When you are a first time mama-to-be there are so many things to consider at you prepare for the arrival of your little one and one thing you might not spend much time thinking about is breastfeeding. If breastfeeding is something you plan to do, then it is definitely worth a little bit of planning and preparation. I recently did a blog post over at Babble about 10 Practical Ways To Get Ready For Breastfeeding and one of those ways was to create a nursing station. I thought I’d put together a little list of things I found to be essential to my own nursing station in hopes that it would help other mamas to better prepare for their upcoming nursing journeys!
10 Essentials For Creating a Nursing Station
1. A calm and quiet space
I actually set up my nursing “camp” in our living room and in my daughter’s nursery. The nursery was the best place to nurse if we had guests over because it was quiet and cozy and that’s where we kept the rocking chair. But, I also set up a station in our living room at my designated end of the couch, which was nice for when I was home during the day by myself, so I could get caught up on my DVR during particularly lengthy nursing sessions.
2. A comfortable chair
Many people swear by gliders for nursing their babies, but my absolute favorite nursing spot was right on our couch. We also have an old school rocking chair that I thought would be terribly uncomfortable, but with cushions it was great! Basically, just find a chair that is most comfortable for you, because you’ll be spending a lot of time here.
3. A nursing pillow or pillows
There are a variety of nursing specific pillows on the market to help you prop your little one while you’re nursing, so you can begin your search! I tried a couple out when I was nursing my daughter and they worked well, but in the end I actually preferred using a couple of designated throw pillows so that’s what I stuck with – perhaps you’ll feel the same.
4. Nipple cream
Nipple cream will be your best friend, so don’t wait to stock up after the baby arrives. You’ll definitely be glad you had it on hand right away. Even if you have great technique, you’ll still have to build up a bit of a tolerance for the sensation of breastfeeding, so something to soothe the soreness will be much appreciated.
5. Nursing pads
You will definitely need nursing pads – especially in the early days when you’re getting the hang of things – because milk leaks happen. There are washable and disposable options to choose from.
6. Burp cloths
Having a stack of burp cloths (these ones are cute!) and rags readily available will be much appreciated. Between Baby spitting up and mama leaking milk, you’ll definitely be putting them to use.
There are times when baby will be having a marathon nursing session and you’ll be by yourself and feeling bound to your nursing station and hunger will strike. Having quick snacks available during these times is a lifesaver! Keep a basket nearby with easy grab-and-go options like fruit, nuts and granola bars. Also, be sure to keep a big bottle of water nearby. Hydration is so important for nursing mamas!
8. A clock/timer
During the early days of breastfeeding while you’re still figuring things out you may want to have a clock or timer available to get an idea of how long you are nursing on each side. Sometimes it can seem like longer than it’s actually been and it’s important to make sure Baby is getting enough time to nurse. Once you get the hang of things though, you won’t need this.
9. A nursing log
There are a lot of great apps available to help you track your nursing sessions, or you can go the old fashioned pen and paper route like I did. Keeping track during the beginning will help you ease into a good nursing routine.
10. A blanket
Just in case you or Baby gets cold…having a cozy blanket nearby is never a bad idea!
What are some of your nursing station essentials?