In case you missed Part I in the series, here are my recommendations for nursery furniture.
The First Born, Fred Elwell 1913
Buying gear for nursing and feeding ahead of time is tricky because it’s hard to know, especially for a first time mom, what you and your baby will like. For that reason, I would avoid buying a lot of anything beforehand, or if you do buy it, don’t open it all in case you need to return it. Here are some of the items that worked for our family. Again, I’ve labelled the items as Buy It, Borrow It, or Believe Me, You Don’t Need It.
Bottles – BUY IT
Bottles are a prime example of a time when babies prefer different types. I registered for Thinkbaby bottles because that’s what the lady in Giggle recommended, but Nolan couldn’t suck from them. There is nothing wrong with that brand, my friend’s baby loves them. The lesson is don’t go crazy opening and sterilizing a bunch of bottles (like I did) until you see what your baby likes. A quick search on Amazon revealed that Dr. Brown’s seem to be the crowd favorite and they worked for us as well. I used the plastic ones with Nolan, next time around I may try the glass.
Solid Food Supplies – BUY IT sparingly
At around six months, your baby will probably be ready to try solid food. Your pediatrician might say four months and he or she is wrong, but that’s just my (and the American Academy of Pediatrics’) opinion. If you plan on making your child’s baby food, just remember that eating nothing but purees is a pretty brief period so it’s not worth spending a ton of money or kitchen space on babyfood making products. A blender or food processor and cheap vegetable steamer get the job done.
Nursing Pillow – BUY IT and BORROW IT
The two nursing pillow favorites seem to be the Boppy and My Brest Friend. For newborns, the My Brest Friend is great. It is very firm and creates a stable shelf-like surface for your baby to nurse. After a few months however, it becomes unnecessary and it’s kind of a pain to get on and off. It’s also an even bigger pain to remove and replace the cover, which you’ll do fairly often when your baby is spitting up/peeing/poop-sploding on it on a regular basis. The Boppy is great for after the newborn phase and makes a lovely pillow for you. It’s soft and squishy and I still love snuggling with it. My recommendation is buy the Boppy and borrow the My Brest Friend.
My Brest Friend
Breast Pump – BUY IT
If you’re breastfeeding and plan on leaving your house without your baby, you will need a breast pump. A good one is expensive but it’s absolutely necessary. Go with a Medela.
Nursing bras and tanks – BUY IT
Depending on how boobalicious you are, you might be able to get away with comfy camisoles most of the time. Before having a baby I thought I’d be worried about exposing a boob in public. Ha! The boob is easy to cover up, it’s your stomach you’ll really want to cover. Camisoles solve that problem because the front comes down to nurse and no belly is exposed. Win-win. Go with one that’s mostly cotton. I had one that was a bunch of synthetic fabrics and it made me want to claw my eyes out. I bought many of my favorite bras and tanks at Target.
Nursing Cover – BELIEVE ME, YOU DON’T NEED IT (sort of)
Use an Aden and Anais blanket instead (tie two ends to make a neckhole). It’s thin and breathable and offers more coverage than a nursing cover.
Other Breast Feeding Stuff – Send your husband and/or mom out to BUY IT when you figure out what you need
You may need nipple shields if your baby has trouble latching, nursing pads for leaking (heads up: that doesn’t last forever!) and other fun (sarcasm) stuff.
The most important thing you’ll need for breastfeeding is SUPPORT!!!
Even though I read a lot ahead of time and spoke with a lactation consultant, once the baby was actually here I felt completely clueless. There was one lactation consultant for all of Winthrop Hospital and she could barely squeeze me in for ten minutes. Nolan wasn’t latching on one side and because her time was so limited, she pretty much just shrugged her shoulders and said, “Ok, well good luck.”
If you have people in your family or close friends who breastfed, they can be invaluable help. Don’t be shy. Boobs are boobs. Prior to giving birth, make contact with a lactation consultant so that you can quickly make an appointment at home if you need it. There are tons of breastfeeding support groups and again, try to gather the information on them before you give birth.
My dear friend Liz gave me this book and it was extremely helpful in the first few months.
Ok, so what am I missing? What feeding items did you find most or least helpful?