Happy World Breastfeeding Week!
Remember when I told you how interesting the first 5 days of breastfeeding are? I wasn’t joking. It’s a roller coaster of emotions and adjustments and you’re literally just trying to keep your head above water. As with any situation that breeds chaos, your best offense is a good defense and that means being prepared.
Can we just have a moment for the fact that I could not figure out how to start this post and then Papa Bear put on The Water Boy and suddenly I come up with ‘your best offense is a good defense’. So sad!
There is nothing worse than nursing a baby and then realizing you forgot something. What would have made my life 10x easier was having everything in one place all the time. The great thing about this ultimate breastfeeding basket is that it doubles as an amazing baby shower gift (even for the non-breastfeeding mama). It includes everything you need to tackle the late-night feedings.
Please note that many of the links in this guide are affiliate links. This means that if you purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission that helps support my blog and the bear cubs (your price remains the same).
The Ultimate Breastfeeding Basket:
These are all of the items I like to have handy at any given moment. The difference between this ultimate basket and others I’ve seen is that I don’t have separate baskets to my diaper station vs. breastfeeding station vs. ‘entertainment’ station vs. ‘I like to have baskets for no reason’ station.
I don’t separate diaper vs. feeding items because usually when I’m nursing, I change the baby either before or after so I like to have them in the same space.
Cold Medicine: Babies get sick and I like to have things on hand when I need them. We use Coryzalia for our little ones as soon as they pass the 1 month mark. Usually we let them just ride it out since they can’t take anything but I’m always a fine of Boiron products. We even use the Stoddal for our 4-year-old.
Water: The thirst is real! Ideally you should be drinking every time you sit down to breastfeed. It’s very easy to dehydrate when you’re focused on trying to keep your tiny human alive.
Lotion: If you’re like me, you’re always washing your hands so you’ll need some lotion to keep your hands from cracking.
Nipple Balm: OMG invest in the nipple balm! I had cracked nipples with all 3 kids (Aggressasaurus Rex’s). In between feedings, I nursed, applied breast milk to my nipples and then put nipple balm on. It was a life saver.
Lactation Tea: Not everyone produces tons of milk so having a lactation tea can help things along. Why do I keep it in my breastfeeding kit? Because usually my husband will ask me what I want and if I ask him for something that he can’t find both of us will end up frustrated. This way, I just say “go look in the basket” and he can find it and get me my ‘cuppa tea’
Coconut Water: A lot of doctors recommend an electrolyte sports drink for nursing moms. From a nutrition stand point, sports drinks are pointless. If you’re looking for a drink to help re-hydrate you and balance your electrolytes, try natural coconut water. I love the Taste Nirvana brand because the only ingredient is coconut water.
Diapers & Wipes: I always change my kids right before or right after a nursing session so I like to have diapers and wipes on hand at all times. I carry diapers and wipes everywhere… they’re stuffed in my glove compartment, in my adult purse, in the top drawer in my room… poops happen EVERYWHERE!
Chocolate: ….uh because chocolate! Pick your favourite and enjoy.
Colic Meds: This is another one that was personal preference but if you have a baby with colic, having these on hand saves everyone a headache.
Snacks: Breastfeeding cravings are ridiculous! Just when you think you’re in the clear, you start nursing and want to eat all the food… especially the bad food! Have healthy snacks on hand to keep your blood sugar stable and give you energy throughout the day. I go for raw cashews!
Breast Pads: I prefer reusable breast pads but disposable ones work just as well. Most women use them just to stop leakage but, my trick for sore breasts is to put a pea sized amount of nipple cream on the breast pad and stick them on like pasties. Your nipples will feel better so much faster!
Oils: I am obsessed with oils! I’ve even got my husband hooked and we are convinced there is an oil for everything. I’ve tried them all but we ultimately settled on Eden’s Garden for our oils. They literally got me through Baby Bear’s labour and delivery. We use the lavender for all the kids to promote healthy sleep, I use the Headease blend for my postpartum headaches, and tea tree is just a personal favourite. If you’re going to use oils, make sure you have done your research and know how to safely use them for you and your family.
Face Wipes: Sometimes you just feel gross. The 4th trimester is full of fluids… like way too many fluids and grossness. It helps to have face wipes for a quick refresh when you’re stuck in the rocker or on the couch.
Blankets: Receiving blankets are used for everything in my house – burp cloth, swaddle, floor wipe for spills, changing pad, headband (seriously!). You can find my favourites here.
Diaper Rash Cream: Self explanatory!
Lip Balm: This goes hand in hand with my dryness comment. You shed so much water in the postpartum period so you’ll probably find your lips extra dry. I use mine often.
Face Cloth: You can never have enough face cloths. I use mine usually to wipe up the breast milk that usually hangs out on the side of their mouth when they fall asleep nursing.
Extra Onesie (or 5): Always, always, always have a change of clothes at your disposal. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a diaper blowout right after a feeding or puke fest happen during a burp session.
Items not photographed but necessary:
- Headband and hair ties: Ever wonder why a short haircut and the top knot are considered ‘mom’ hairstyles? They’re away and out of your face. Hair becomes so annoying after you have a kid. I straightened mine for the first time in months today and it’s already in a bun!
- Phone: I’d love to pretend I have the mental stamina to read a book while nursing but usually I’m working or surfing Instagram. My other favourite past time is listening to books on Audible. I have blown through many a book during my late night nursing sessions.
- Nursing Pillow: We fight over the nursing pillow in our house. The kids love it, my husband uses it as a back rest, I use it as a laptop prop, and it’s of course used for its intended purpose. We’ve had our Boppy for 4 years and it’s still going strong 3 kids later!
What were your must have items when you were up for late night feedings with your little one?