Thanks to Walmart for sponsoring today’s post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Ellie just turned one about two weeks ago. In some ways it feels like a blip and in others it feels like a lifetime. It’s amazing how she came into our lives only a year ago. Now it’s hard to remember life without her! The round-the-clock feeds, hundreds of diaper changes, and countless snuggles are just a blur of all-out love for our precious girl! Of everything though, I would say the feeding was probably the most exhausting. Can any of the mamas out there relate?! But here we are, a full year of breastfeeding down and still counting!
I’m sure all parents out there can agree that no matter how you do it feeding a baby is a full-time job! But there were some items that made it much easier to nurse as long as I have. So I teamed up with Walmart to bring y’all a few of my breastfeeding necessities and pumping must-haves. From breastfeeding necessities that I used every day those first few months, to Ellie’s current favs now, we’re covering ’em all!
The first month or so of nursing were always the toughest for me. With both girls I dealt with oversupply. It was a little easier with Ellie because I block fed right out the gate, which led to a lot less over-swelling and discomfort! But I did still deal with tender, chapped nipples while my body adjusted to nursing every two hours or so! I loved applying this nipple cream post-feeds to help with the dry skin. These gel pads are also a life-saver and feel so soothing to tender nipples.
An item I discovered this time around that I 100% recommend is the Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump! In the first weeks of nursing, I would place the pump on the opposite breast from the one baby was nursing on. (So Ellie would be on one side, the pump on the other!) The pump would collect the milk from letdown, which prevents so much milk waste! By the end of the day, I typically had 3-4 ounces to freeze! Using it is such an easy way to build up a milk stash without pumping! You can also use the Haakaa as a manual pump. I did that occasionally as well to relieve any oversupply discomfort!
For leaking, I used these reusable nursing pads for both girls. I used the ultra thin for everyday but I would also recommend the overnight version for nighttime use! And I can’t go without mentioning the Boppy! I used it for both girls! It’s a life-saver for tired arms! Pro tip: grab yourself an extra Boppy cover so that you can always have a clean one on hand. Spit ups and blowouts are gonna happen! ?
Although I had to get Layla on a bottle early on since I worked outside the home, this time I primarily breastfed. Maybe it was pure laziness, but it was just easier to pop her on the boob since she was with me 24/7! But not offering the bottle meant she was not interested in bottle feeding for a long time. And by a long time, I mean, we did not have her on a bottle until around eight months, y’all. Holy moly. Having zero ability to be away from her from more than three hours was draining physically and emotionally!
For both babies, I used the Medela Pump In Style for pumping! Because I was working outside the home with Layla, I was pumping in my office several times a day. That breast pump and I were best friends. ?I learned early on that using a hands-free pumping bra is a must! It’s allows me to multi-task, which is a parent necessity, am I right?! Even though I used it less this time, I still found my Medela to be super-effective! Of course, I also have to mention the Haakaa pump again too. I wouldn’t rely on it as your only pump simply because it’s manual and can only be done on one breast at a time. But I did still find it invaluable in my early nursing days!
For milk storage, I use the Medela Collection and Storage bottles. They fit perfectly with the pump and come with lids to directly store in the fridge. After collecting the desired ounces of milk, I transfer the milk over to these storage bags to throw in the freezer.
The bottles Layla loved were the Tommee Tippee! For Ellie, we tried ’em all. ?Thankfully I had quite a few samples from different companies. But the first bottle she ever fully took (and drained!) was a Comotomo! We’ve been using those ever since!
Lastly, accessories! For cleaning bottles, I love using the Tommee Tippee brush, which comes with a nipple cleaning attachment. We also love and use the Boon Grass drying rack. It’s been on our countertop for years now. ?I would recommend grabbing one of the drying accessories too. We have the twig tree for holding pacifiers, bottle nipples, or even bottle lids.
I am seriously so impressed with the variety and selection of baby items carried at Walmart! They carry the widest selection of breast pumps I’ve seen along with all the feeding necessities, regardless of how you chose to feed your baby! So many items are available for next day or 2-day delivery too! You can’t beat that!
Even though it was exhausting and draining, I could not be more proud that I made it as far as I did with both babes! If you have little ones, tell me about your feeding journeys! What were the essentials that made it easier for you?!