Nursing baby isn’t always easy, especially if you’re new to the whole mommy gig. But while perfecting your little one’s latch can be a struggle, putting your hands on the things you need shouldn’t be.
A comfortable, well-stocked breastfeeding station can go a long way toward eliminating stress, giving new moms a much-needed moment to rest and bond with their babies. With everything you need on hand, including a few well-deserved luxuries, you’ll be able to prevent unnecessary juggling acts and make breastfeeding a more enjoyable experience for both you and your baby.
Create your own stress-free nursing station with these six simple tips.
1. Invest in a practical nursing chair.
While comfort and style are important, there are many other factors to consider when buying a nursing chair. Choose an easy-to-clean fabric, and look for wide, padded armrests, which allow for better positioning when nursing. Adjustable or reclining chairs are great, but be sure you can operate the chair comfortably from a seated position. Safety is also a concern. Wondering what to look for? You’ll find more tips for choosing the perfect nursing chair right here.
2. Add an end table with storage.
An attractive end table always comes in handy. Choose a sturdy table with easy-to-access drawers or cubbies for storing nursing essentials. (Just because you need to have nursing pads and nipple cream nearby doesn't mean you need them decorating your nursery.) Don’t forget to set out some goodies for Mama, like a bottle of water or your favorite magazine.
3. Buy a good nursing pillow.
A good nursing pillow can be a godsend, especially in those first days and weeks where nursing can be difficult. Nursing pillows help support baby in the proper nursing position, ensuring a good latch without arm strain. (Even a tiny baby can become surprisingly heavy when held in the same position for an extended time.) Nursing pillows can also be used for tummy time or to prop up babies who can’t sit up on their own.
4. Stock up on the necessary supplies.
Purchase nursing supplies well before baby's arrival, and tuck them away in your breastfeeding station, ready to go. Baby-safe hand sanitizer, nursing pads, nipple cream, burp cloths and paper towels are all good items to keep in stock. You might also consider keeping a few snacks on hand. Nursing burns a ton of calories and can leave you low on energy. A little post-feeding boost is always a good idea!
5. Set up a clock, purchase a timer and prepare a feeding log.
Keeping note of your baby's feedings is a reassuring way to make sure they are eating enough. Pediatricians recommend recording the time and duration of every feeding, as well as the number of wet and soiled diapers your baby produces each day. This information, combined with regular weigh-ins, will allow your doctor to monitor your baby's eating habits and identify potential concerns.
To keep track, create a feeding log. A timer can also be a helpful tool, allowing you to record the length of each feeding. You’ll also need a digital clock, so you can easily note the time - however painfully late it may be.
6. Consider your lighting.
Low lighting creates a cozy atmosphere during late-night feedings, but it can also make them difficult.
Nursing can be a tricky business, and you’ll need to be able to see what you’re doing. Need help finding the perfect balance? Give these nursery-lighting tips a try.
Be sure to restock your nursing station regularly.
Place a small trashcan next to your nursing chair for quick and easy disposal of nursing pads or paper towels.
Your nursing station doesn't need to be in the nursery. You might feel more comfortable nursing in your own bedroom or even while watching TV in the living room. You can always move the entire set-up to the nursery later.
Looking for more nursery advice? Check out our helpful list of Nursery Dos and Don’ts.