Ok so I included 11 instead of 10. I have been nursing now for 18 months, I have an 18 month old and a 12 week old. The 18 month old is not nursing any longer, but the baby is. Both have been completely different experiences though. With my son, the 18 month old, he refused to take a bottle or a pacifier. Which meant that I could never leave him for more than 2 hours at a time, and all the milk I stored in the freezer for “when” he would finally take a bottle went to waste. Now with my 12 week old daughter, she isn’t “allowed” at the breast except at night. As she aspirates, she has severe reflux, we have to thicken her breast milk so can eat and not get it in her lungs, so she takes bottles of breast milk all day. Which allows for me to leave her with daddy, or her older siblings for extended periods of time without worrying about her not eating.
Because the experience with each of them has been so different, I have found a few products that are must haves and a few that are nice but more than anything waste of money. After talking with several other nursing moms, I thought I would share the list of nursing necessities that have made life so much easier.
The Boppy - This is an absolute MUST! Not jsut for breastfeeding moms, but for all moms! One it helps tremendously with feeding your baby, but it is also great for when your baby is sleeping and you are typing at the computer. Your baby can stay laying in your lap and you can type away! It is also great for tummy time and if your baby is a reflux baby, it is a great way to elevate your baby to help food stay down.
Your Breast Friend – If you are a mom to more than one, say 2 under 4, then this wonderful pillow is perfect for allowing you to nurse, hold your baby and walk around your home all at the same time. If you watch 19 kids and counting, you will have seen Michelle Dugger wear one.
A Moby - or any other baby carrier. I am a baby wearer, so I am calling this a necessity. I LOVE my Moby! Yes I have walked through WalMart and nursed my son and no one was the wiser! I highly recommend that if you get one, to go to YouTube and learn all the different ways to wear your baby. I love how versatile it is and how I can still wear my toddler with it!
A Breast Pump – these can be expensive, so before purchasing one, check with your insurance and see if they will cover the cost. If they will, find out under what circumstances. More times than not, you will need a Dr’s prescription for one, and your doctor or pediatrician should be more than willing to write you one. I purchased a used Medela on eBay with my son, but now with my daughter I have a hospital grade Medela we have rented due to her special needs.
Heating pads – sounds funny, but when you get a blocked duct, or a breast infection, you will want/need your heating pads. I made several rice heating pads for the kids years ago and they work perfectly. You can always purchase different types of heating pads, but if you are crafty at all, I recommend just making a few in different sizes. Rounds ones that will fit in your bra are great!
Underwire Nursing Bras – yes they can be uncomfortable, but they will help with your self esteem. A bra that holds your ever increasing milk producing, Holy Mother of God where did these huge ta ta’s come from, in a location that closely resembles the elevation prior to child birth will make your shirts fit better and help you to feel a little like the woman who wasn’t worried about soaking the front of her shirt… speaking of which –
Breast Pads – while the disposable ones are great, they can be uncomfortable and be bulky enough that everyone who sees you will also see the round rings under your shirt, I recommend making some or purchasing the reusable washable pads.
Bedtime Nursing Bra – this bra will be so comfortable you will never want to change into another one, but it will offer NO and I mean ZERO ZILCH support. This is purely for comfort while you are sleeping and to make nursing in the middle of the night easier. As this nursing bra will not have any hooks to undo, just slide it over.
Tank Tops – I use my maternity ones and a few spaghetti strap ones – these are for easy nursing and staying covered. If you wear a shirt that you have to lift up from the bottom, with a tank top on underneath you are keeping your tummy covered. I have seen some women cut holes where their ta ta’s are in their tank tops, I personally just pull the top of the tanky down.
Cloth Diapers – and I mean the good ones, don’t buy the cheap 12 pack at WalMart, spend the extra $5 or so and get the nicer set. They are softer. Now the purpose of these. You will need these for multiple things, but mainly for tucking under your babies chin while they nurse. You will also need them to burp your baby, and as your baby gets older, they make great wash cloths, floor rags and keep several in your diaper bag and car. When a diaper blow out happens, they are wonderful to have on hand for cleanup!
A Cover Up – There are plenty of patterns out there to make a Nursing Cover Up, and plenty of places to buy them from as well. You can always do it the old fashioned way, and just use a blanket, but the cover ups allow for you to view your baby easier and stay more covered. I personally like the breastfeeding shawls best, and again there are some great Breastfeeding Shawl Patterns out there.
I am sure I am leaving out a few items but I can always add to the list later or leave me a comment below if you have a must have breatfeeding item on your list I have missed.