This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for more information.
Breastfeeding can be one of the most rewarding and challenging parts of the newborn stage, but fortunately, there are some resources that can make it so much easier.
I breastfed my little boy until he was 18 months and these are my breastfeeding essentials that helped us be successful! Check out the ones you still need and add them to your baby registry.
The Ultimate Breastfeeding Essentials
1. Nursing Pillow
Having a comfortable pillow to nurse with can make all of the difference in your experience. You want one that is firm enough to support the baby so you don’t strain your back while nursing.
When nursing I used two different breastfeeding pillows.
- Boppy – This was my personal favorite. It is simple yet functional.Boppy Original Nursing Pillow and Positioner, Geo Circles, Cotton Blend Fabric with allover fashion
- 30 YEARS OF COMFORT AND SUPPORT WHILE NURSING: The award-winning Boppy Original Pillow provides your arms and back relief by lifting your baby to a more ergonomic position when breastfeeding or bottle feeding. This fashionable pillow is a cotton blend fabric with an allover fashion.
- VERSATILE USES FOR 0-12 MONTHS: The Boppy Original Nursing Pillow supports your newborn through their entire first year with propping, tummy time, sitting or just discovering little fingers and toes. Designed for your baby's supervised, awake time.
- EASY CARE, MACHINE WASHABLE: The Boppy Pillow and Boppy Pillow Cover are machine washable because little messes happen. All Boppy Pillow Covers are sold separately and are guaranteed to fit the Boppy Pillow. Having an extra Boppy Pillow Cover, that easily zips on and off, is great for between wash cycles.
- AWARD-WINNING QUALITY: The Boppy Pillow has won several awards voted on by parents and the baby community. The most recent wins are from the BabyCenter Mom's Pick Best of 2018 and the 2018 What to Expect Must-Have Winner.
- Boppy – This was my personal favorite. It is simple yet functional.
Bonus tip: Grab 1-2 waterproof covers like these to go with your Boppy. Babies just love to have blowouts right in the middle of nursing and having that protective layer will keep your pillow nice and clean.
- My Brest Friend Pillow – I had this given to me after a friend stopped using it and personally I didn’t love it. It was bulky and I didn’t like that I had to wrap the strap around my back. That may just be personal preference. But I did love the side pocket for storing things like pacifiers or wipes.
SaleMy Brest Friend Original Nursing Posture Pillow, Sunshine Poppy
- FEEL THE SUPPORT: Encourages better posture during breastfeeding, alleviating strain in your back, neck, and arms
- FIRM AND FLAT: Prevents baby from rolling out of position during nursing
- CONVENIENT POCKET: Handy pouch keeps your maternity supplies within easy reach
- WRAP AROUND DESIGN: Adjusts to fit most sizes, My Brest Friend surrounds your body securely, for the ideal position
- PREFERRED BY THE PROS: My Brest Friend is proud to be the top choice of lactation consultants and birthing hospitals
2. Nipple Cream
Girl all I can say is get yourself some nipple cream now. You will want it in those first few days. Babies nurse a lot – like 8-10 times a day in the beginning and you can get sore nipples super fast.
A good nipple cream will keep your nipples hydrated and soothed.
- #1 RECOMMENDED BRAND: Lansinoh Lanolin is the #1 recommended nipple cream by moms and doctors in the US. Clinically tested. Lansinoh Lanolin soothes and protects sore nipples for breastfeeding moms.
- SAFE FOR MOM & BABY: No need to remove before breastfeeding. Specially designed for nursing, 100% natural and hypoallergenic. Free from preservatives, parabens, fragrance or taste.
- RELIEF FOR SORE NIPPLES: Thick, rich cream soothes and protects sore nipples. Clinically proven and ultra-pure. Our single ingredient lanolin has a unique purification process to remove impurities with no added additives.
- ESSENTIAL FOR BREASTFEEDING: Use to soothe and protect delicate skin. Wash hands thoroughly. Soften a pea-sized amount between fingers and apply to the entire nipple area after each feeding or as needed. Apply before showering to protect sensitive nipples.
- MOM FOUNDED & PARENT LED: Founded by a breastfeeding mom, Lansinoh has supported moms for 35 years with award winning breast pumps, nipple creams, nursing pads, and breast milk storage bags, helping families create bonds that last a lifetime. Also great for elbows.
The one that I used and love is called Lanolin. It is baby safe and super moisturizing.
