Nursing / Feeding
- Breast Pump - This might not be a necessity for you, especially if you're not going back to work. I'd probably recommend at least getting a hand pump in case you need it. If you want a nice electric pump, definitely register for it! Good ones are expensive.
- Breast Pads - You do need these! You will likely leak milk at some point. While you could throw a burp rag in your bra, that is not as convenient when you're out and about.
- Breast Cream - You may or may not need breast cream. You're likely to get some samples along the way, though. I never needed very much, but I have tough nipples.
- Breast Milk Bags - If you're not planning to go back to work, you don't really need these. Even when I did go back to work after Sasha was born, I just used bottles. I use bags now and definitely prefer them! However, if my milk were more reliable I'd exclusively breastfeed and not need any storage at all. Its a good idea to have a few bottles on hand for storage and so that someone else can feed the baby.
- Nursing Cover - Welllll, I prefer not to wrestle with a cover, but when I do need one, a receiving blanket works just fine for me. A burp rag even works in a pinch. If you're planning to nurse in public often, though, and especially if you are... shy? modest? - you may choose to have a cover especially made for nursing mothers.
- Nursing Bra - There are lots of great ones on the market! I, however, just wear sports bras and lift them up to nurse. Suit yourself.
- Nursing Pillow - Not only do I love my Boppy cushion, I suggest having it during pregnancy, too! It was the first thing my mother bought for me when we found out we were having Sasha. When I was pregnant with Tyler as well as with Sasha, I managed to sleep on my belly by using the Boppy.
Sasha still loves "her" Boppy. She still nurses on it and lays on it to lounge, too. Is it any wonder? She's been sleeping with it (or on it) since she came home from the hospital!
- Bibs - Maybe I'm weird, but I don't like bibs. I have, however, been known to tuck a burp rag under Spencer's chin. Then I figured out which bottle / lid / nipple combo didn't leak and I don't have to do that very much any more. Bibs can be just as cute as outfits, so if you like them and plan to use them, go for it.
- Burp Rags - You can get actual burp clothes, but I think flat diapers work wonderfully as burp rags! I use them to stuff into my bra during letdown. I use them as small picnic blankets for my toddler. They are great for just about everything around the house, even wiping dust off the television. I got 3 dozen flat diapers and they have served me well for the last 2½ years. You could request some pretty burp clothes, but I'm happy with my plain, white rags. I think they're more versatile.
- Bottles - Your little one won't need bottles over the 4 ounce size for a while. If you're planning to go back to work, you might want a variety, though. I'd say 3-6 bottles should be fine if you have a perfect breastfeeding relationship.
- Nipples - I personally just wanted to get slow nipples and figured on getting the next step up when we are ready for it. I was very picky about what kind of nipple I wanted to use with my girls, but Sasha didn't like the nipple I chose. My advice here is not to stock up a ton on any one type of nipple. Get a 2-pack or two and see how well it is received.
- Bottle Warmer - I've never used one of these. This is a total luxury. I don't know much about them. Suit yourself, but I just set a bag or bottle into a cup of hot water. I do run hot water on low over the bottle, too, so maybe a warmer would be "greener," but its hard to say with the electricity you would use. One thing, though, the warmer isn't exactly portable. I can get hot water anywhere.
- Bottle Sterilizer - Ummm, I call it a dishwasher. hahaha
- Bottle Drying Rack - Once again, I figure they can sit in the dishwasher rack to dry. I often set them on a towel to finish drying.
- Bottle Brush - Register for this. It is a nice, low-end item and you will use it. Even if you have a sterilizer (I don't know how long they take), you're likely to want to wash a bottle out at some point. Nothing else works like a bottle brush. Plus, they come with a nipple brush. I know people that keep these around even if they don't have babies in the house!
- Dishwasher Caddy - These are my weakness! There are some cute ones out there. Depending on your breastpump, you may need one of those mesh ones. Medela pumps use a tiny thin plastic membrane that will fall through anything else. I actually have a large plastic dishwasher caddy that will fit my larger pump parts (including breast shields) as well as the small mesh one which can actually fit a lot of other things.
- Insulated Tote - I have several of these and every one of them came free from formula companies. I got them either through my OB/Gyn or the Hospital. I wouldn't buy one.
- Formula Dispenser - Well if you're reading my blog then you know I'm a bit of a Lactivist or at least a breastfeeding mom. If you feed from the breast, you don't need formula, you certainly won't need a formula dispenser!
- Pacifiers - This is personal preference, too. I never plan to use pacifiers, then later I wind up with them. Then my girls refused them anyway. A NICU nurse introduced a pacifier to soothe him when I wasn't there. I couldn't argue that.
- Pacifier Holder - I see it as luxury, especially when pacifiers aren't a necessity, either. Still, suit yourself on this one.
This bit seemed long enough. That means there will be at least one more post, possibly two. I hope you've enjoyed the series and it hasn't bored you. I'm back on board now, but was losing interest in the middle... probably because my baby had actually arrived!
I'd love to know which of these particular items you feel you truly "must have."
Let me know if you have a Monday Minimalist post and I'll share it on my blog.
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