Breastfeeding is a wonderful, beautiful thing. I hated it when I started out with Bug, but now I love nursing-and still am at 23 months.
This time, I’m so ready to nurse a newborn again-and one of those ways I’ve getting ready is putting together a breastfeeding basket, used especially for nighttime nursing. With Bug, I thought I would be able to nurse him then put him back to sleep right away. I didn’t take into consideration how boring it is to be awake for hours at 1am nor did I realize I would want so much while being held captive by a two week old.
If you’re going to nurse or try to nurse your new baby, take it from me-put together a breastfeeding basket! What am I going to have in mine?
My Breastfeeding Basket!
- Snacks and water. The whole idea you’re eating for two while pregnant? I do not think I have ever eaten more than those first few months breast feeding. Your body is working just producing milk. While I get you may want to get to your pre-pregnancy body, give yourself a break for a few months. Keep a bunch of high calorie, healthy snacks in your basket! My favorites are nuts, fruits, and shamelessly? Peanut butter from the jar! I also keep water on hand; your body will use a lot of water making milk and you need to make sure you drink enough to compensate for that. I use a water bottle I fill a few times throughout the day/night and enjoy to throw in frozen fruits for the sugar boost as well as the flavor. I also keep sleepytime tea in my basket. Personally, I have a hard time falling asleep without the consistent awakening for nursing. SleepyTime tea is one of my favorite natural sleep aids and one I feel safe using while caring for a newborn.
- Journal and pens. I love colored pens. And I love to journal. I often got stuck underneath a sleeping baby and couldn’t get up as quickly as I wanted. In that time, a lot of thoughts came to my head for writing. I wanted to remember every single moment with Bug as well. A journal can give you a chance to write while you’re sitting there.
- A book! Reading is so nice to do while nursing. It also allows me the chance to catch up on the reading I miss out on with the other kids, because a newborn doesn’t want to talk to me the whole time.
- Nursing pads and nipple cream. I don’t tell you this to scare you away from nursing, but because I think being aware is important when you make the choice to continue to breastfeed. I cracked my nipples and had a lot of pain the first month or two of nursing. I personally used a lanolin cream and loved it. Nipple cream right there to put on your nipple and let it air out is so helpful. And breast pads to stop leakage! I have never leaked, but I may someday. (These are not pictured because I have not gotten them out of storage yet! I previously has made my own nursing pads and plan to continue to use those-if I can find them in our basement!)
- Hair ties. Long hair, don’t care? That was me until Bug was pulling it out every chance he got. My hair spent more time in a high bun than any other style. (It still does!) Having hair ties in your basket can help you in case you forget it.
- Phone Charger and Earbuds. My phone is a life saver while nursing. Yes, it’s a beautiful bonding time, but after you’ve done it almost 50 hours in a week, you’re going to need something to do with your hands. I try not to always choose my phone, but have an extra charger on hand just in case you kill the battery. I also choose to keep my earbuds in there in case I find something on my phone I want to watch but I am afraid of waking the baby up.
- Burp cloths. Burp cloths are great for burping, but they are also awesome for wiping down the babes face when they unlatch or fall asleep at the breast. That’s when the most amount of milk came out on me and poor Bug was often covered in it. You also don’t want to have spit up going down your back.
- Nursing necklace. I didn’t get one of these last time and I truly regret it. Bug was a hand player and he played with my hair, my clothes, pinching and such. I have scars left over from Bug scratching me. So I am trying out a few different necklaces this time around to see which is my favorite. (If you’re looking for anything to get us, we would love to see which is the best nursing necklace!)
- Boppy Pillow. I love my boppy. I used it consistently for Bug and I cannot wait to use it again. Bellows babies are big babies and it helped me support them for longer time periods while feeding.
- A remote for your television and something to watch! Late night TV is the absolute worst. I attempted to make it through with just cable last time and that was a mistake. This time, I’ve talked Josh into getting Netflix for those late nights I can’t bring myself to do anything more than veg out in front of a series. If that’s not an option, there are free shows on Hulu or you could get a library card! Most public libraries now have movies and shows.
- Blanket! My final suggestion is something you may not need, depending on the time of year you have your baby. Both my breastfed kids were to be born in March and up here in the Berkshires, that’s a cold time! I like to nurse in just a tank top personally, so I used a blanket over my shoulders…and honestly the second over my legs! It makes for easy access to the mama’s milk for baby but it also keeps mama warm. Obviously if you’re nursing in Florida, mid August, this is less necessary, but for us it’s a total necessity.
Also in my basket are some knitting needles. I didn’t quite get the hang of nursing knitting last time and they quickly were discarded, but I’m willing to give them another whirl.
Other experienced mamas out there, what’s in your nursing basket? Do you have a nursing basket?