Bonus tip: After you are done nursing if you have leftover lanolin it works great as an overnight lip balm.
3. Breast Pads
Especially during the first few months as your body figures this whole breastfeeding thing out you will need breast pads. Otherwise, when you have involuntary letdown you will end up with a big wet spot on your chest which can be super embarrassing.
There are two options for breast pads – reusable and disposable.
- Mother’s Lounge Free Breast Pads – These are great breast pads that you can get for free, all you have to do is pay shipping.
- Bamboobies – These breast pads are super soft and moms swear by them!SaleBamboobies Nursing Pads for Breastfeeding | Reusable Breast Pads | Perfect Baby Shower Gifts
- Made of ultra-soft and soothing bamboo rayon velour with an absorbent inner layer of cotton and outer milk-proof liner to help prevent embarrassing leaks
- Includes 4 pairs: 3 pairs of our Classic Ultra-Thins for regular, light leaking in light pink, black and dark pink, and 1 pair of Overnights for heavy leaking and newborn nursing
- Heart shaped ultra-thin pads are designed to be less visible through clothing
- Place pads inside your favorite nursing bra or tank with the ultra-soft velour side against your skin
- Machine wash on warm and dry completely on medium heat
I personally went with the reusable option because it is so much more cost effective, but you may want to pick up a pack of disposables like these for when you are on the go, on vacation, etc. and don’t want to worry about washing your breast pads.
4. Nursing Bras
A good nursing bra is one of the top breastfeeding essentials. With a new baby you are going to nursing a lot and having a good nursing bra is critical.
- One-hand Access, Adjustable Shoulder Straps, Hook & Eye Closure.Easy drop cups for convenient feeding
- Seamless, Side Widening, Super Supporting
- Easy to Size, Removable Molded Foam Cups, 100% Breathable
- Buttery-soft Fabric, Comfortable Fits Changing Shape.Full coverage for additional support
5. Breastfeeding Friendly Clothes
On a similar note, you need clothes that give you easy access. Definitely stock up on a few nursing tanks like these. You may also want to purchase some nursing-friendly tops and I think these nursing dresses are adorable!
6. Nursing Cover
There are two main styles of nursing covers – the traditional apron cover and the multi-functional cover.
Apron Cover – This is what I had for my first baby and while it served it’s purpose I definitely had some frustrations with it. It was convenient when he was little, but as he got older and a bit more rambunctious he could easily pull on the cover and boom…coverage gone.
Multi-functional cover – This is what I am using with baby #2 it gives all-around coverage and can also be used as a car seat cover or shopping cart cover.
Related: How To Increase Your Milk Supply
7. Burp Cloths
This is a given whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, but you are going to need lots and lots of burp cloths. Babies spit up a lot and unless you want to do laundry every day you will want to grab multiple packs of these.
Bonus tip: Fold up a burp cloth while breastfeeding and put it between the baby’s bum and your body. That way if they have a blowout while nursing it isn’t all over you and you can just throw the burp cloth in the wash.
Essentials If Also Pumping
If you are planning on pumping in addition to breastfeeding here are a few breastfeeding essentials that I recommend.
8. A Good Breast Pump
Many insurances these days will cover the cost of a breast pump for you. The awesome people over at Aeroflow have made it super easy to figure out which pump your insurance provides and to help you get started.
I personally got the Medela Pump In Style Advance and I really liked it. You can check it out on the Aeroflow site here.
If you aren’t planning on pumping a lot but want to build up a little stash for date nights, or maybe a weekend getaway check out the Haakka. This is an inexpensive tool that catches your extra let down while nursing on the opposite side. It just suctions on so you don’t have to hold it there the whole time.
10. Milk Storage Bags
If you are going to be pumping breastmilk you will need breast milk storage bags to keep it in. I used these ones. Make sure to lay them flat when you freeze them. It will take up less space and they thaw faster.
Related: How To Safely Store Breastmilk
Bonus Tip: Try taking a breastfeeding class.
You can meet with a consultant or look up local classes in your area. Or if you are tired and pregnant like me or a new exhausted mombie take a look at online breastfeeding classes.
I love the class milkology. It is taught by a certified lactation consultant so you know you are getting the best information. Plus, you have lifetime access so you can refer back to it with future babies.
Alright, those are my breastfeeding essentials. Hopefully, they will help you make an easy transition into breastfeeding your baby!