Having a fully stocked and comfy breastfeeding station can make the hours spent there with a newborn easier to handle.
I will admit that with my first I was totally unprepared for breastfeeding in so many ways. One huge surprise was just exactly how much of my time would be spent nursing my newborn.
It’s common for newborns to breastfeed every 2 hours and anywhere from 8 to 12 times each day with nursing sessions lasting an average of 20 to 45 minutes. If you’re going to be spending so much of your time breastfeeding, you might as well make yourself as comfortable as possible.
For my second baby, I had my breastfeeding station stocked and ready to go from the beginning and it made one less thing to worry about with a newborn.
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Here Are the Top Breastfeeding Station Must Haves:
A Comfy Spot (or Two!)
You will be spending a lot of time sitting here, so you want it to be super comfortable. It needs to be somewhere are you going to enjoy sitting for hours.
When thinking about your breastfeeding spot, consider where you want to be in terms of what your sit on and the location.
Let’s Start with What You Want to Sit On.
Do you need a rocking chair for nursing?
Nope. This really comes down to personal preferences.
The nursery rocker is super common and for good reason, but not absolutely necessary. Gliders and rockers allow gentle motion which may help soothe your baby and tend to be pretty comfy. This glider tends to be a mom favorite:
Also, a footrest can really make a difference in the comfort of some chairs especially when breastfeeding.
What will make you feel most comfortable? If you’re not sure, go try out some chairs at the store. Think about cushioning, back and neck support, recline, swivel, and locking features,
Location, Location, Location
It’s common to think of the rocker in the nursery, but is that where you’ll want to spend so much of your time?
If you spend most of your time in the living room, you may want to set up your breastfeeding station there instead.
If baby will start out sleeping in your room, it might make sense to have a spot there for overnight feedings.
Also, consider that it helps if your location has a table so your breastfeeding supplies are easy to reach. And though it may sound odd, a nearby electrical outlet is also helpful to plug in your phone charger or a night light.
Finally, you may realize that you will want to breastfeed comfortably in more than one location and that either setting up multiple spots or creating a portable breastfeeding station that you can carry around the house is right for you.
Personally, I liked having a two spots, a glider in the nursery and a La-Z-boy rocker/recliner in the living room, both stocked with a breastfeeding basket of supplies.
Most nursing moms prefer the extra support of a breastfeeding pillow. These are especially helpful when you’re starting out. Getting positioned just right with a squirmy hungry newborn can be really challenging.
I love the Boppy breastfeeding pillow.
Moms tend to get pretty particular about their nursing pillows and there are several options out there so I’ll tell you why I pick the Boppy.
- The pillow and the covers are machine washable!
- It is easily moved around for different breastfeeding positions.
- Versatility! It can also be used to prop up baby when learning to sit and for tummy time.
Related | When to Start Tummy Time and Everything Else Moms Need to Know
Breastfeeding Basket of Supplies
Keep all of your breastfeeding supplies organized in a caddy or basket at your breastfeeding station.
These are all of the things that will help make breastfeeding more comfortable, easier, and pass the time. Having them contained in a caddy allows for a portable breastfeeding station that you can carry around the house if needed.
So exactly what supplies should you have in your breastfeeding caddy?
Not only is important to stay hydrated for your breast milk supply, but breastfeeding can also make you extremely thirsty. A water bottle or even just a cup of water, if you aren’t a total klutz like myself, is a must. I prefer something with a top and straw so it is easy to drink one handed without spilling.
If your baby is a big spitter (mine were), burp cloths are absolutely necessary. I find these cloth diapers make the best burp cloths since they are the perfect size and super absorbent.
I didn’t know leaking breast milk was even “a thing” before my first was born. Unfortunately, it’s extremely common to leak, especially early on and when nursing on the opposite side. To avoid irritation, it’s best to change those nursing pads frequently so having a stash of nursing pads to switch out wet ones is really helpful.
I really like these washable nursing pads, but also use the Lansinoh disposable ones.
Unfortunately, starting out breastfeeding can be hard and lots of moms struggle with dry, chapped, and cracked nipples. Nipple cream can be your best friend when it comes to soothing nipple pain so keep it nearby.
I like the Medela Tender Care Lanolin because it goes on very smoothly. But for a non-lanolin option, I also like the Bamboobies Boob-ease Organic Nipple Balm.
Breastfeeding moms are burning extra calories and are often extra hungry. Keep some easy snacks in your caddy like granola bars (I love LÄRABAR), trail mix, or apples. Foods that are fine left at room temperature and easily eaten one handed are best.
Inevitably I would realize my phone battery was nearly dead just after I had gotten baby latched. When you’re stuck sitting for a while, it can definitely help the time pass to have your phone available so keep that charger nearby.
Though, I hate to be on my phone too much, sometimes nursing sessions are the only time to return texts, check email, or scroll Facebook. It also helps me stay awake for those middle of the night feedings.
While you may not need these items, they are nice to have in your breastfeeding station and can make life easier and more enjoyable.
Whether its having your TV remote next you, or a magazine, book, kindle, or tablet. Consider what you can use best with only one hand.
If there is concern about your baby gaining weight, your pediatrician may want you to keep a feeding log of the times and lengths of nursing sessions. It’ll be easier to remember to note this information if you keep this log at your breastfeeding station. There are also some apps that you can use to track your feedings.
Diaper Changing Supplies
It is not uncommon for newborns to poop while nursing. In fact, I’ve been covered with more than one mid-nursing session diaper explosion. Having extra diapers and wipes somewhere close by can be really helpful.
Breast Milk Collector
A breast milk collector can be positioned on the breast that baby is not nursing to catch any leaking. This is an easy way to save breast milk and help build up a freezer stash without extra pumping. The most popular is the Haakaa.
For more recommendations on breastfeeding must haves, check out our Breastfeeding Baby Registry Guide here.
Most moms find that breastfeeding gets much easier after the first few months as you both get the hang of it and baby typically feeds more quickly and less often. Until breastfeeding starts taking up less of your life, you’ll be glad you have your breastfeeding station with all of your needs on hand.
Did I miss any other breastfeeding station essentials? What did you need to have on hand?