I’ve been a mom for almost two months. They said around this point, I’ll start to know different cries, and what they mean. So far I’ve mastered one cry – the hangry cry. It’s a cry that no pacifier, smooches, or rocking will fix. Like his parents, when my kid is hungry, he means business.
We were asked by several people – family, friends, daycares, doctors – leading up to his delivery how we were planning on feeding our child. I planned on breastfeeding, but always gave a caveat. I remember telling daycare that we would try it and see how it goes. During our breastfeeding class (yes, that’s a thing, because it’s much harder than you’d imagine), we each spoke about how long we were going to try to breastfeed for, when we were planning on introducing bottles, when we were going to pump for the first time.
And then my son decided to show up 4 weeks early, made a trip to the NICU, and everything I thought I was going to do went out the window. Welcome to parenthood.
Under doctor’s orders, we’ve had a variety of feeding plans over the last 8 weeks. We’ve exclusively breastfed, supplementing with pumped milk. We’ve breastfed and supplemented with formula at every feed on a rigorous schedule to make sure this guy maintained his weight. We’re now breastfeeding on-demand (aka, on his schedule), plus supplementing a few times a night with formula to make sure his weight doesn’t slip again. And in my spare time, I pump twice a day so I can one day have my Saturday night be more exciting than me looking forward to ordering in a pizza (true story).
If you are pregnant, have a newborn, or know someone expecting a child, here are my tried and true newborn feeding must-haves!
Laura’s List of Newborn Feeding Must-Haves
I surveyed 3 of my friends the moment our son was born and asked what apps were must haves. Everyone came back with Feed Baby. With this app, you can track what’s going on with your child. We use it to log when he pees, when he poops, when he’s been fed (for how long, which breast, if a bottle), and now that he’s awake longer, when he naps. You and your partner can each have an account that synchronizes (the downside is you both have to pay for the app) but it’s been nice so we can each log what he does, depending on who is taking care of him. The app is available for iOS and Android.
My Brest Friend
I realized that I spend between 3.5 – 4 hours feeding this little monster. That’s a long time to hold a baby. Thankfully a friend let me borrow her My Brest Friend pillow. Unlike a boppy which I registered for, this pillow is firm and latches around your waist. I’m able to plop my child on the pillow and he can easily have access to food without strain on my arms. By having the pillow latch around my waist, I didn’t have to worry about the pillow slipping, or our little guy rolling into the space between me and the pillow, like I did at the hospital when I was relying on just a pillow to prop him up. If you choose to order one, I recommend getting a second cover as your child may get sick on it, or putting a cloth underneath him before feeding. Note, I’m using the Brest Friend pillow in my photo at the top of this post.
And as for the boppy, we’ve been using that to help prop my child up for his weekly photos and it will be great for tummy time!
Unfortunately, if you have a c-section, this pillow can be very uncomfortable, so you may want to wait to take it out of the packaging until you are home.
goodbody goodmommy Nursing Cover and Cardigan
I’m still getting used to breastfeeding, let alone feeding my child in public or in front of family and friends. But that’s why I like the goodbody goodmommy nursing cover and cardigan, a brand started by two women, a mom and a midwife. This cardigan is stylish and can be incorporated as part of your everyday outfit. When I went to the doctor with my son last week, I wore this cardigan over a shirt, just in case he needed to eat. I was able to whip out my boob, feed him, all while being covered up. The best part was this cardigan just looked like a regular part of my outfit, and didn’t scream nursing cover. I didn’t even have to go into the diaper bag to dig it out since I was wearing it. Plus, I’ll still be able to wear it well after I stop nursing! Note, I’m wearing my cardigan in my photo at the top of this post.
Kindred Bravely Nursing Pads
The one thing that has surprised me since having a little one is how much laundry we do. I must do a load of laundry every other day or so. And if you are doing a ton of laundry, you might as well have reusable nursing pads. My best friend sent me a package of nursing essentials, and these have been my favorite so far – I wear them in a nursing tank top every day. I love the soft feel of them and their absorbency. To be honest, I have seen the outline of them through some of my shirts, but it is winter and if guests are over, I’m usually in a sweater so they aren’t as easily seen. For around the house – which is what I feel like you do with a newborn – they are perfect.
Breast Pump and Milk Storage Bags
When it comes to ordering a breast pump, to be honest, I didn’t do any research. Instead, my research was more with my insurance company about where I could order a pump from. With my insurance, my pump was free. The insurance company provided the names of a few medical supply shops I could visit, but I barely wanted to get off my couch when I was pregnant, let alone go to the store. That’s why I was thankful to find Yummy Mummy. I was able to pick out my pump online and have it shipped to my door. From a friend’s recommendation, I went with the Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced Starter Set. I’m glad I chose this brand because it is the same brand that my hospital used. I ended up pumping at the hospital, and because I had the same brand at home, I was able to bring all the supplies I used home and make use of them.
Depending on your insurance, you can sometimes order your pump early. I had to use mine immediately when I got home as we were supplementing our son with pumped breast milk, so you may want to consider ordering yours two months early if you can, just in case your baby arrives ahead of schedule.
With a wedding coming up in a few weeks, I’ve been pumping so I can enjoy our night out. I’m freezing milk in the NUK Seal N Go Breastmilk Bags. I like these because there is a double zipper and the way the bag is shaped makes it easy for me to pour the milk in (no spills!). I’ve been laying these flat in the freezer to freeze so I can build up my stash!
NUK® Simply Natural™ Bottles
Early on when I learned we were going to have to supplement him, I was worried about that transition from breast to bottle. Let me put it out there – breastfeeding is hard. You have to pretty much torture your kid in the beginning to get them to eat – blow on their face, tickle their feet – and I was hoping by giving him a bottle, I wasn’t going to undo all this hard work. Luckily, the NUK Simply Natural Bottle is designed with mom in mind to create that natural feeding experience. The nipples have up to 9 holes, just like a breast (I know, I was shocked to learn that too), making that transition from breast to bottle and back easy. Furthermore, the nipple is made with extra soft silicone to feel more like mom and moves flexibly to help my child stay latched onto the bottle. You can read my more in-depth review of these bottles here! (Disclosure: I did receive these bottles for free).
Moms out there, what are your feeding essentials?This blog post may contain affiliate links. Affiliate links provide us with a small commission, at no charge to you. We appreciate your support in helping us keep this blog running.
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