Target’s breast milk storage bags
Not only are these bags cheaper than name brands, they’re also thicker and more durable. I’ve heard horror stories from moms having bags of breast milk break or leak, but I have had no issues with these. Since I began pumping exclusively and building a surplus of milk, I have 70 bags, each filled with six ounces of breast milk, in the freezer. On a (humorous) side note, I recently used the Southern staple below to store milk while some bottles were in the dishwasher. Does this make me redneck, crazy, or just plain resourceful! I have to admit, it’s quite convenient and takes us much less space in the fridge!
Bravado nursing bras
If you’re a breastfeeding/nursing/pumping mama, you’ve got to have excellent bras. Yes, you need more than one. I have three: one to wear, one to wash, and one for back-up. All of my nursing bras are by Bravado. They’re incredibly soft and fit wonderfully. I’ve been wearing a Bravado nursing bra (not the same one, mind you) since I was six months pregnant, even while sleeping.
This probably goes without saying, but if you are pregnant or recently had a baby, your boobs will probably leak and you will need these pads. Again, I had to start wearing pads in my bra when I was six months pregnant and haven’t been without them since. Along with the nursing bras, I have no less than five pairs of pads. They’re all washable and 100-percent cotton. The Medela brand is my favorite because the pads are thicker and the cotton is softer — two very important traits!
I’m the first to admit that I was hesitant to introduce Kamden to a pacifier, especially since I nursed him in the beginning, but we have not had any issues. We received this Wubbanub from a friend, who’s also a NICU nurse, and she explained how newborns have a natural instinct to suck but they’re not necessarily hungry, so a pacifier is completely normal and useful. We also use these pacifiers but the Wubbanub is convenient when Kamden’s in his car seat. There’s nothing worse than trying to find a lost pacifier under a car seat or the bottom of the diaper bag!
Baby bath tub
Kamden LOVES bath time. He gets one every night, before his last bottle of the day and bedtime. When he was younger, and much smaller, we’d lay him in the hammock/sling that came with the tub and he’d lay there while we gently poured lukewarm water over his body. Now, the kid is gearing up for the Summer Olympics! He kicks, squirms, and splashes water all over the place, smiling and cooing all the while.
There’s nothing better than the smell of a freshly bathed baby, and Kamden is no exception. His daddy, however, loathes perfume-y soaps and lotions, so we use California Baby extra sensitive bath products. The shampoo and body wash work great, and even create lots of sudsy bubbles for Kamden to splash, and the lotion keeps his skin soft without feeling greasy.
Kamden’s not a huge fan of tummy time, but we still use this activity mat. He prefers to be on his back so he can see people’s faces and tries to grab the toys above his head. We attached this rattle ball and Kamden really likes to grab it with his fingers and toes.
The Storybook Bible
I honestly believe children are never too young for books and Bible stories. Jen introduced me to this children’s Bible and I think it’s perfect. Instead of verses, it’s written in narrative with the most amazing illustrations. This is definitely a book Kamden will enjoy reading and looking at for years to come. Lately, on warm sunny days, we have had story time on the front porch. Our porch is perfect for rocking and sitting a spell so I’m hoping for a mild spring and summer so we can make this a daily ritual.
Graco DuetSoothe swing and rocker
Until two weeks ago, when Kamden had another growth spurt, we used this swinger/rocker every day since bringing him home from the hospital. Now, unfortunately, he’s too long for the seat and his feet hang over the edge. But it’s still a really great product for babies when they’re little. It has a variable speed control for swinging and the seat can be removed and has a vibrating option. It was very convenient to put Kamden in the seat and move around the house, either in the kitchen or bedroom when I put laundry away.
Samsung video monitor with night vision
If there’s one thing I wish we had done sooner, it would be set up this video monitor in Kamden’s room. We kept his Pack N Play in our bedroom until he was a month old, but we could have moved him to his room earlier with this monitor. When I began pumping exclusively and we knew how much Kamden took by bottle at each feeding, he slept through the night. I’ve learned to ignore the variety of noises he makes in his sleep — he sounds like a 90 year old man grunting and farting — but it’s wonderful to be able to watch him on the monitor instead of going into his room.
For breastfeeding purposes, calories in these lactation cookies don’t count, right?! If you like chocolate chips cookies (who doesn’t?!), you’ll love these cookies! They bake perfectly every time and taste amazing. For lactation purposes, I add whole oats and flax seeds.
What would you add to this list of essential items?