps number eleven in our diaper bag essentials . 

  4. Avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets: Fabric softeners and dryer sheets can decrease the absorbency of your nursing pads. Avoid using them when washing your pads. If you accidentally wash with fabric softeners, just wash again. 

  5. Have multiple sets: It's a good idea to have multiple sets of nursing pads so that you can change them frequently and always have a clean set on hand. You'll know the best number for you based on your needs and leaks. 

  6. Keep extras in your diaper bag: Keeping extra nursing pads in your diaper bag can be helpful in case of unexpected leaks or longer outings.

  7. Invest in a lingerie bag: Using a lingerie bag to wash your nursing pads can help keep them organized and prevent them from getting lost in the wash. 

Say Goodbye to Disposable Nursing Pads

As a breastfeeding parent, unexpected leaks can be frustrating and uncomfortable, but disposable nursing pads can also be costly and rough on your skin. Fortunately, reusable nursing pads are a game-changer, providing a more cost-effective, eco-friendly, and comfortable alternative.

At Nest & Sprout, we offer a variety of reusable nursing pads to meet your needs. From Kinder Cloth Diaper Co. to Hot Milk Lingerie and Naked Tank, we have a range of options to suit different preferences and budgets.

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