If you’ve never breastfeed a baby before, you may be wondering what exactly you will need to make the journey a success.
While you don’t need much more than yourself and your baby in the early days, there are also a few useful items it may be worth adding to your registry.
Before you add a single thing to the list, I have to start here: The #1 thing you can gift yourself if you’re planning to breastfeed is a private lactation consult. No amount of fancy gadgets makesup for the expert guidance of an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). Breastfeeding is natural, but it doesn’t always come naturally. Even when it’s going well, you will have so many questions that connecting with an expert is reassuring.
You can find a local IBCLC by searching here.
I also recommend signing up for a class. You can start by looking into the classes at your local hospital. Some IBCLCs also offer private classes, so you can inquire when you connect with your consultant. Finally, there are online classes available. I recommend the All About Breastfeeding Audio Master Class. Lori provides not only a comprehensive, work-at-your-own-pace course, but includes ongoing personalized support throughout your breastfeeding journey. (Full disclosure: I was a beta tester for this course. However, my opinion of the content is my own.)
Set aside some money for these expenses, or add them to your registry if you’re using one of those all-in-one registry programs.
If you’re breastfeeding, opt for preemie or size 1 nipples to start. You may or may not need to move up later on, but you definitely want to start with a very slow flow. Dozens of brands claim to be “most like mom’s breast,” but it boils down to this: the nipple elongates in baby’s mouth when they’re nursing, so opt for something that simulates that (size of the nipple base isn’t as important). Dr. Browns or Avent are great places to start.
Many moms will say you can live without a Boppy pillow. However, I like the added help supporting baby (especially if you’re going to multitask and snack while you feed baby, or if you have larger boobs and are going to need to prop them a bit).
Register for at least 2 Boppy covers. That way, you always have a clean one while you’re doing laundry.
The majority of breastfeeding supplies are actually for you, Mama, but don’t be afraid to throw them on your registry anyway!
Once you’ve ordered your pump through insurance, consider throwing some extra silicone parts for your pump on your registry. You may be able to get replacement parts through insurance, but it never hurts to have some extras on hand for emergencies.
Consider dreaming big and adding a second, portable pump to your registry. I’m a fan of the Spectra S9. It’s been a lifesaver for travel/busy weekends.
Get at least one package of reusable nursing pads. I’m a fan of these as they’re comfortable, durable, and last longer than the disposables.
You may or may not need nipple balm. I’ve found that smearing a little breastmilk itself on sore nipples or using coconut oil works just as well. But it also never hurts to throw a tub of it on there.
If you really want to splurge – especially if you’re a working mom and will be pumping frequently – I LOVE the Sarah Wells pump bags. They’re pretty, and they hold my whole world when I’m pumping on the go. As a side note, their customer service is awesome!
If you plan to pump during your commute, invest in Freemie cups. Make sure you get the correct set for your pump (closed or open system – you need to order the closed system from their website). They’re great for driving, pumping at work, or pumping on the go.
Definitely register for a hand pump. You never know when you’re going to need to pump without access to electricity. This is also a great way to pump off extra after a feeding in the early days (if your lactation consultant determines this is a good plan for you).
You will want a car adapter for your pump. Make sure you buy the correct voltage – check the specs on your pump. This ensures you always have a backup if you forget your main power cord, and you also have the option to pump on the go.
Even if you get an amazing pump bag, you may want an extra cooler bag to store your milk. Plenty of times, especially if I know we’ll be out all day, I take an insulated lunch cooler to stash my parts and milk.
Extra storage bottles and/or bags are useful. However, I recommend waiting to see what your output is like before stocking up. I was a just-enougher, and wound up not needing a whole lot of bags.
You can also use mason jars for storing your daily milk, either instead of or in addition to extra plastic bottles. A bonus for this method is they have a million other uses after you’re done breastfeeding. You can even get a handy pour spout attachment for your mason jar. (Side note: always chill milk before mixing it with previously pumped milk.)
Why not throw in a few packs of blue ice for good measure? They’re great for keeping your milk cold on the go!
I think that’s all the basics. Drop a comment below and let me know if I missed something big. And happy shopping!
Note: You can find my other registry recommendations here.