The Ultimate Breastfeeding Supplies Checklist
Wait… you need more than just breasts?! Probably.
If you feel passionate about breastfeeding your baby, there are some supplies you will want to have on hand to:
- Have easy access to your breast
- Relieve any pain or discomfort
- Avoid inconvenient leaks
- Feel comfortable
Keep reading to learn what supplies you’ll want to add to your baby registry.
Still not sure how you want to feed your baby? I’ve compiled “The Quick and Honest Pro & Con” guide to Breastfeeding, Breast Pumping and Formula Feeding to help you decide what is the right fit you and your baby.
You might want some daytime nursing bras, and others for nighttime. You’re going to want to have a bra on most of the time so you can use breast pads to soak up any leaks. Invest in something comfortable! I LOVE these bras from Motherhood Maternity and made the switch to these in my second trimester once my pre-pregnancy bras were no longer comfortable.
There are specially designed tops that allow you to pull up, down, or to the side to provide easy access to your breast.
The #1 recommended product to help soothe and protect sore, dry, and cracked nipples. Your body needs time to adjust to breastfeeding, and unfortunately, some nipple discomfort is common.
I’m a big fan of coconut oil and have been slathering it on during my pregnancy to keep my skin moisturized. You can also use coconut oil on your nipples. Coconut oil has some antibacterial properties and is completely safe for babies.
Engorgement, mastitis, clogged ducts… you never know what might bother you when breastfeeding. Keep some hot/cold gel packs on hand to relieve discomfort!
Disposable Breast Pads
For quick and easy cleanup from leaks, disposable nursing pads are a must. Just tuck these in your bra and avoid any embarrassing leaks!
Reusable Breast Pads
There some reusable nursing pad options available. A friend of mine swore by LilyPadz after having her kids and bought me a pair. These silicone pads ‘stick’ to your breast and prevent leakages. They are also cool and comfortable on sore nipples. Another alternative is bamboo pads. These all natural pads can be thrown in the washing machine and used repeatedly.
You need to decide your personal comfort level with breastfeeding. There are a lot of products on the market designed to help you be a bit more discrete with feeding when in public. I’m going to try an infinity scarf myself. These are quite handy, and can also be used as a stroller/car seat cover. I also plan on having some muslin blankets handy, as these are breathable and won’t be as a hot in the summer.
Regardless of how, or what, you feed your baby, burp cloths are a must! Babies spit up and drool, and accidents happen. Make sure to stock up on multiple burp cloths, so you always have one handy, especially as multiple will end up in the laundry pile. I ended up sewing some super cute burp cloths using this tutorial. You buy flannel fabric in whatever print takes your fancy and sew it to a cloth diaper.
If you’ve ever held a baby for any length of time you know that your arm gets tired and your back starts aching. Breastfeeding pillows are an easy way to prop up your baby to give your arm and back a rest! The most popular two brands are My Brest Friend (awesome because it provides lumbar support, a little pocket and clips around your body) and Boppy (a multifunctional pillow you can also use for tummy time and to prop up baby).
It’s a good idea to have SOME formula on hand before your baby arrives. You never know whether you might struggle with milk supply, or when an emergency situation might arise, and you need to fall back on formula. The good news is the big formula companies will send you FREE samples. Some doctors’ offices and hospitals also offer formula samples.
You might wish to put together a breastfeeding ‘Caddy’ with some other supplies to keep you comfortable while breastfeeding. In my caddy, I have hair ties, chapstick, hand lotion, alcohol gel, water, cliff bars, a baby toy, a burp cloth, a blanket, my Kindle, a magazine and a phone charger, as well as the aforementioned lanolin, breast pads, coconut oil and gel pads.
Get as much help as you can in the early days! If breastfeeding is painful or especially uncomfortable, consult a lactation consultant to make sure your baby is latching correctly. A lot of hospitals offer lactation support, so take advantage of the help while you’re still in the hospital. For extra support, and as a way to make new mom friends, see if you have a local breastfeeding support group.
Breast Pumping & Formula Feeding
Plan on pumping while breastfeeding, or after returning to work? Check out my Breast Pumping Supplies post! Want to transition to formula? There’s a post for that too! Check out my Formula Feeding Supplies post!