The ultimate one stop breastfeeding checklist for everything you’ll need to meet your breastfeeding goals with convenience and style.
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The Ultimate Breastfeeding Checklist for New Moms
I relied on many helpful accessories that made breastfeeding more comfortable and convenient for me. I’ve been asked several times to compile a list of these breastfeeding essentials, and today I’m ready to share the Ultimate Breastfeeding Checklist for New Moms! You may not need everything on the Ultimate Breastfeeding Checklist, but I hope it can be a good starting point for new moms who are looking for information about breastfeeding. I’ll describe everything I recommend below. My hope is that this list can help you feel more prepared to meet your breastfeeding goals.
The first tool I think every mom who plans on breastfeeding should invest in is breastfeeding education. I took an online on-demand breastfeeding course through Lactation Link that taught me breastfeeding basics, helped me troubleshoot breastfeeding problems, and gave me a foundation for pumping and milk storage. I can’t recommend this course highly enough.
That said, you may wish to attend an in-person breastfeeding class in your area. I attended an in-person class at the hospital where I delivered. This in-person class gave me an introduction to lactation consultants in my area and helped me to be aware of the breastfeeding services in my local community.
Breastfeeding education is worth it! This is why a breastfeeding course is the very first item on the Ultimate Breastfeeding Checklist.
The good news is that you don’t need to change your entire wardrobe to nurse your baby! I wore a combination of maternity items, my old clothing, and some strategic new additions to make my wardrobe work for breastfeeding. My advice? Wear clothing you are comfortable in that makes you feel good, even if this is transitional clothing that you’ll only be wearing for a few months.
This one and this one were my favorites. You can read more in this post that tells you what I didn’t know about nursing bras.
Some women prefer tops they can pull down (like this henley) and others, like me, prefer pulling their shirts up. I looked for tops that were loose and roomy. I suggest wearing these great camisoles underneath to keep your tummy covered.
I liked using Aden & Anais swaddles as nursing covers, but I didn’t often end up breastfeeding in public. These nursing covers from Covered Goods provide more coverage than a simple muslin swaddle. They’re stylish and receive high reviews. Covered Goods nursing covers are multi-functional and can be used as a car seat cover and a shopping cart cover, or even worn as an infinity scarf. Milk Snob makes a similar option.
Reusable Nursing Pads
When my supply evened out, I loved wearing soft reusable nursing pads by Bamboobies. I found them easy to care for and comfortable. I never had any issues with leaks whatsoever.
Disposable Nursing Pads
For the first few months, I went through TONS of disposable nursing pads. I tried several brands and liked Lansinoh best. Buy the big box so you only have to stock up once!
I was lucky to have very minimal problems with breastfeeding. I’ve had friends that needed medical attention to address pain associated with breastfeeding. I’m recommended products that worked for me as a new mom, but please know that if these strategies and products don’t work for you, you can consult your doctor and/or a lactation consultant for other helpful options.
I loved using Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Natural Nipple Butter whenever my nipples were sore. This product is non-toxic and cruelty-free. It does not contain lanolin. One of the best things about it is that you do not have to wash it off before breastfeeding, which eliminates an extra step. I think it smells great too!
I was shocked by how uncomfortable I was when my milk came in. I managed some of that pain by using these innovative hot/cold breast packs. I think traditional heating pads would work well too.
I have a friend who swears by these soothing gel pads. They’re something to try if you’re still feeling tender and have tried other pain relief methods. (Sometimes it’s all about trial and error!)
Daily Essentials for Breastfeeding
Use a nursing pillow, especially in the first few weeks. A nursing pillow is very helpful when you are trying to figure out nursing positions that work for you. I used a Boppy, but I wish I’d had this amazing option from ErgoBaby. The ErgoBaby pillow positions the baby higher up than the Boppy, which can help to prevent back pain. That said, different nursing pillows work for different moms. You may have to try a few before you find the right one.
