Last year, at our baby shower, we got a lot of great stuff. Our friends and family were very generous with what they brought for the WeeSheBeast. We are still very grateful for their generosity!
However, I wish someone had brought me a breastfeeding basket. Being the first one of your friends to have a baby has its disadvantages, and one of those was that no one knew what would actually be useful for us.
The Breastfeeding Basket
Any nursing mom will tell you that the first few weeks of your baby’s life are exhausting. Baby is attached to mom pretty much 24/7 during those precious, if sleepless, first weeks. Babies need to nurse constantly, and having something convenient like a breastfeeding basket at arm’s reach is more useful than any gadget or cream or onesie you might get at your baby shower.
A breastfeeding basket should include all of the random little things that mom might need while she’s couch-bound with her newborn. Things that will make life a bit more comfortable and keep her from starving or going crazy from boredom. I’ve got a few ideas on what should be included…
What to Include in a Breastfeeding Basket
1. Water Bottle
This is probably the most important piece. Get mama a big water bottle, like a Nalgene Tritan (affiliate) or Kleen Kanteen, so she can stay hydrated. Breastfeeding makes you thirsty, and it’s very important to stay hydrated, since breastmilk is mostly made up of water. Drinking often keeps mom’s milk supply up and her body well-cared for.
2. Nursing Tank
Get mama a nursing tank. No one else probably will, but she will definitely use it. They’re great for layering, sleeping in, and they don’t require much thought to put on. It’ll likely be her first piece of nursing-friendly clothing, too.
3. Nursing Pads
Reusable or disposable doesn’t matter, but most new mamas leak. Many of us leak a lot. Making sure we have a good stock of nursing pads to keep our shirt dry is paramount.
Find out what mama likes to snack on – granola bars, nuts, sandwich crackers, rice cakes, whatever that’s individually packaged and portable – and put that in the basket for her. That way, when hunger strikes but baby won’t let mommy move, she can stay nourished.
5. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
This is the quintessential book about breastfeeding. La Leche League has really outdone themselves. This book covers all of the questions, problems, and typical behaviors of your nursling, and will really help mama learn what she needs to know to successfully breastfeed her baby.
6. Breast cream
Whether you choose lanolin or coconut oil or shea butter or any other of the options out there for nipple relief, make sure you include at least one in your basket!
This can mean anything – a $10 gift card to the iTunes store so mama can buy some fun games or apps, a new movie, her favorite TV show on DVD, a three-month Netflix subscription, mama’s favorite magazines, anything. She’s going to spend a lot of time making a nest on the couch or bed, so she might as well be entertained while she’s stuck (when she’s not totally captivated by her newborn).
8. Burp Cloths
Newborns can be messy eaters, and many of them spit up. Some of them projectile spit up (I’m looking at you, WeeSheBeast). Have something dry for mama to be able to sop up the inevitable wet that happens.
9. Lip blam & Hair Ties
Lip balm is essential. Keep those lips hydrated and smooth. Hair ties aren’t very useful for short-hairdmamas, but absolutely essential if they have long hair. For short haired mamas, bobby pins or other hair clips can be useful to help keep their hair out of the way so they can see their beautiful babe.
10. LLL & IBCLC Contact Information
For a mama who is struggling, having this information at her fingertips can be a life-saver. Take the few seconds to learn how she can contact a local La Leche League leader and IBCLC in case she runs into any problems.
If you include each of these things, you’re bound to have a very grateful mama once baby arrives!
A couple of items I didn’t include in my list, but that you might want to include, are
- nursing necklaces – if you know mama’s taste, go for it! She won’t need it right away, but it’s very helpful about 4-5 months in!
- breastmilk storage bags – for all of our hard-working pumping mamas!
- nursing pillow – lots of folks get these at their baby showers from other guests and they’re almost always on registries, so I let other people get those for them.
- gel pads – for soothing sore nipples
Do you have any other ideas on what you’d love to see in a breastfeeding basket? Let me know in the comments!