It’s a big decision to decide to breastfeed. It’s a big commitment that will require a lot of time, patient, some planning, and a little help from some nursing essentials. Hopefully, it will be very rewarding and well worth it in the end.
Oliver is now 8 weeks old and with a little help from these feeding essentials, it has been going pretty well.
As a first-time mom, it was hard in the beginning to know what I needed or what actually works. But with trial and error comes experience. I have listed my favorite breastfeeding essentials hoping that you will find some helpful ideas when it’s your time to feed your baby.
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My BreastFeeding Station
To have one, or as in my case, two breastfeeding stations have really helped me being organized and prepared for when it’s time for breastfeeding.
I have my main breastfeeding station in the nursery where I keep most of my essentials. However, I also have a designated area in my kitchen where I keep most of my pumping equipment and other nursing essentials.
Having a specific area in the house where I can easily and comfortably pump, store the milk, clean and dry all the parts, etcetera has been really helpful since I don’t have to collect all the items every single time before I feed the baby or before it’s time to pump.
At the moment I’m feeding Oliver (who is 8 weeks at the moment) every 2.5 – 3 hours, so having everything at one specific place has helped me stay sane during this time.
12 breastfeeding essentials you actually need
Trust me, I know how frustrating it can be not knowing what nursing products you may need or not need when you decide you want to breastfeed your baby. And it’s truly a jungle out there.
This is my list of breastfeeding essentials that have actually worked for me and that I would recommend all nursing mothers to invest in.
Even if you are breastfeeding you will need a breast pump. There will be times when you won’t be able to nurse your baby or when you want to share the feeding with your partner.
I got this Spectra Baby S1 pump and I really like it. I got it after reading a lot of good reviews and it has the reputation of being one of the best on the market. The S1 and S2 are essentially the same except that S1 has a rechargeable battery so you don’t have to be tied to an outlet.
Wearable hands-free breast pump
This small in-bra Elvie Curve Breast Pump is perfect for letdown and you can stick it into your bra. I use it on my other boob while at the same time as I’m nursing Oliver.
I also have the Haaka manual pump but I find Elvie is much more convenient and Oliver can’t easily kick it off = milk spill. Whichever one you choose, I would call them booth nursing essentials.
Hands-free Pumping Bra
I have been using this Lansinoh Hands-Free Pumping Bra, and let me tell you, It’s a MUST! Unless you are spending $500 on getting an Elive hands-free pump, you absolutely need this hands-free pumping bra. This bra has freed my hands to make coffee (essential of course), cleaning up, eating lunch, and now when I’m easing into working again it’s been so helpful.
breast milk bags
The milk you pump will have to be stored properly or it will go bad. And believe me when I say that both Oliver and I will cry over spilled milk!
These Breast Milk Storage Bags are pre-sterilized medical-grade bags that has a double zipper seal and are leak-proof. And they are safe for the freezer as well. This is definitely a breastfeeding essential!
One TIP on labeling breast milk bags:
Before freezing my breast milk bags I label them with the food that I eat the day before or the day off pumping. If Oliver gets gassy or shows other signs of sensitiveness to certain foods this is a great way to know what might have caused it. Because once you throw these bags in the freezer, it is like a field of land mines in there and it will be impossible to know what you consumed that your baby might be sensitive or allergic to.
You will need a few good comfortable and convenient nursing bras. This Motherhood Maternity Nursing Bra is super convenient with the clip-on strap. They are also fairly cheap which makes me not so feel bad when getting it dirty. I would say that you need at least 3 bras to change out of. Because.. again, babies are messy eaters.
I love these reusable Bamboobies nursing pads. You can throw them in the washing machine, which makes them super easy to clean. I mainly use them at night, but you definitely need some if you have a heavy letdown like you know when you hear the little one cry and your body instantly starts to spit out milk…
This Feeding Pillow is a MUST mamas! It’s definitely one of the top items on my breastfeeding essential list. You don’t want a good posture, you NEED a good posture during breastfeeding! It is hard work, and nearly impossible to not be hurting everywhere after feeding for hours every day. I like using this pillow and also another light pillow to stick underneath so I can bring my baby up as close to my boob as possible.
And I have learned to always bring the baby to your nipple instead of bringing your nipple to them during breastfeeding.
You will need LOTS and LOTS of burp cloth! I thought we had way too many before we had Oliver. Because so many friends got us burp cloth as gifts, and I also had a bunch on our registry.
But today I am grateful that we do have so many because YOU NEED A LOT. As I have said before, babies are messy eaters. And they spit up very often too…
We have been loving these Dr. Brown’s Bottles. This is the number one pediatrician recommended bottle in the U.S, and it’s proven to reduce colic and is supposed to help reducing gas and spit-up. I really think this has helped us have a fairly good feeding experience.
This LaVie Lactation Massager has been coming in handy when I feel engorged. It’s battery-driven and is supposed to help with milk production. But honestly, I mainly use it during my daily shower (YES it is waterproof!) to relieve potential lump build-up around the breasts. For me, this is a breastfeeding essential!
You obviously don’t need a fancy breast milk freezer organizer that is designed for breast milk specifically. But I would definitely recommend some kind of organizer. These Freezer Organizers have been working perfectly for me.
One tip on freezing breast milk:
I freeze the milk bags laying flat. This will make them think and flat which will save a ton of space. When frozen you can fit them as tightly as possible in the organizer.
This Tommee Tippee pacifier is Oliver’s all-time favorite paci. Even though he is only 8 weeks old, I have tried so many! And finally, I found one that Oliver LOVE. Every baby is different, so when you found the one they like, seriously, buy a ton of them!
I know how frustrating it can be not knowing what nursing products you may need or not need when you decide you want to breastfeed your baby. And it’s truly a jungle out there and you don’t want to waste time and money on things you won’t end up using.
So, hopefully, this list of my breastfeeding essentials will help t breastfeeding moms or soon-to-be breastfeeding mom’s a little bit on the way.