As my sister says, you can never have too many burp cloths! When you’re breastfeeding, you’ll definitely want to keep a fresh stack nearby. I always kept a few in my diaper bag. You can read about my favorite affordable Carter’s 3-pack here, but I also used Aden & Anais burpy bibs and would love to try this set from Burt’s Bees Baby.
I wasn’t ravenous while nursing, but I did like to keep healthy snacks within reach. Some of my favorites were granola bars, dried apricots, roasted almonds, and yogurt pretzels.
My mom bought me a large water bottle and it stayed right by my side during those first few months with a new baby! This also makes a thoughtful gift.
Pumping truly deserves it’s own post (or several!), but these are some basic things you’ll need. I recommend getting a breast pump even if you think you might not need one. They’re great to have in unexpected situations and my breast pump provided some much-needed relief when I was dealing with oversupply issues.
In your third trimester, ask your doctor to write you a prescription for a double electric breast pump. You can then work with your insurance to receive a breast pump for free due to The Affordable Care Act. This was an easy and painless process. I’m so grateful that I had a breast pump. I wasn’t planning on using it immediately, but found I needed to use it within the first week postpartum.
Your pump will likely come with two bottles, but you’ll probably want more. I used these glass bottles. If you want to go a more traditional route, this affordable set from Dr. Brown’s is very popular. I’ve also heard great things about Comotomo bottles.
I’m so glad these exist! They made caring for my pump that much easier. They’re also included in my post about what you’ll need to follow the CDC’s new recommendations for cleaning breast pumps.
Steam Sanitizing Bags
These bags are a game-changer. They make it simple and painless to sanitize pump parts in the microwave. They’re inexpensive, portable, and easy to use. I can’t recommend them enough!
Another thing I needed that I didn’t think I’d need! I used a cooler bag when traveling, transporting expressed milk, and during times I was away from my baby. I’m so glad I had this.
Milk Storage Bags
I liked the Lansinoh milk storage bags because they stand up on their own and are easy to label. The other great thing about them is that they stack well in the freezer.
Extra Shields, Tubes, and Membranes
If pumping hurts, it may be because you need a larger or smaller cup size, so be sure to try different sizes. You’ll want extra tubes and membranes in case your first set becomes damaged and unusable.
Extra Long Phone Charger
You may want a long phone charger, because nursing (and pumping) can take a while. I wasn’t on my phone all the time, but it did help me feel less isolated during those days when I felt like I was nursing 24/7.
The Number of a Local Lactation Consultant
It helps to know you can call an expert if you run into some obstacles. I only called a lactation consultant once, but she was able to assure me that everything was fine, which was really the only advice I needed at the time. I’ve had friends who have had more complicated situations ranging from mastitis to tongue ties and more, and I know they appreciated having an expert supporting them.
Final Thoughts on the Ultimate Breastfeeding Checklist
I put together the Ultimate Breastfeeding Checklist because these supplies and resources helped me to make breastfeeding as convenient and comfortable for me as possible. I honestly believe that these supplies helped me to stick with it!
If my Ultimate Breastfeeding Checklist was helpful to you, please share it with your friends on Pinterest!
My name is Kate and I live in a California beach town with my husband & baby girl. At High Low Baby, I review baby products at high and low price points.
Such a great list. I felt like I was so clueless when I started breastfeeding. Going to pin this to give to my friends who will be joining team mom in the future.
Thanks Marie! Breastfeeding definitely comes with a learning curve! Yay for Team Mom!
Brittany Ferrell says
I agree with all of these! My nursing pillow was ahhhmazing to help me get in the right position while still recovering from my c-section. My pediatrician also recommended a manual breast pump. What?! Everyone nursing mom needs an automatic pump. Your selection looks fabulous. Worth every penny!
Thanks Brittany! That’s so interesting to hear about the manual pump! I know there are some benefits to hand expression but I am so grateful I had a double electric pump too!