Breastfeeding essentials

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Essentials Checklist

I’ll be honest with you. The only thing your really need to breastfeed, is your baby and your breast. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of amazing products out there that will make breastfeeding a little easier and a lot less stressful. These breastfeeding essentials can make you more comfortable, help you organize, store your milk and save time!

When I had my first child, I was completely lost. I had a horrible manual breast pump and bottles. That was it. I struggled to get into a good position to nurse my son, and because I got the cheapest pump I could find and had no idea how to use it, my hands were cramping each session.

But we’ve come a long way int he last 11 years. There’s so many products out there now, that make our lives so much easier and comfortable. There so many ways that breastfeeding mamas are being helped in order to feed their babies and make more milk. These products can help!

Best Products to help with breastfeeding

This post may contain affiliate links which means that i could make a lil change if you purchase using one of the links below. This doesn’t cost you anything extra. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my disclosure for more details. Understand that everything in this list I either use on a daily basis, have tried, or have received an astounding amount of feedback from other mamas. Don’t worry, I won’t post anything I don’t believe in. We’re all in this together *Insert Highschool Musical Moves*

Breastfeeding Pillows

Boppy Pillow

breastfeeding essentials

This is a favorite on baby registries due to its affordable price and ability to change out the adorable covers. The U-shaped pillow wraps around your body so that you can place baby on top to get in a comfortable nursing position. Best used for 0-12 months of age. The great part is, it’s machine washable.

Versatile Use

  • Breastfeeding
  • Bottle feeding
  • Propping
  • Tummy time
  • Sitting

Infantino Elevate Adjustable Nursing Pillow

breastfeeding essentials

This is a great option for nursing pillows because it offers the ability to adjust your baby’s height for nursing, without having the find extra pillows to prop it up. Sometimes you may find with other nursing pillows that it can sink in some places and you need to place pillows in those areas. With this, you adjust to your needs. What’s also great, is that this pillow folds up nicely so that you can take it with you wherever you go. Machine washable.

My Brest Friend Original Nursing Posture Pillow

breastfeeding essentials

This pillow is amazing because it not only provides a flat surface of support, so your baby doesn’t roll off, but it also has a firm cushion that wraps around your back for awesome back support. What I also love about this pillow, is that it has a little side pouch where you can put a bottle, nipple cream, or other accessory, for easy access.

Nipple Creams

When you’re breastfeeding, especially in the first few weeks, it is bound to happen. That’s right. Cracked and/or bleeding nipples. As your new baby learns how to breastfeed and works on their latch, you may go through a period where your nipples become dry, cracked, or may even start to bleed. Your nipples can become sore, making it very difficult to continue breastfeeding or pumping. Nipple creams help to heal the dry, cracked skin on your nipples and help to sooth them.

There are many different types of nipple creams out there but one in particular is highly recommended from mamas around the globe. One of the aspects of this cream is the fact that it is lanolin free.

Before, lanolin creams were the only things offered to moms. But the issue with them is that lanolin is an oil that is separated from the sheared wool of a lamb. This wool then needs to be soaked in pesticides to remove all the ickies from it 😧🤢. The other issue is, that many mamas unknowingly have allergies to wool. This is why, lanolin free creams needed to be made.

Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter

breastfeeding essentials

This lanolin free nipple butter comes recommended by so many mamas for the amazing job it does for healing and comfort of your nipples. This nipple butter is 100% organic and Non-GMO.

It is safe for baby, so there is no need to wash the cream off before breastfeeding or pumping.

Bamboobies Nipple Cream

breastfeeding essentials

Another lansolin free and organic nipple cream. This nipple cream is also safe for baby, so there is no need to wash off before breastfeeding or pumping.

Nursing Pads

Nothing says “I’m a breastfeeding mama” more than walking around town, hearing a baby cry, and having two large wet spots appear on your shirt. Have you been there before? Either you’re embarrassed, DGAF, or annoyed cause now your shirt and bra is messed up 🤣. Either way, you may want to avoid this situation again.

Nipple/Breast pads are a little barrier pad between your nipples and your bra. They soak up any milk that is leaking from your nipples to avoid those possibly embarrassing moments in the middle of Target.

There are 2 types of breast pads: Disposable and reusable. I’ll give you a bit of both below!

