Breastfeeding essentials can be a bit hard to figure out since everyone has a different opionion. If you’re looking for what you need to breastfeed, here is out ultimate list of what you do – and DON’T need to nurse your baby.
When I was pregnant with my oldest, I knew nothing about babies.
I had no idea how I wanted to raise him, what my values were going to be, how we would handle sleep – none of it. But one thing I was pretty sure I wanted to do was breastfeed.
I feel very blessed that from day one with all of my kiddos, breastfeeding has been a breeze.
Learning about the Breastfeeding Essentials
Since I knew nothing about babies, much less breastfeeding, I found myself searching non-stop to soak in any and all information I could.
I’m not going to lie – in regards to the ‘practical’ advice, you can do all the reading in the world – it probably won’t prepare you. But what I did find useful, were the lists from been there, done that moms with their own personal breastfeeding essentials.
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The Best Breastfeeding Essentials
In my own list, you’ll find some pretty basic and expected breastfeeding essentials, with some different ones that I found super useful but you may not think about.
I wrote all about them both in my Boppy vs. My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow post. But in short, I prefer the Brest Friend Pillow after trying both.
You guys, nursing hunger is real. Be sure to keep easy to grab snacks on hand at all times . There will probably be days when anything more than a quick snack here and there is difficult.
Some of my favorite nursing snacks:
- Individually packaged trail mix
- Grab and go packs of snacks like Goldfish or Cheez Its.
- Fruit and individual nut butter packets
- Bars like Larabars or Chewy Bars
- Cheese sticks
In addition to being hungry, you’ll be thirsty like you’ve never been in your life.
Grab the biggest cup you can find that also has a straw and a lid. Ideally something with a sturdy bottom and a handle that you can easily hold.
Some cups we love:
- Simple Modern 32 oz
- Sports Water Bottle with Straw&Handle
- 32oz Bottle with time markers
- Bubba Envy Travel Thermal Mug, 48 Ounces
- Zak Water Bottle with 2 in 1 lid
Buy a few small packs of a few different brands and decide which ones you like.
The Nuby Brand folds and bends easier when using with clip down bras.
If you’re in the US, your health insurance should provide you with a breast pump. I have this one and I like it well enough.
I will say, I like how you can get these bags and pump right into them for storage, rather than dirtying a bottle and they pouring it into a bag to freeze or refrigerate.
Please do me a favor and don’t buy this – the hospital will provide you with some! I have this brand.
Bottles and Pacifiers.
Even if you’re adamant about not using them, grab one or two bottles and 2 types of pacifiers.
It’s hard to know what your baby will or will not like before he’s here, and you never know if you”ll have to pump and bottle feed a few times for whatever reason. (For example, I needed to take a steroid and had to pump and dump for 4 hours after with Owen. Ella was in the NICU for a week and I needed to bring pumped milk.)
Also, more than one paci! Ryan refused a paci after a few weeks, but he when he did he took Avent. But Owen hates those and likes the more traditional style (buy MAM glow-in-the-dark pacis – you’ll thank me.) It pays to have a few options on hand for tough moments.
My top 3 nursing clothes essentials are a nursing bra, shelf camisoles, and zip up hoodies. Be sure to check you this post of what to wear when breastfeeding in the summer. A lot of the tips are applicable year round.
So tell me – mommas, what are your breastfeeding essentials? Were any of these a surprise to you? Did I leave any out? Let me know in the comments!