Here are my absolute favorite pieces of equipment that helped me successfully nurse my daughter until she was 14 months old, and continue to help me nurse my son (currently 6 months). Although you might think that you just need some boobs to nurse your child, and well, technically that is all you need, there are so many things on the market to make your life easier. Breastfeeding is really hard. In my mind during the newborn period, I always try to tell myself: “Just make it until four weeks..six weeks…12 weeks…four months…” Having manageable goals aided me in staying with it when times were tough. We are so lucky that there are all these tools to make it easier too! This gear lasted me the entire time and was super helpful! Even though you might that buying this stuff will be expensive, consider how much formula costs on a monthly basis. This is nothing compared to the cost of formula over the life of your baby and you can reuse everything! As far as buying nursing supplies for my second child, I have bought more breast milk storage bags and that is it!
1// Lansinoh Nipple Cream–I applied this liberally the first several weeks when I was nursing nonstop and wanted to avoid chapped nipples. It is nontoxic and ok for baby to ingest. I mean I didn’t put gobs of it on right before I nursed, but usually would liberally apply it afterwards. Prevention is the key with avoiding chapped nipples and make sure to keep this on hand for the first four weeks when the baby is constantly nursing.
2// Lansinoh breast milk storage bags–these ones are so much better than the Medela ones. I bought the Medela ones to strap directly to the pump but they leak and the Lansinoh ones don’t. Enough said. Tip: lay the bags flat in the freezer. They warm up much faster because of the increased surface area. Also, in case you have a flexible spending account, you can use use the funds to cover these and any other breastfeeding supplies! (Check out this post I did on all the things you can buy with your FSA)
3// Medela Pump in Style Breast Pump–our insurance company covered this pump thanks to the Affordable Care Act. When I had Jack, I bought another one (free of charge) when I had my son. You are entitled to one pump per pregnancy with the Affordable Care Act, so now I have a back up in case one breaks. Call your insurance company and ask for their list of durable goods manufacturers. I was able to get mine online shipped to my house free of charge.
4// Oxo Bottle brush for cleaning your pumping equipment and bottles. Its head can be replaced. And it has its own stand so it’s not always on laying on your counter.
6// Hooter Hider– just the name is hilarious. This one is so cute. I had a hand-me-down one from a friend who had barely used it which was very Pucci inspired; but, they don’t sell it anymore. This one is super cute though and very nautical. I used one the first several months to avoid flashing nipples in public. I used it much more for Bowe than I did for Jack, my son mostly because I was much more comfortable with the latch the second time around. After the first six weeks, I do end up using a plain old Aden & Anais blanket swaddle 95% of the time but the Hooter Hider does a great job at making sure you are covered up.
7// Boon Lawn Drying Rack–if you are going to have to have stuff drying on the counter it may as well be on a cute drying rack. I also bought the flower to store extra bottle accessories. It is super cute! *Note- if you are bottle feeding or pumping a ton I would buy the size up because ours is often crowded. It is called “the lawn”
8// Netflix— you basically don’t have day or night cycles for the first four weeks and are nursing so much it is nice to be able to watch TV shows in the middle of the night. This and my DVR were constantly going. I watched all the seasons of West Wing twice during the first four months! I didn’t watch quite as much TV with my son but I totally binged on Gilmore Girls re-runs. And my husband couldn’t say no. I mean you can’t argue with the woman feeding your child 😉
9// Water bottle– I didn’t have one of these but am going to get one next time because while nursing, I was so thirsty, particularly in the first month. It is really important to keep hydrated, otherwise you risk not producing enough milk, being dehydrated, and constipation. So yeah, drink water. Something with a straw is nice because you usually have the baby strapped to your chest asleep, and this way you don’t risk spilling on them and waking them up.
10// Boppy– As I mentioned before, we were generously handed-down our boppy but I would highly recommend it and buy one again if I needed to. I know the BrestFriend has rave reviews but I figured the Boppy could also be used as a baby lounger. I propped B in it after feedings to try to elevate her head and reduce burp ups. I know the Boppy Newborn Lounger has good reviews but it was a lot to spend for the first couple of weeks and we didn’t need one more baby item, so I was reluctant to buy one.
*Obviously an iPhone is not necessary but I loved using mine. I still use it while I am doing the long nursing sessions and she falls asleep. It is addictive to use Instagram and Facebook. You can also install a program to record your feedings and their times. Or you can use it like a camera like I did. Ahh, smart phones–the possibilities are endless! I also love using my Kindle Paperwhite because I can read books in the dark. The light is faint enough that it doesn’t distract the baby and it can be held in one hand (unlike a traditional book.)