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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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!