When it comes to breastfeeding, you want to make sure you are prepared with the proper products.
We know all the stuff out there can be overwhelming – so we have made it easy and broken it all down for you.
We’ve got A LOT of stuff in here, so definitely pin this now so you can come back to it later!
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In This Guide:
The Ones We Both Agree On
Some things are just so awesome that we can’t debate their value. When it comes to feeding, there are a couple items that we both agree are necessities:
The Boppy is the single best breastfeeding accessory to make your life easier.
Trying to position a squishy newborn to latch is hard enough, but the Boppy makes it effortless. Get a few of their adorable covers because they will definitely get milk and spit up on them and need to be washed pretty often.
Also, don’t think that they are just for breastfeeding. They can be used to prop baby for tummy time or sitting. My husband even used this on occasion for bottle feeding.
Additionally, we both agree that Amazon is one of the best places to create your baby registry (or any registry for that matter). You can getting EVERYTHING you need for baby in a place that’s very convenient for your friends and family to purchase from.
For it’s registry clients, Amazon gives an extended 90 day return policy window. You also get a 10% Completion Discount (or up to 15% if you are an Amazon Prime member) 60 days before your due date for the items you haven’t received.
Rachel and Jo’s Faves
We didn’t do everything exactly the same. Here are some areas where we each had our own specific favorites.
Some lucky moms don’t have to use nursing pads for very long, but if you’re stuck leaking for months on end, washable pads are an easy way to save some money. To be honest, I don’t find them quite as absorbent as the disposables and did not use them to start out, but after a few months they became my go-to as the cost of disposables added up. My favorite are bamboobies. They are a bit pricier but I found them to be the most comfortable as they are super soft and the least obvious through my clothing.
For me, it’s much easier to just throw those soaked boob pads away. There are so many things that need cleaning with a newborn (onesies, changing pads, bibs…) that I didn’t want to add tiny pads to the list. Plus, when you have disposables you can tuck them anywhere and everywhere. Yes, definitely make sure you have a few in your purse, car, desk, coffee table, changing area, vanity, etc. I liked the Lansinoh ones the best because they’re absorbent and stuck the best in my bra.
While I certainly wouldn’t buy a whole new wardrobe, I found it incredibly helpful to have some dedicated nursing shirts. Pulling shirts up and down while trying not to completely flash everyone can be so difficult with a wiggly baby.
I loved having nursing shirts that were designed specifically for easy breastfeeding. I felt more confident nursing in front of others wearing clothing that made it seem both discrete and convenient. There are several variations on how these allow baby access to nurse, so you may want to try a couple different ones to see which you and prefer.
I don’t think I can express enough how much I LOVE these “perfect breastfeeding undershirts“. In fact, I am wearing one right now and my youngest is almost 2 (she’s been weaned for over 6 months). To me, they are absolutely essential when nursing or pumping.
It only takes a couple of times messing with it before you become a pro at smoothly unclipping it from your bra. This shirt made it possible to wear all my other shirts again – just lift up your over shirt and unclip your undershirt on the side you’re nursing on (or both if you’re pumping). This will leave about an inch worth of exposed skin/nipple to feed with.
They come in so many colors and styles. I particularly love the ones with the slimming panels to help tuck in that pooch that takes forever to go away after delivery.
I really liked both the Lansinoh and Target brand milk storage bags. I started out using the Lansinoh, but as my stock pile grew, I switched to the Up & up brand to save a few dollars. They are both big bags which was great since I liked to freeze in larger amounts, either one or two bottles worth (with just a few extra bags of small amounts). I also never had any problems with leaking from either.
NUK breast milk storage bags were by far my favorite. First of all, they’re some of the cheapest out there. I also found them very sturdy, easy to fill/pour, and a good size.
I think it’s easier to highlight what I didn’t like about other brands. The Medela bags I had tended to leak when being defrosted. They also had this weird hole in the top part of the bag that was supposed to be a “spout” for pouring. Personally, I found that spout awkward both when trying to fill the bag and when trying to empty it. The Lansinoh bags were too big in my opinion. I personally liked to store my milk in a variety of amounts (2-5oz) so we could adjust the bottle sizes as my babies grew. This helped reduce waste – didn’t want to lose a drop of that liquid gold!
If you are going to be pumping a lot then admittedly go for the electric pump, but don’t overlook the value of having a manual pump as well.
