How to put together the perfect breastfeeding basket and why you need one.
As a first-time-mom, I was baffled about the amount of time I spent breastfeeding my baby. Especially during the cluster feeding phase when my newborn was practically attached to my boob 24 by 7, I wish I was exaggerating this, but I am not.
Now I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed and stressed.
Breastfeeding is hard work, but it is so worth it. Breastfeeding has a lot of benefits to your baby’s health and for yourself. I breastfed both my babies for nearly one year, and I don’t regret it one bit. You just need to be prepared and be well equipped for this time-consuming task.
One of the things that helped me is putting together a breastfeeding basket. Wondering what it is?
A breastfeeding basket is essentially a care package of nursing necessities kept together in a caddy or container. You collect everything you would typically need for a nursing session and put them together in a caddy. It saves you a lot of time from hunting for items you need every time you breastfeed.
When it comes to nursing your baby, you take your baby, grab your breastfeeding caddy, sit down somewhere comfortable and being nursing. With my first baby, I had set up a perfect breastfeeding station which I loved using.
I choose a sweet spot ( where I can watch TV), the comfiest rocker and breastfeeding basket at my arm’s length. With my second baby, I had a toddler who always on the move, so I would grab my caddy and follow him wherever he went.
The Perfect Breastfeeding Caddy:
You can use anything from a woven basket or even a tray to assemble all your nursing products together. But I highly recommend looking for these features while deciding on what to use as a breastfeeding basket:
- A Caddy with a handle – As I mentioned earlier, I had a highly energetic toddler to chase while nursing my baby. I loved using a caddy with a grab and go handle. A breastfeeding caddy with a handle works as a portable breastfeeding station so you can take everything you need while nursing wherever you want to.
- With Compartments :Not absolutely necessary, but it is nice to have a basket that has different compartments, preferably in various sizes, to keep everything well organized and visible.
My favorite basket I loved using is this one. It has everything that I mentioned above. This caddy is sturdy, durable, has handles, and different compartments hold everything from nipple cream to a breast pump. Plus, It has a touch-sensitive night light, which makes it easier to spot things at night.
What is in a Breastfeeding Basket?
Everything you need to before, during and after your nursing session.
I loaded my nursing basket with all these essentials.
I used to think that nipple creams are overrated, but boy was I wrong. Constant latching and sucking make your breasts tender, dry, or even cracked. Keeping your breasts well moisturized is the key to avoiding cracked nipples.
Once your nipples are cracked, it can bleed, develop blisters or an infection. A good quality nipple creams go a long way in preventing all this pain.
There are a lot of good nipple creams to choose from. The first time around, I used Lanishon,, but the second time, I was smart to choose a natural and organic nipple cream.
Choosing an organic nipple cream was so important to me because my baby feeds off of it directly, and I want to make sure the cream is safe for the baby to consume. I have tried both earth mama nipple cream and mother love cream and loved it both.
You can pick one and you ‘can’t go wrong. Keeping a nipple cream is also a constant reminder because otherwise, I would have forgotten about it totally.
In the early days, I recommend applying nipple cream after every feeding. Initially, your breasts are tender, and there are higher chances to them cracking. As time goes, your breasts get used to nursing and the skin around them becomes firmer.
Heating & Cooling Pads:
Cold ice packs are another way to relieve breastfeeding pain. While I agree that nursing should not be continually painful, you are going to experience some discomfort here and there when your milk comes in, or when your baby cluster feeds.
Using cold packs is an excellent pain relief when your breasts are engorged (usually happens when milk comes in).
Heating pads are a necessity when you need to deal with clogged ducts. Clogged ducts happen when your breasts are engorged and milk from the breast tissue is not fully expressed. Leaving clogged ducts untreated can cause breast infections like mastitis.
Heating pads help the milk flowing out of your breasts. Heating pads can also be used to increase milk supply while you are pumping. Just massage your breasts with these pads before your pumping sessions start and you can feel more let downs hence more milk collected while pumping.
Nursing pads :
I used nursing pads when I was regularly during the months to prevent staining my clothes with breast milk. I also used heavy overnight pads to help contain more leaks.
I preferred to use reusable breast pads for a short period I needed them. If you are leaking a lot, I highly recommend considering reusable pads if that suits you.
Reusable pads feel smoother and are more comfortable on the breasts that the disposable ones. Plus, less waste hitting the landfill.
Milkies Milk Savers:
If you are constantly leaking and hate the idea of wasting precious breast milk, then Milk savers are your best friend. Milkies are to be out next to your breasts just like how you would use a nursing pad; they collect all the milk that leaks.
Milkies can hold up to 0.5 ounces of breast milk at the time. Once they are full, you can transfer the milk into a bottle, or these milkies tray and store them. Now, wash and repeat.
- Lactation cookies: I love MilkMakers cookies. They come in a different flavors like salted caramel, oatmeal raisin, but my favorite is Oatmeal chocolate chip. yum! These contain all the ingredients that boosts your milk supply- oatmeal, brewer’s yeast and flax seed.
- Lactation teas : Love love love this herbal tea! Best part is that they taste good hot or cold and it tastes so good!
- Mixed Nuts: Because nuts are rich is essential fats and help produce richer breast milk
- Dried Fruits : I always stock up on dried fruits like dates, apricots or figs.
Breastfeeding makes you thirsty. Have a water bottle filled with water all the time. A general rule of thumb is to drink a cup of water every time you nurse. Breast milk is 70% water, so you need to make sure that you are well hydrated to produce enough milk. A reusable cup with a straw is handy.
If you want an insulated mug to keep your water cold, then this one is good. If you are someone who doesn’t like drinking plain water, getting a bottle with a diffuser (this one has a straw), you can add fruits or herbs to make water flavorful.
Phone or a Book:
Just to keep you busy while nursing. While, I encourage bonding with your baby while nursing, I am also a big advocate of maternal mental health. My babies were mostly sleeping during the first 3 months, a period when I struggled with managing all the mom duties. I am not ashamed to disclose that I spent a lot of time checking my phone, watching a movie on my iPad while breastfeeding.
I did put my phone on airplane mode because I did not want to expose my baby to the radiations at such a young age. If you are struggling with breastfeeding or wish you had more support, I highly recommend signing up for this online breastfeeding class. This is something you can watch while nursing your baby (or otherwise). This online class covers everything you need to know about nursing and will prepare you with a wealth of knowledge.
For the Baby:
My babies always pooped while I was nursing or just after that. So I had a spare change cloth, diapers and wipes in the basket.
Let’s Wrap Up:
A breastfeeding basket is super convenient and helps keep all your nursing items organized in one place. Here is what you need to put together a nursing caddy.
- A Caddy with handle and compartments
- Nipple Cream
- Breast therapy pads
- Nursing Pads
- Breast Pump
- Breast milk storage bags or bottles
- Lactation Snacks
- Water Bottle
- A phone or a book
- Diapers, wipes, burp cloth and pacifier for the baby.
Did you put together a breastfeeding caddy? Did you find it useful?