Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to bond with your baby while providing them with the very best nutrition and start in life. However, as beautiful as breastfeeding is it's not always easy. It can be tricky to get newborn babies to latch, and many mums experience back, neck and shoulder pain from nursing. Plus, it can be a messy process, particularly when you first get to grips with it. Thankfully there are plenty of products available to help make breastfeeding easier and more comfortable, so let's take a look at some of the best nursing products to invest in before your little one arrives.
The best nursing products
A nursing pillow is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to help make breastfeeding easier. Standard nursing pillows are shaped like a C and are designed to sit around mum's waist so that baby can rest on top. They help to lift baby towards the breast so that mum doesn't have to hunch over, which can prevent back, neck and shoulder pain. Plus, with your baby being supported by the pillow it leaves mum with a hand free to manipulate her breast to help your baby latch.
If you have twins on the way you might want to invest in a twin nursing pillow. These W shaped pillows are designed to sit behind your back so that the middle prong provides back support. The two outer prongs then fold down and wrap around the waist so that you can lay one baby on each side ready for nursing.
Breastfeeding pillows are one of the best nursing products to invest in because they have a wide variety of uses outside of nursing. During pregnancy, they can be used as back support or bump support when sitting or sleeping to help alleviate any aches and pains. After the baby arrives they can be used for tummy time and to help your baby get used to sitting up by themselves. Toddlers tend to love lounging on a nursing pillow to have cuddles with parents or to take naps. Breastfeeding pillows can make for handy travel pillows on long car journeys too.
While no mum should ever feel that they have to cover up when feeding their baby, some simply feel more comfortable doing so. A breastfeeding cover can give you some privacy when nursing in public, and some babies seem to latch and feed better under a cover because it feels cosy and safe, and eliminates any distractions going on around them.
It's possible to simply use a light blanket to cover your baby when nursing, but a breastfeeding apron is a far more convenient option. It has a strap that goes over the head to stop it from slipping down. Plus, boning in the neckline helps to stop the apron resting directly on top of your baby, and gives you plenty of visibility to help your baby latch. Maintaining a visual connection with your baby when feeding is important for supporting bonding and helping the little one feel secure.
Parents can never have too many muslin squares! These simple products have the widest range of uses and you're sure to find yourself grabbing one multiple times each day in the first couple of years of a baby's life. Muslins can be used for swaddling or for makeshift slings for carrying babies. They can be laid on top of changing mats to make for a comfier surface and to absorb any leaks. They can be used to mop up dribble, drool, vomit, spills, poop and pee, or as makeshift bibs to save baby's clothes from mess when they're eating. Many babies and toddlers love the soft texture of muslins and use them as a comforter to self-soothe by rubbing the cloth against their face.
When it comes to nursing, you could use a muslin square to help you cover up if you want a little privacy when breastfeeding in public. You can use muslins to mop up any dribbles or leaks. You can lay one over your shoulder when burping baby to catch posset. If your baby is grouchy they might like to grip onto a muslin cloth to feel soothed and calm.
We have a variety of muslin squares available in a range of pretty colours and patterns. You really can never have too many on hand, so keep plenty stashed in your changing bag, handbag, car, pockets, and dotted in drawers all over the house ready for any emergency clean-ups!
Using a bib during feeds is a great way to protect your baby's clothes from milk leaks and dribble, both of which are an inevitable aspect of nursing particularly when you're both new to it. Rather than changing a baby's clothes after every feed, it is significantly easier to change a bib. This is especially handy when you're out and about rather than at home. Bibs will also come in handy once you start weaning your baby onto food.
A good quality bib should be made from an absorbent material, usually 100% cotton to ensure it feels soft and comfortable against baby's skin. Many of them, such as our baby bibs, have adjustable snap fastenings to help you get a good fit as baby grows. They can be used from the day of birth right up until 36 months.
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