If you are new to breastfeeding, you might be wondering why you need all these breastfeeding must-haves. After all, isn’t everything you need already attached to your body?! Well…yes and no. While you can breastfeed without all this, these products will definitely streamline the learning process and help you and your baby stay comfortable nursing.
Breastfeeding is new to both you and your baby and while it is a natural process, it can be tricky to get the hang of at first. This post is all about breastfeeding must-haves that will help you and your baby stay comfortable as you learn together and maybe even help you enjoy breastfeeding your little one too.
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Breastfeeding is a learning process with each and every baby you have, no matter if this is your first or your eighth baby. Having now breastfed two little ones, I can fully attest to this and I’ve also learned along the way what products are truly game changers in the breastfeeding world. So, if you are thinking about giving up on breastfeeding or just getting started, stock up on these items and keep going! I promise it will be worth it and these breastfeeding must-haves will help you get to a place where you can enjoy breastfeeding your little one and bond with them through it!
I didn’t know about these milk collection cups when I was breastfeeding my first born. Looking back, I can’t believe how much money I wasted on disposable nursing pads and more importantly how much breastmilk I lost in the process! I bought the Elvie Catch this time around and I cannot recommend them enough! They are smooth under clothes (unlike breast pads) and they don’t leak at all! I’ve actually worn them to bed and not had them leak when I’m laying down!
I like to keep washable breast pads on hand for the moments I’ve forgotten to wash my milk collection cups. These organic bamboo breast pads are my favorite because they are insanely absorbent without being itchy. I also love the little bag these ones come in for on the go.
I recently invested in one of these Haakaa Hand Pumps and I now use it almost exclusively over my electric pump! It is perfect for on the go and I honestly have found it so much faster to express milk with this than I do with my other breast pump. It’s also the perfect thing to collect milk on the opposite side when you are nursing.
When you initially bring your baby home, you will probably stay in your pajamas long into the day time. To make breastfeeding access a whole lot easier, I highly recommend a couple cute pairs of button up pajamas.
As far as burp cloths go, I am definitely loyal to Burt’s Bees Burp Cloths. They are the perfect size, super absorbent and durable, and come in so many different adorable prints! Plus, they are so soft, my 2 year old still carries them around as his “blanket.” I highly recommend buying two or three sets of these so you aren’t having to wash them every day.
If you do choose to purchase a Boppy Pillow, I’d also recommend that you grab a couple of Boppy Pillow Covers. It’s inevitable that your baby will spit up on your Boppy, so having multiple covers on hand will help you avoid washing it every day.
If you don’t drink enough water when you are breastfeeding, it can leave you with two headaches…an actual headache and a fussy baby that isn’t getting enough to eat. Having a cute insulated tumbler with a straw with help you sip away at your water goals throughout the day and stay hydrated for both you and your baby.
Instead of running around trying to collect your nursing bra, burp cloths, nipple cream, breast pump, nursing apron, etc. with a screaming baby in tow, just keep a cute rolling cart full of all your supplies! I bought this rolling cart with a removable laminate wood top so I could put my coffee and water tumbler on top too!
With my first baby, I froze breastmilk in freezer storage bags in three or four ounce increments. But there were multiple times when he would take only a few sips of the bottle and fall back asleep. I would end up having to throw away the rest of the bottle that I had worked so hard to pump and freeze. So, I started freezing my breastmilk in silicone ice cube trays since each cube is one ounce. It’s simple and fast to thaw exactly what I need without wasting the liquid gold.
I’ve heard plenty of horror stories of babies not taking any brand of pacifier and refusing to drink from any brand of bottle. MAM prides themselves on designing products for breast fed babies and they have definitely lived up to the hype in our house. I personally have used MAM bottles and pacifiers with both my kids and both took to them immediately.
Between the spit up and your boobs leaking, you will definitely want at least five or more nursing bras on hand. I highly recommend you don’t go for the $80 nursing bras and just get tons of these HOFISH nursing bras off Amazon. Plus, when you can find any bra for under $10, you should definitely grab a few! I personally have these nursing bras at home and love them!
When I used a nursing apron, my baby was constantly flailing and pushing the apron off of me. (completely defeating the purpose of the apron) I personally have loved having a 360 nursing poncho that my baby can’t push off. Plus, it’s insanely soft too.
If you are headed out of the house for a while, sometimes it’s just easier to bring a few bottles along. This super cute bottle cooler bag has room for four bottles and a specially shaped ice pack to keep them cold.
You will definitely need some sort of nipple cream or butter for the first couple weeks of nursing and occasionally when cluster feeding takes it’s toll. I love the Earth Mama organic nipple butter because I know exactly what I am putting on my body and it’s safe to nurse immediately too.
Breastfeeding leaves me starving basically every second of the day. You’ll definitely want to make sure you keep healthy snacks around to make sure you are nourishing your body and your baby well. These 22 Healthy & Easy Snacks for Breastfeeding Moms are a mixture of homemade and store bought options so that you can do whatever works best for you!
I made the mistake of getting a massive breast pump the first time around and the second time, I knew I needed to get something less bulky. This Medela wearable and portable pump is essentially a more cost friendly version of the Elvie wearable pump. And don’t forget to check here and see if this pump is one that your insurance will cover for free!
Whether this is your first baby or not, a lactation consultant is an insanely valuable resource to have in your back pocket. The Lactation Network is a great resource that connects you with lactation consultants in your area and request a consultation via telehealth, in your home, or in their offices.
I can never seem to remember how long breastmilk lasts for in all the different scenarios (frozen then thawed, thawed never frozen, fresh, fresh straight to the fridge, frozen then to the fridge, and on and on). I started keeping a breastmilk storage guidelines magnet on my freezer so I had an easy way to reference all of this when I need it.
I personally have a Delta Swivel Rocker and I have absolutely loved it. It is insanely comfortable which makes it perfect for the hours and hours you’ll spend nursing your little one. It’s honestly my favorite seat in our house even when I’m not rocking a baby.
Keeping a touch night light on my bedside table has made late night feedings and diaper changes so much easier. It also allows my husband to keep sleeping without a big light on in the room. If you opt for this Hatch Rest Baby Sound Machine you get a touch light, sound machine, and a sleep trainer (for later on) all in one.
This post was all about the breastfeeding must-haves that helped me exclusively breastfeed for six months and continue breastfeeding until age one, all while enjoying it too! I promise all these things will make your breastfeeding journey be so much smoother and sweeter!