If you are buying a pump as opposed to getting it through insurance they are way cheaper. They are also great for travel or pumping random places, since they can fit in a purse and don’t need a power source.
The Medela manual breast pump is perfect for quick and infrequent pumping like to help with engorgement. I actually found the manual pump much easier to use to start out with since I had more control over the suction and speed and initially found pumping very uncomfortable.
I was able to get this pump free through my insurance but I got a second one to keep at work so I didn’t have to transport it back and forth. The Medela pump is extremely popular as it gives great suction and has an amazing warranty. However, you absolutely have to buy extra milk storage bottles and flanges. There will be days you forget (or are too tired) to clean the pump parts so you’ll need a spare to use.
When it came to nursing bras, what I cared about most was comfort. This was the most comfortable bra that I found and I tried a bunch. Admittedly, the material is thin with no extra padding, so nursing pads may show through (I just chose shirts accordingly).
I love these awesome sleep bras from Target. Don’t think you need a sleep bra? Imagine waking up in a puddle of breast milk every morning, you’ll want something comfy to keep those nursing pads in place. I tried several and most were to loose or didn’t stay in place well, but these were perfect! I seriously lived in them through most of my maternity leave.
My personal favorite maternity bras were similar to the bras I was used to wearing before I got pregnant. I wanted bras that would allow me to nurse easily, but also make me feel confident for when I was out.
Motherhood Maternity had bras with padding and underwires – ones that gave me so much support I wore them even when I wasn’t yet nursing (when I was pregnant and I just needed to get bigger bras!). Nursing in them was also a piece of cake, just unclip and you and baby are good to go. The clips were both easy to use and super secure – meaning they didn’t unclip at times I didn’t want them to.
I wish I had bought these to be prepared, but instead a few days into breastfeeding I was frantically ordering them on Amazon (thank goodness for 2 day shipping). The Lansinoh soothies gel pads are awesome for sore nipples. Put them in the fridge and they are even more awesome. Yes, the price tag seems a bit high for 2 pads, but you can use them multiple times (up to 72 hours or until saturated). If you’re dealing with nipple pain, they are well worth the cost.
The Motherlove nipple cream is one of the most highly rated on Amazon. Many breastfeeding mamas can describe the chafing and cuts that comes with nursing an infant. This cream is thicker than most so it creates a nice, thick coat on sore nipples. Best of all, it’s completely natural so you don’t need to wash it off before the next nursing session. Pro-tip: get multiples of this one and keep one near a chair where you nurse, beside your bed, and one in your purse.
The Medela tender care nipple cream was my favorite nipple cream. It is a thinner consistency than the Lansinoh Lanolin making it much easier to put on which is super important when you’re sore and cracked. I hadn’t originally bought this type, but received samples from the hospital. After I got home, and realized not all lanolin is created the same, my amazing mom ran all over town to find it for me. This time, I’m stocking up!
Pumping can be hard on the nipples too! While regular lanolin is pretty much useless as a nipple cream, it works GREAT to coat the inside of your flanges while pumping. No more sore nipples from friction!
For the first several months nursing felt very awkward to me, like I didn’t have enough hands. I found it particularly difficult in public without my boppy. It was impossible to be discreet so for this reason, a nursing cover was an absolute must for me. I liked the Boppy nursing cover because the material is not too heavy, it has a stiff neckline so you can see baby, and it folds up into a tiny pouch.
While I was breastfeeding I pumped 3 times/day while at work. I have no idea how I could have done it without this pumping bra. I wore it as my regular bra (so I wore it full time) and I simply lifted up my shirt, attached the flanges, and pumped when I had to. A total pumping session lasted 15-20 minutes max this way. Plus I could keep working while I was pumping since the bra allowed me to be hands free. This particular bra kept the elasticity for the 3 years I was using it and even gave enough support to wear as my regular bra.
We both agree and say, “just skip it!”
All bottles will try to convince you to get multiple different flow nipples, usually ranging slow, medium, and fast flow. General advice is that the flow should mimic nursing as closely as possible and typically, breastfed babies can stick with the slowest flow. Babies actually have to work get milk when nursing and may get lazy if they don’t have to suck with a nipple that lets milk drip out. Also, it is easier to overfeed a breastfed baby using a faster flow nipple.
Keep reading on for more BABY REGISTRY ESSENTIALS: SLEEP EDITION