Bamboobies

breastfeeding essentials breastfeeding essentials

Bamboobies is at it again! This time we’re talking about their reusable and washable breast pads. This pack will give you 3 regular pads along with 3 overnight pads for those nights your baby decides to let you sleep in. They’re super soft, so many prefer over the disposable pads.

If you’re also thinking of getting the Bamboobies nipple cream, you can get it in a pair by purchasing their starter kit. This kit comes with the nipple cream, 4 washable pads, 4 disposable pads, a wet/dry bag, and a breastfeeding guide.

Lansinoh Stay Dry Disposable Nursing Pads for Breastfeeding 240 ct

breastfeeding essentials

These super affordable disposable pads, founded by a breastfeeding mama herself, are a great alternative to reusable pads. The are individually wrapped so you don’t have to put any to waste if one breast leaks and the other doesn’t.

Breastmilk Storage Bags

If you’re exclusively pumping, or you plan to build a stash for when you return to work or other occasions when you won’t be with baby, you’ll want breastmilk storage bags to store your milk in.

Of course you can absolutely store them in actual bottles, but that would mean you would have to buy a LOT of bottles, and those bulky things will take up a lot of space in your freezer. Milk storage bags can lay flat, save space, and they’re pretty affordable too!

Kiinde Twist Pouch Breast Milk Storage Bags

breastfeeding essentials

These are my favorite storage bags. What I love about the Kiinde breast milk storage bags is that the adapter allows you to connect the bags directly to your breast pump flanges. This allows you to pump directly into the storage bags, instead of having to pump into a bottle and then transfer the milk to a storage bag. Avoid that heartbreak from spilling your liquid gold by using these amazing bags.

Motif Medical Milk Storage Bags

breastfeeding essentials

Another favorite of moms, these affordable, double zipper lock bags prevent spills and have an easy pour spout to pour into bottles.

Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags 100 ct

breastfeeding essentials

Another super affordable option. These bags also have a double zipper to prevent leaks. Lay these bags flat in your freezer to save a ton of room and also making it easier to defrost.

Nursing and Pumping Bras

Sublime Hands-Free Pumping & Nursing Tank

breastfeeding essentials

This is probably one of my favorite tanks. This is an all in one nursing AND pumping tank top. What I love about this is that it functions as both so I can wear it anytime. When I’m out in public and I need to nurse my baby, I can use it for the 2 shirt method and simply lift up my shirt without exposing my body. It works great for hands free pumping as well. And since it’s a tank top, I can walk around the house with it and not feel naked. I’m also a plus-sized gal and the Kindred Bravely tanks and bras fit great.

Sublime Hands-Free Pumping & Nursing Bra

breastfeeding essentials

Another awesome find from the same great company above. If you’re not into tank tops or feel like you may get a little too hot with all the fabric covering your body, then you can always use a regular nursing bra. But this bra is anything but regular. This doubles as a nursing and hands free pumping bra. This is perfect for those pump sessions at work. You don’t have to work about fumbling with putting on an entirely different bra when you’re ready to pump. You also don’t have to worry about having Madonna boobs because of a weirdly shaped pumping bra. This one is amazing!

Womens Nursing Tank Tops

breastfeeding essentials

If you’re not worried about hands free pumping, you can also consider a nursing tank or bra that doesn’t come with hands free pumping capabilities. These nursing tanks from Amazon are super affordable, especially if your’e not able to splurge on the Sublime bras. Great for around the house and on the go!

Lataly Womens Sleeping Nursing Bra (pack of 5)

breastfeeding essentials

I have quite a few of these in my drawers. They’re really affordable and do the job nicely. Like I mentioned before, I’m a plus size girl, so the jugs up top can get a little heavy. I won’t say this bra hangs them up nice and perky, but at least they’re not touching my naval, and I can nurse easily with them.

Nursing Covers

Not all mamas feel comfortable breastfeeding without a cover. Especially in public..It’s 2020 and women still get harassed by friends, family members, and strangers, for breastfeeding their babies without a cover. Why, I’ll never understand. A mom is simply feeding her child.

Regardless of Federal Laws that allow women to breastfeed in public, wherever she wants, some moms may still feel more comfortable being covered. So lets look at some options for some of the top recommended covers out there!

