1) A Cover
I like both the nursing apron, which feels most free, and the canopy covers, which can double up in usage. They both come in handy for different reasons and you might find you prefer the ease or discretion of one over another. Either way, the canopy comes in super handy for car seats even if you don’t use it for nursing! The apron has its own advantages in flexibility. The canopy was always my go-to for traveling instead of bringing both!
2) Nipple Butter
There are a bunch of different options for nursing/nipple creams but by far my favorite, favorite, favorite is Earth Mama’s. It works for both pumping and nursing – as well as chapped lips or skin! My babies both got ‘nursing lips’ and it worked like a charm on that too! You can find other awesome options here.
3) Great Nursing Shirts
It is important to be comfortable and feel like you can nurse or pump whenever you need! The first few weeks and months are all about finding your rhyme and it is a full on balancing act. The last thing you need to do is worry about finding out the clothing you are wearing doesn’t easily allow for nursing or pumping when you need it most. Try working a few nursing shirts in your wardrobe to ease that hassle. BabyEarth has a bunch or find some secondhand from ThredUp!
4) Nursing Pads
You will likely need nursing pads if you nurse or pump! There is often a leakage problem – and always at the wrong time! You can have both reusable and disposable ones on hand for different outfits and occasions. Find them on Baby Earth or Amazon.
5) Nursing Bra/Pumping Bra
I am a big proponent of wearing undergarments suited for pumping and nursing around the clock – since that feels like it’s the case. I absolutely hated having to change my bra just to pump (especially at work!)! I highly recommend these pumping bras if you are both going to pump and nurse since they solve both. Or, these for just nursing.
6) Charging Station
I don’t know about everyone else, but when I had my first baby, I wore out my iPad and iPhone on a very regular basis. There is so much pumping, nursing, sitting around, washing up, rocking, holding, crying time. I needed a charger in every room and hated fumbling around in the middle of the night in search of a USB cord. Having a charging station (or this one!!) and extra chargers around is helpful!
7) Bouncy Chair
This one might seem like it is for baby, but it’s not. It’s for you, Mama. Having somewhere to safely place baby after a feeding where they can be at an incline for digestion is super key! It gives you a moment to get yourself back together, put away pumping or nursing gear, and breath before the burping, holding, rocking and snuggling commence again. Quite frankly, after I had my second baby, I had to buy ANOTHER ‘baby holder’ just to have them in multiple places throughout the house! I need my hands! You never have enough hands!
It’s nice to have a fancy one for your main uses, but it’s not necessary – especially for your spares. We have this one that is super lightweight and easy to carry around the house, in addition to our ‘fancier’ one.
8) A Tote for All the Gear
Having a good bag for all your pumping stuff helps so much – even just for moving around the house! Sometimes I would need to pump in the living room, my room or the baby’s room. The closet. The bathroom. In the car. Ooof, the fun of it all. Being able to throw all my stuff together in a bag was way better than fumbling up the stairs carrying a handful of supplies and gear!
Once I was back at work, having a tote bag for all the pump stuff was super key – as well as a cold bottle bag for that milk! Baby Earth and LuLu’s also has a bunch of options of regular totes and bags that suit the situation just right!
9) Car Charger
For a few bucks, you have your pump on the go in the car! If you’re breast pump doesn’t already come with batteries (or you feel like you get a stronger suction from a plug-in charge) – consider a to-go charger. I often brought my nursing cover (apron style) in the car to pump as the passenger, I found being the driver was too complex (though I have plenty of friends who were pros).
10) A Bottle Pack
These double bottle totes are divine. We used them for ready-to-feed bottles for breastmilk in transport, and even for just keeping waters and snacks cool when out and about. I use them to this day for my toddler when he goes to preschool, it is the perfect shape and size to carry snacks to school in his little backpack!