Not gonna lie – in those first few weeks of breastfeeding, you’re gonna spend so long in your nursing spot on the sofa that you’ll leave a dent!
Feeding all day then feeding all night – it’s tough on mama but a comfy, well-set up breastfeeding area can make all the difference.
Create a place where you keep all the stuff you need to have to hand in the early days of breastfeeding.
To get your nursing nook ready, you need a few items for your baby and a few for you.
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Where should your breastfeeding station be?
Your breastfeeding nook can be in your bedroom if you like – that will be handy for night feedings – but they are usually in the family areas of the home.
Choose a place where you can supervise any older children you may have without having to move. This is very important – it’s a HUGE pain to have to get up and move to find out what they are up to when your baby is feeding happily.
An end or corner of favourite sofa or your favourite armchair will work perfectly. Just make sure you have a table or box to hand for all your nursing STUFF.
There could be quite a bit of stuff to begin with but you’ll need less and less as things progress and get easier.
Nursing nook essentials
OK, technically, nothing but a pair of boobs and a baby is essential – but this post is about making you comfortable and relaxed and a few products will really help you achieve that.
Of course, you could simply use regular pillows but a specially designed nursing pillow could make a difference – especially if you have back pain.
A good nursing pillow like these will keep your baby positioned high to your breasts without you needing to slouch or lift baby up. This helps avoid strain on your wrists, neck and back.
Little babies spit up a lot so you’re going to need burp cloths to hand.
Lay one over the nursing pillow in case baby dribbles or spits up while feeding. You can flip it over your shoulder when you lift baby up to burp.
Keep at least one in your nook.
If breastfeeding is hurting you right now, you might want to try a nipple shield. These ones are highly rated and you can usually pick one up for under $10.
They might feel strange at first, but using one for even the first time you latch on in a feeding session could ease the toe curling agony. Somehow, that first latch is always the worst.
(I often found that if I could just get my baby feeding, when they popped off I could take the shield away and continue without with much less pain. )
Nipple shields usually come with a carry case so keep that in your nook too to keep the shield clean and safe – those things are easy to lose!
In the first few weeks, you might feel like you may as well buy formula, you’re spending so much on nipple cream. Don’t worry – it passes. Until then, buy it in bulk.
Many of these creams contain lanolin – which does a great job of soothing sore nipples but is also an allergen – so be careful if you are affected.
By the time you’re a few months in, you’ll hardly be buying at all.
Tissues / Kleenex
For snotty noses or to wipe your tears if latching on is still THAT BAD.
(And if it is that bad, you should contact a lactation consultant. Don’t struggle alone.)
If you are hoping the feed might turn into a nap, have a small, light blanket like this adorable one handy for when baby dozes off.
A pillow for your back
Sitting and breastfeeding in your nursing nook for a long time can take its toll on your back. Give yourself some extra support with a cushion or pillow to help maintain your posture.
A blanket for you
It can get a little chilly after a while and if baby is fast asleep you won’t want to disturb them to put on a sweater so have a blanket ready to pull around your shoulders.
Purely for comfort, you may like to raise your feet during prolonged nursing sessions, so have a footstool ready.
A snack and drink for you
Also because you could be there for a while, have your supplies ready in your nook! You can keep some packets of favourite snack foods or some fruit there ready to go. A water bottle is also a great addition.
Don’t have hot drinks while breastfeeding. It’s just too risky. Keep plenty of water handy instead.
Keep something you can read with one hand available – like a magazine you can fold over or an e-reader.
The TV remote control
Breastfeeding time is perfect for guilt-free TV watching! Relax and enjoy your favourite box set as you give your baby their milk. Also, you don’t want to have to stop feeding to go get it so have it in your nook before you start.
Where would we be without them?
Do you try to be mindful and spend less time staring at your phone?
That’s great – but if it rings while you are nursing you want to be able to pick up so keep the phone with you too – no one’s saying you have to look at it!
Keeping your nursing nook organised
We’re setting up this nursing nook so you can feed in comfort and with ease. This will work best if you have your supplies readily available and you check them regularly and replenish them.
You can simply place items on a side table next to you but if you have other small children, a box might be a better organiser. It will also keep items from ending up on the floor which is a common problem when toddlers are around.
Enjoy your comfy nursing nook, momma.