Copper Pearl 5 in 1 Nursing Cover

breastfeeding essentials

You’re gonna LOVE this one. This nursing cover is light weight, breathable, and super soft! Not only can you use it as a nursing cover, but it can also be used for a carseat cover, shopping cart cover, high chair cover, AND an infinity scarf! Say what?! These covers come is so many adorable prints, so go ahead and add to cart!

Milk Snob

breastfeeding essentials

Another all in one cover. This nursing cover can also be used for car seats, high chairs, shopping carts, and more. What’s really great? They have Disney theme patterns! Check out this Toy Story pattern. Or you can get the Winnie the Pooh! Maybe you’re a Star Wars fan? Try not to buy them all!

Milk Collector Breastfeeding Essentials

When you’re nursing or pumping on one breast, it doesn’t stop the other from producing milk. Because of this, many mamas may experience a soaked breast pad or even shirt. This is all due to your let down.

But have you ever wondered, just how much milk was being wasted when you’re not pumping on both sides or nursing your little one? You’d be surprised!

Milk collectors sit on your breast by a suction and collect the milk that is being extracted by the let down, while you nurse or pump the other side. No more wasted milk! You can even build up a nice stash!

Milky Mama Milk Collector

breastfeeding essentials

This milk collector comes in 2 colors:Pink and clear. You’ll get the collector, a travel pouch, and a lid. Yes, a lid! Because you’ll never want to hear your husband say ” It’s no use crying over spilled milk” after you’ve spilled the milk you just collected.

Bumblebee Milk Saver

breastfeeding essentials

Another option for you. This milk collector also comes with a lip, cute travel pouch and a stopper to help prevent spills. Comes in 2 colors/designs for stopper and travel pouch.

Bottles for Breastfed Babies Essentials

Your breastfeeding journey is going great, baby only latches to breast and takes nothing else. And then it happens. Your husband says you’re having a date night. Well you can’t pass up this opportunity! You want to go out and get your hair and nails done, maybe shop for a new outfit. But the salon won’t allow the baby? Maybe you just want some me time. And those hours your away, reconnecting with your spouse can seem daunting.

Regardless if you’re going out for a night, going back to work, or just need to get away for a few hours, your baby still needs to eat. The problem parents run into is that their exclusively nursed baby refuses a bottle, or they worry about nipple confusion.

You’ll want a bottle that has a nipple that is slow flowing and the slope of the nipple is graduated. Here’s some great ones!

Evenflo Feeding Premium Proflo

breastfeeding essentials

These bottles are great because of its gradually sloped nipple and wide nipple base. This makes it easier for baby to latch on as if they were latching on. to a breast. What I also love about these? They’re super easy to clean!

Dr. Brown’s Breastfeeding Baby Bottles

breastfeeding essentials

This set includes 4 bottles with 2 sets of nipples. 4 preemie nipples and 4 newborn nipples. These nipples are also wide neck. to help mimic a correct latch.

Breast Pump Essentials

What you’ve been waiting for. What kind of breast pump should you buy?! It’s a difficult decision for many. You want your money’s worth and for it to do its job.

Now before you go out and buy yourself a breast pump, check with your insurance company to see if you’re able to get one through them. Many insurance companies will provide great hospital strength breast pumps at no cost to you. If you’re receiving WIC, you can also see what pumps they offer through that program.

If your insurance company cannot help with a pump, or you’re just looking for an upgrade, these options are for you! Here are my top breast pumps as well as hands free options.

Spectra S1/S2

This pump is my homie. When I say I love this darn pump, let. me tell you! The Spectra S1 is a hospital strength pump that has customizable settings and a closed system. This means that you don’t have to clean the tubing(that would be a pain in the ***).

One of the great things about this pump is, not only is it much quieter than other pumps, but it comes with an AC adapter that can recharge the battery! Yes, no more being a hostage to the wall outlet. Just carry it from room to room if need be.

The Spectra S2 has the exact same strength and specs. The only difference between the two is that the S1 has a rechargeable battery whereas the S2 does not, which makes it a little bit cheaper. Either way you go, you’re in good hands.

Another great thing about Spectra pumps is that they have a variety of different flange sizes available. They understand that breasts and nipples come in all different sizes and that they are not a one size fits all. And why wouldn’t they understand? This company is owned and run by registered nurses, lactation consultants, and mamas!

