I realize that I've never talked about our breastfeeding relationship on here yet, so I will definitely get to that in a future post.
despite a valiant effort, nursing didn't work out for us (I'll discuss our issues in a different post). it was still important to me that Ronin get his nutrition from breast milk, which led to the decision to exclusively pump and bottle feed him.
these are the items that I've found most helpful for our situation. if you are successful at exclusively breastfeeding, you may not need a 5 pack of bottles and a double electric pump, so keep that in mind. :)
1. Lansinoh Lanolin.
this stuff is heavenly for sore/cracked nipples. when you have a baby figuring out how to latch, you WILL have nipple pain. once you get into a rhythm, you may not need it anymore, but I highly recommend having it on hand for those early weeks.
the only reason I recommend this pump is because it's the one that was sent to me for free from my insurance company (thank you to my government employee husband for having awesome insurance). if you plan on pumping a lot (either to build a stash or because nursing doesn't work for you), a double electric pump is a must.
confession: up until Ronin was 5 months old, I used a single electric and a manual hand pump to express breast milk. the single took too long and the manual left blisters on my hands. needless to say, I jumped for joy when this baby arrived on my doorstep.
this is pretty self explanatory. it's just a drying rack for bottles, pump parts, tiny little spoons, etc., but it's not an eyesore to look at.
4. Oxo Bottle Brush.
I love this bottle brush so much more than a person should love a bottle brush. the bristles are soft, and they fit perfectly into EVERY bottle. there is a little rubber piece that twists off from the bottle of the handle to clean the inside of the nipples... works like a charm.
like I mentioned above, if you're solely nursing, you probably won't need these... at least you won't need 100 of them. because I pump and I have a decent milk supply, I am often pumping more than I need for Ronin's daily intake. in that case, it's nice to be able to put milk in the freezer for a day when I need to leave him and won't be handy to pump his next meal.
truthfully, the only reason I use the Lansinoh ones is because I got them as a shower gift and haven't had to buy anymore yet. however, they are very easy to pour milk into/out of and I like that I can label the tab at the top with the date and amount.
we chose to use Avent bottles on a whim, and thankfully, Ronin took to them just fine. sometimes, baby can be picky about bottles, but we got pretty lucky.
we chose these bottles because of the two part anti-colic system that includes the nipple and a plastic adapter ring. I don't know if they had anything to do with Ronin's easy going nature, but we've never had any issues with them, so I'll continue to use them for our future kids. I also like these bottles because the nipple is wider than most, which led to less nipple confusion back when we were still trying to nurse.
I liked using the Boppy when breastfeeding, but even though we no longer do the boob feeding, we still use the Boppy almost every day. it's a great way to prop Ronin up when trying to get him to sit up unassisted, and he enjoyed leaning on it to practice tummy time. I suggest getting a cover or two... there WILL be spit up on it.
if there is one item I should buy stock in, it's these damn things. fun fact: when you produce milk, you will likely leak. I have to wear these every single day to prevent soaking my shirts. in fact, when I had to go topless at my annual womanly appointment last December, I leaked all over the flimsy gown just from talking about Ronin. I tried the Medela pads as well, but I preferred the Lansinoh ones because they were more comfortable and didn't make it look like I had weird nipples.