Andrea Mulder-Slater: The Art of Childhood


DIY: Make a Nursing Necklace

Keep little fingers busy!

Nursing Necklace DIY

I lost a lot of hair while breastfeeding my daughter.

The phenomenon wasn’t a result of hormonal changes, but was instead a direct consequence of my baby’s chubby and persistent hands regularly grasping onto any and all strands of hair within her reach.

Had I known then about nursing necklaces, I would have saved myself a lot of pain (and hair product).

Nursing or breastfeeding necklaces aren’t completely new. They’ve been around for more than ten years, and in addition to saving moms the stress of pinched skin and pulled tresses, they’ve also been proven to encourage nursing for longer periods of time.

The idea is to provide baby with something to focus on during her early days and something to grab onto as she develops. And moms aren’t the only ones who can use these necklaces. Dads and caregivers can also wear them during bottle feedings.

As it turns out, making your own nursing necklace is simple. You can use a variety of items, as long as they are all safe for baby to touch and feel. You will also want to create something that looks fairly fashionable you know, for all the onlookers while nursing in public, or in case you forget to take it off before greeting the UPS guy at the front door.

With the help of my folk artist mother's big brain (and superior sewing skills) I made a couple of boho-style necklaces using soft cord, unfinished (but sanded) wooden beads and felt and fabric swatches (which I made into soft baubles).

Here's how to do it yourself...

1) Cut several pieces of fabric or felt into rectangular shapes. Mine were around 2" x 4" but size isn't super important.

2) Fold the pieces lengthwise and round off the ends with scissors.

Cut, fold and cut your fabric again.

3) Fold the fabric again and sew the edges (using a machine or by hand), leaving the ends open - remembering to fold any patterned fabric the wrong way out.

Sew the edges on a machine or by hand.

This is what you will end up with.

Sew the edges.

4) Turn the fabric inside out.

Turn the fabric inside out.

5) Place a little bit of stuffing in each little "tube".

Put some stuffing in the tube.


Colourful, stuffed tubes.

6) Now, turn the little tubes into beads by first folding the ends under (especially for lightweight fabric) to prevent fraying.

Fold the ends of the fabric in to prevent fraying.

7) Then, fold and sew the ends, leaving a gap so you can thread a cord.

Fold the ends and sew them shut, leaving a gap for a cord.

8) And assemble your necklace.

I opened up a paperclip and twisted the end to make it easier to pull the cord through the fabric beads.

Use a paperclip to thread the fabric beads.

Behold, the finished products!

Make your own nursing necklaces!

Make Your Own Nursing Necklace

Now, because my nursing days are behind me, I'll happily pass these necklaces on to any new moms who can use them. To win one, simply leave a comment below (after making sure you are a member of the Yummy Mummy Club).

Happy Breastfeeding!

Safety notes:

Do not leave baby unattended with a nursing necklace as some of the pieces could be pulled off the cord and pose a choking hazard.

A nursing necklace is not intended for use as a teething necklace.