BabyBuddha Portable and Compact Breast Pump

breastfeeding essentials

The BabyBuddah breast pump is small, compact, and portable! The motor is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. It comes with a lanyard to wear around your neck, the tubing, flanges and bottles to pump into. What moms love about this pump, besides being small and compact, is that it’s so quiet! Don’t forget your hands free pumping bra!

Elvie Wearable Breast Pump

breastfeeding essentials

This is one of two top contenders for wearable breast pumps. The Elvie breast pump can be placed in your bra and controlled though your phone app. Discreet enough that you can pump while sitting at your office desk, in a meeting, or walking around shopping. There are no cables to get tangled in and you can track your pump history through the app!

Willow Wearable Breast Pump

breastfeeding essentials

Similar to the Elvie, the Willow breast pump is also a cordless breast pump that can be worn inside your bra. The Willow system also comes with an app download to control your pump and view history. The no spill technology allows you to pump in many positions, even lying down!

Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump

Lets face it. Sometimes you may be in a situation where there’s no outlets available. Or maybe you don’t want to lug around a big pump everywhere you go. Maybe you just don’t want to spend a lot of money on a pump. Manual pumps are where it’s at. As a matter of fact, many moms prefer the manual breast pumps over the electric ones!. Most recommended is the Lansinoh pump. You can slip these in your diaper bag and take it out whenever, and whereever you need it. Best part? It’s so affordable!

Organizational Breastfeeding Essentials

Ok, you’ve got all this stuff, now where the heck do you put it? How do you keep it from looking like a bunch of junk piled up in a corner, or make sure you have easy access to it. One thing you don’t want to do is have to wake up in the middle of the night to pump or grab cream or a pad, and have to search for everything. It’s frustrating. So check out this neat hack!

3-Tier Rolling Metal Storage Organizer

breastfeeding essentials

This storage organizer has been a lifesaver for me. Organize all your breastfeeding necessities in this cart, making it easy to find and access everything you need! I like to add healthy snacks to my cart so that I can easily access them while I’m nursing or pumping. What’s also great, is that the cart is on wheels, so you can roll it from room to room if you need to, and its super light weight!

FAQ About Breastfeeding Essentials

What is pace feeding?

Also known as paced bottle feeding, this is a form of feeding that allows the baby to be more in control of the pace and flow of the milk coming from the bottle. This method of feeding has the baby sitting semi upright and slows the flow of the milk, which helps the baby to drink slower. Paced feeding helps to reduce gas and overeating.

How do I get a breast pump through my insurance?

This will vary by insurance company, so it’s best to call your provider and check on their procedures. Typically, you will need a prescription from your OBGYN. Some OB offices have certain companies they use for breast pumps, or you can choose one you would like to go with. Here are a few companies that provide breast pumps through insurance:

What is a let down?

The let down is the release of your milk from the alveoli to the ducts. If you’ve read any of my recent blog posts, then you know all about oxytocin and how it triggers the let down reflex. Some moms report it feeling like a tingling feeling or pins and needles

You can read more about your let down at Healthline.

What is a Haakaa?

Haakaa is sometimes called a breast pump. I would call is a milk collector. A haakaa is placed on the breast, typically when the mom is nursing on one side and wants to collect the let down from the other as to not waste milk. You can also use it while pumping if you have a single pump. Let’s get this out there. A haakaa is NOT to replace an actual pump. This will in no way effectively or efficiently empty your breasts to keep up with the supply and demand of your baby. It is, however, a nice accessory to add to your collection to help you build up your stash

The Last Thing You Need to Know About Breastfeeding Essentials

These are just some of the most common breastfeeding essentials. Some mamas use more. Some don’t use as much. Remember, this breastfeeding journey is all about your and your baby, so what someone else does is no concern to you. You absolutely do not need to buy everything on this list, but these items are there if you need them.

And you by all means do not need to buy the same brands or items. Sometimes, you may find a brand that is a bit cheaper. I say go for it! Do what’s best for you and your baby

Do you have an item that you felt was essential for breastfeeding?Make sure to comment below and let me and the readers know why you love it!

Don’t forget to share this post if your find it helpful, and visit me on Facebook!

You may also like:

The Beginners Guide to Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Terms: A Glossary of useful terminology

Top 5 Breastfeeding Tips: All The Things I wish I knew

Pumping: Maintaining Your Milk Supply When You Return to Work

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