I am grateful that I was able to have a breastfeeding relationship with both my children. I nursed Max until he was 8 months old and I’m still nursing Alexa at almost a year. Throughout that period, I’ve used a lot of different gear and equipment for nursing. This is my checklist of all the breastfeeding supplies that I’ve ever needed.
1. Vitamin D drops – Most pediatricians recommend that you administer vitamin D drops to your baby if you are breastfeeding. They usually prescribe Enfamil D Vi Sol. Stay away from that crap. Use pure vitamin D drops instead. (You can read my review comparing the different brands here.)
2. Lanolin cream – If you are like 99.9% of the breastfeeding population, when you first start breastfeeding, it will feel like “someone” took the coarsest piece of sandpaper he/she could find and viciously went to work on your nipples. And by “someone,” I do mean your angelic, darling, newborn baby. You will need lanolin cream (a.k.a. wool grease).
3. Breastfeeding bra – For the first few weeks, when you are stuck at home, and basically breastfeeding 24/7, don’t bother wearing anything at all. However, once you are required to face humanity again, you’ll need a good breastfeeding bra. If at all possible, stay away from underwire when breastfeeding. The last thing you want is plugged ducts.
4. Nursing pads – Some women leaks and other don’t. You won’t know until you start breastfeeding the extent to which you might leak. But if you do leak a lot, you can’t go without nursing pads.
5. Breastfeeding top – You need to wear tops that allow easy access to the goods. You can buy tanks like these that are designed for that purpose. I bought a few when I was pregnant with Max. But, the second time around, I just wore a lot of low cut tanks.
6. Breast pump – I used two types of pumps: an automatic one and manual one. (Make sure you check with your insurance company first because most insurance policies offer free breast pump options!) Surprisingly, I ended up using the manual pump more. It is more time-consuming but the manual pump allowed me to feel more in control and, as a result, was more tolerable.
7. Hands-free pumping bra – If you get a double electric pump, you need a hands-free pumping bra. But you don’t actually have to buy one if you don’t plan to pump outside of the home. I took an old sport bra and cut two small round holes where my nipples would be. Voilà! I just saved you $20.
8. Breastmilk storage bags – Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags worked really well for me. Pro-tip: make sure to get out as much air as possible when sealing the bag. (This reduces freezer burn.) Then freeze on a flat surface for easier storage.
9. Nursing pillow – I purchased a nursing pillow but found that I preferred a big cylindrical stuffed pig pillow more. You don’t have to spend $40 on a pillow just for nursing but you really do need something for support.
10. Nursing cover – I’ve always been a fan of infinity scarves. My favorite nursing cover is the Curasanas Nursing Scarf because I can just loop it around my neck as an accessory when not in use.
11. Glider – When I was pregnant with Max, I tested out the Monte Grano Glider in the store. From that moment, I fell in love with the quality, craftsmanship, and comfort. I debated long and hard whether or not I needed a glider. But, in the end, I couldn’t justify it because I had to buy so many other baby items. However, when Alexa was born, it was my one splurge purchase. I have it right next to Alexa’s crib and still nurse her in the glider every night. There’s something special about the memories I’ve created with her while sitting in that chair.
12. Nursing necklace – I’m not talking about those big, clunky silicone teething necklaces that you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing in public. I first learned about Lullaby Links from the babywearing community. Francie, the owner, makes pure silver and gold necklace pendants and chains that are sturdy enough to be pulled on by your baby. The necklace definitely saved me from those baby talons while nursing!
13. Nursing supplements – I used Fenugreek seed which is supposed to help with lactation if you are concerned about your supply. I think it worked for me. What I do know for sure, though, is that it made me smell like maple syrup.
14. Water bottle – NOTHING will make you thirstier than when you breastfeed. That means you need to constantly chug water and, even then, you won’t be sated. I used to be one of those people who despised drinking from reusable water bottles until I found this one. Now I have four that I rotate daily and carry with me everywhere I go.
Well, that about covers it! The above are all of my must-haves when it comes to breastfeeding. Of course you don’t need everything – or even anything – on the list to have a successful breastfeeding relationship. But it will certainly make your life easier.
What do you think of my checklist? What are your must-have supplies when it comes to breastfeeding?
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