Check out the best items to add to your breastfeeding basket while you’re preparing to nurse your baby! From lactation drops to breast therapy packs, you’ll find the best products to keep on hand to maintain your milk supply and soothe sore breasts while you pump and nurse.
Anyone who’s breastfed will tell you it’s extremely time consuming. It pretty much takes over your life for as long as you’re doing it. No matter how you feel about women sharing photos online of their breastfeeding journey, it’s at least easy to understand why they feel so proud of their accomplishments when it comes to nursing.
One of the hardest things about breastfeeding is adjusting to the fact that everything you do revolves around your milk production, especially in the first couple of months while your supply is regulating. It’s extremely important not to skip too many pumping or nursing sessions during these first weeks, or you’re setting yourself up to struggle with supply issues down the road.
Taking a simple trip to the grocery store down the road has to be planned way in advance, and you can bet you won’t actually be able to leave for about an hour or two after your planned time if you’re nursing straight from the breast.
It’s as if our newborns know we have things to do, and it triggers them to cluster feed like crazy.
Don’t ask me how they know. They just do!
What is a Breastfeeding Basket?
A nursing basket is a collection of breastfeeding and pumping items kept together and organized in a basket or caddy, preferably with compartments. It’s one of the top things I recommend new moms do when they’re preparing to breastfeed before their baby comes, or when they’re getting their house ready for their newborn.
The idea behind it is simple – you’re able to keep all of the items you need for breastfeeding in one convenient place. You might create a nursing station in the nursery or next to your bed. If you’re on your second, third, or fourth baby, it might travel around the house with you, because honestly, we all know you’re not going to be able to have a quiet, comfortable place to sit and nurse. You’ll always be on the move.
That’s exactly why I chose to use this specific diaper caddy, because it has handles, and it’s super lightweight! I can easily move it from room to room as I need. And because my son is an inquisitive toddler, I need to be able to keep it out of reach in between sessions.
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Breastfeeding Basket Essentials
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Here’s What I Keep In My Breastfeeding Basket:
- A basket with different compartments (this is the one I have)
- Nursing Pads
- Nipple Balm
- Haakaa (These are amazing! They catch all of the milk that comes out of the breast your baby is not nursing from, that would otherwise be wasted. The suction makes them hands-free, and super convenient.)
- Reusable Water Bottle (I love this one. Seriously, how cute is that?)
- Lactation Support Drops (always be aware that different people respond differently to fenugreek and blessed thistle.)
- A Book or Magazine
- Burp Cloths
- Wipes (I put mine in one of these)
- Lactation Snacks (I’m in LOVE with Macadamia Mama Lactation Granola)
- Soothie Gel Pads
- Breast Therapy Packs (you’ll have to heat or freeze them, but you should still keep them close)
- Breast Milk Bags
- Extra Pump Parts (these are for the Medela)
- Manual Pump (I love the Lansinoh manual pump, and the Medela)
- Bottles & Lids
- Hands-Free Bra
Some Other Breastfeeding Must-Haves:
A Closer Look at Some of My Favorite Breastfeeding Items
This post is not sponsored! There are just a few brands that I recommend purchasing from because they’re tried and true. In fact, I’ve tried some different brands and been disappointed in the quality compared to these.
I believe the first brand of reusable nursing pads I used were by Medela, and I could be wrong, but I remember them being very thin and small. Both sides were the same material, and I leaked through to my shirt on more than one occasion.
I was convinced that was just going to be my life this time around. That no matter what brand, reusable or disposable, I was destined to stain most of my shirts in the first few weeks of my second baby’s life.
Thank goodness I decided to try this brand! I’m never going back to Medela when it comes to nursing pads. And I don’t recommend disposable, either. Who wants to spend money on new nursing pads all the time?
These are THICK. They’re big and absorbent, and the side that touches your bra is made to keep the milk from soaking through and becoming visible. Not once since I’ve been wearing these have I even felt like I soaked through one of them. If it weren’t for the painful feeling of a letdown coming on, I probably wouldn’t even know I was leaking at all.
This brand of nipple butter is hands down my favorite storebought brand of nipple cream. Cracked, dry nipples are pretty much unavoidable while breastfeeding, and this stuff moisturizes and eases the pain! And, as you would expect, yes it’s safe to nurse after application.
These. Are. Lifesavers. Seriously, I don’t know what I’d do without them. There are few things more uncomfortable than when your milk first comes in. You’re still sore from birth, your baby probably still kinda sucks at breastfeeding, so every session is a struggle. And to top it all off your breasts triple in size over the course of a few hours and you’re left with lumpy, rock hard boulders attached to your chest.
Yeah, it’s not fun.
Can you tell I literally just went through this for the second time a week ago? It’s still fresh on my mind. Oh, the pain!
These breast therapy packs were amazing for relieving the soreness and pressure. You can freeze them, or heat them in the microwave, which actually stimulates better letdowns!
You can place them in your bra for a bit, or even snap them around the outside of your flanges for relief while you pump. You may not need these for more than a couple of months, and occasionally when you experience a clogged duct, but it is 100% worth it. They’re not terribly expensive either.
Motherlove lactation drops work wonderfully for me! Let There Be Milk is another brand that works SUPER well, but they’re sold out on Amazon almost all the time.
Keep in mind that every woman responds differently to supplements, especially fenugreek. It was once regarded as the ultimate milk supply booster, but in recent years it’s been found to actually lower some ladies’ supplies.
Don’t be afraid to try it though! I just wanted to make sure I mentioned it since many women don’t know. If you notice a dip in your supply after one or two uses, simply stop using it and all should be well.
I didn’t think there would be a huge difference between the Haakaa brand and another silicone milk catcher/breast “pump,” but lo and behold, there is! At least, there was for me.
I once ordered an off-brand Haakaa. It was the same shape and size, and it seemed like it would do the same job, more or less. But, for the life of me, I couldn’t get it to stay on my breast! It would pop off almost immediately, every time!
After many frustrating attempts, I decided to give the true Haakaa a try because everyone rants and raves about them, and the experience was 1000 times better. Sure, they still take some practice to master, but it was actually doable with the true brand name version!
Okay, to be fair, this is the only brand of lactation granola that I’ve tried. But holy moly, it’s GOOD. Like, truly delicious. I have to pace myself or I’ll blow through the whole bag in a week or two.
If you ever feel like giving a lactation snack a try, I can’t recommend this stuff enough!
I’ve used a variety of different brands, and Lansinoh has never let me down. Their breast milk bags have never leaked on me, and their measurements are closer to the true number of oz than other brands are. They’re always a little bit off, which is why I recommend measuring the amount of milk in a bottle before pouring into a storage bag, but they’re at least a little closer to the actual amount.
Best of all though, they’ve never exploded or leaked on me. Not even once! I love Medela products, but their bags have disappointed me before. They seem to be a bit hit or miss.
Are You Struggling With Milk Supply?
Or maybe you’re worried about how you can set yourself up for a wonderful, easy-peasy breastfeeding relationship with your new baby. Either way, I always recommend new (and seasoned moms) check out the Ultimate Breastfeeding Course by Milkology!
It’s an easy step-by-step program that goes over the ins-and-outs of breastfeeding.
Here are just a few things this class will cover:
- The biggest mistake women make that can sabotage breastfeeding.
- The most effective breastfeeding position to get a deep latch.
- 2 simple ways to ensure baby is getting enough milk.
- A powerful strategy to make more milk whenever you need to.
There’s even an Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class for working mamas!
How do you keep your breastfeeding and pumping items organized? Are there any products that you swear by? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!
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