Baby 101: Breastfeeding Setting List

Ahhh…the milk drunk baby.  A sign of a good meal is when the baby rolls back on the Boppy and passes out.

I have found that successful breastfeeding depends as much on the setting where you feed as it does practicing the act itself.  My first time around all I knew was that I needed a place to sit to breastfeed and something called a Boppy for the baby to sit on.  I spent the next few days successively adding to my little nursing corner until it was functional and my hubby stopped having to run around every feeding getting me stuff.  Once I got organized I became more relaxed and that helped the breastfeeding process along. 

Here’s a list of some things you might want to consider for your nursing nook.  I didn’t go into the mechanics of breastfeeding as that is another series of posts all together.  (FYI – the first time around I didn’t find it to be natural at all and we had a hard time of it.  It took several visits to the lactation consultant that first week before we got the hang of it.  Don’t worry if it feels foreign to you too.)

Nursing Nook Essentials:

Chair – You will need some place to sit that has back support.  Arms would be nice.  A rocking chair or glider work great if you have one.  Babies love to be rocked.

Foot rest or stool – The leg that the baby’s head rests on while breastfeeding should be raised up on a stool.  I have used a stack of books and a folded up towel.  Now I have a small stool that’s approximately 5 inches tall.

Pillows – You might need pillows to place behind your back for support or even under your butt.  It all depends on the shape and height of your chair.  You will be spending many, many hours there and will need to be comfortable.

My Brestfriend or a Boppy – I 100% recommend the “My Brestfriend” breast-feeding pillow.  I had a Boppy the first time around and while it worked, it is nothing like the Brestfriend.  The Boppy is a curved pillow, both in shape and in form.  The baby kept rolling off the top of the pillow and sliding into my body during feedings.  My Brestfriend also conforms to your body, but has a flat tabletop like surface with superior support over the Boppy.

Side table – You will want something next to your chair for a number of things: A soft light, clock, water glass, snacks, pen/paper, tissues, etc…  I’ve used a folding TV tray, milk crates, and now I have a 3-tiered wire rack from the shed. 

Soft light – You will need some sort of light in the room for nighttime feedings and diaper changes.  Nothing too bright or baby will be wide-awake.  Nothing to dark or your baby will be drinking breast milk through her nose.  I threw a dark towel over my bedside lamp.

Pen/Paper/Notepad – You will want to track breastfeeding times, etc…  that first week and make other random notes.

Water glass – Every time you sit down to breast feed you need to drink a glass of water.  No water = no breast milk for baby. 

Snacks – Keep snacks handy in case feeding sessions are long.  Crackers, fruit, etc… The first two weeks, I would be starving whenever I fed the baby.  This time, I had boxes of Triscuits stacked up under the table.  :-)

Access to time – You need to see the time either on a clock, watch, cell phone, etc…  This will be important to keep track of how long sessions are and when the last session was.

Tissues – You never know when you will need to sneeze, wipe spittle, or clear baby boogers.

Receiving blanket or burp cloths – Keep one or two of these within reach for the spit up that usually accompanies a hearty burping session.

Breast feeding pads, Lanolin cream, and gel pads – That first week I found the Medela gel pads to be awesome.  They have a cooling effect and feel great if your baby likes to use you for a chew toy.  Otherwise, I’ve heard the Lanolin cream helps dryness and cracking.  I’ve never had to use the stuff though.  The pads are a no brainer.  You will leak – alot – when it’s most embarrasing for you to do so.  I keep a couple pads in the diaper bag just in case.

Misc – I’ve found it useful to keep the baby Gas-X, saline drops, and nose sucker within arms reach.  Also, if you don’t have a TV to watch, you might want to station your laptop nearby to keep you company.  With Oliver, I used to play lullabies on the laptop during our night feedings and during the day I’d watch something from Netflix.  He was a slow eater, 40 minute sessions, and it helped to pass the time.

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