As you prepare for your little one’s arrival, you might want to consider registering for gifts and supplies for your new baby. It’s overwhelming! Target gives you a scanner and lets you wander the store, Walmart is done online, and then the stores that actually give you any of their specialized attention send you out with lists of hundreds of “must have” items. In my “simplify” series, I’ll let you know what is actually necessary depending on what your plans are.
Let’s get started!
*I’m planning to exclusively breastfeed. Do I really need a pump, a dozen bottles, eight pacifiers, two nursing covers, and all the other stuff on this list?!*
Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months is recommended. Exclusive “from-the-breast” feeding really cuts down on the amount of stuff you need. If you want to exclusively nurse, there’s probably no need for any artificial nipple, be it on a bottle or a dummy/binky. You also probably won’t need a pump unless you’re planning to donate breast milk to other babies or if you feel better having an emergency stash on hand. So what do you need?
A comfortable chair
Think a recliner in a room you don’t mind spending a ton of time in. Laid back breastfeeding is so much easier and more comfortable than the cross cradle hold, and it’s actually been shown to help baby latch better. It also removes the need for a nursing pillow (at least partially).
You may leak a little in the beginning and then not at all, or you might end up with leaking for the duration of your breastfeeding experience (to give you scale, I’m still leaking on occasion and my “baby” is 18 months old– but my friend never leaked). It’s good to at least register for these. If you don’t open the box, you can usually return them
While breastfeeding shouldn’t be excruciating, it can be extremely uncomfortable in the early weeks. It’s a sensation your body has never experienced before, and it definitely takes some getting used to. Lanolin can help soothe the soreness, or at least help your nursing pads/brass not aggravate your already sore nipples.
Nursing bras and tank tops really help out, especially if you have larger breasts– or larger breasts than you had before! With a pretty easy to use flap, you can quickly and easily respond to baby’s hunger cues.
A nursing cover
IF you want to cover. I didn’t have one with my first, and used my hoodie on the occasions I’d prefer to be covered. I did have one with my second and used it for about a month while we worked on fixing her latch, then lost it somewhere in the bottom of the diaper bag.
A baby carrier
Skin to skin has wonderful benefits for both mother and baby. In the early weeks, mom’s skin will actually change temperatures to help keep baby at optimal temperature. It also helps keep oxytocin flowing, which helps with binding and with mom ejection reflex (letdown), not to mention how convenient and discreet nursing in a carrier can be. Best of all, it’s extra soothing for baby to be carried close to your heart, keeps baby in an upright position (which can reduce reflux), and keeps baby a bit father from strangers’ touches.
These can serve two very important functions for a nursing mother. The first is to catch overactive letdown. Baby most likely can’t swallow it if you have a strong letdown (imagine trying to drink water from a fire hose), and even if he/she does manage to drink it all, there will be tummy upset and spit up. The second use is to clean up the spit up!
I would love to hear from you! What nursing necessities could you not live without?
Don’t forget to like me on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/notreblemotherhood/