Bottle choice is something that is highly individual for each baby so you may need to try a few different types. Mia and I both love the Comotomo bottles. She had no problems latching from the start, and they didn't interfere with breastfeeding at all. The bottle itself is made out of silicone, which I prefer since I'm always wary about boiling plastic. In addition, the opening is extra wide so it's super easy to clean (it's also dishwasher, boiling, and sterilizer safe). They come in 5oz and 8oz sizes, and in two colors (pink and green).
Another type we love is the Boon NURSH Pouch Bottles, they are very easy to clean and also made of silicone. They inner silicone pouch collapses as the baby drinks which minimizes the amount of air ingested, and also makes it easier for baby to hold on to the bottle frame. They come in 4oz and 9oz sizes.
Love: Comotomo: easy to clean, material, breastfeeding friendly ; Boon: easy to clean, material, breastfeeding friendly, easy to hold, minimizes air.
Could be better: Comotomo: more color selections, sometimes hard to open ; Boon: more color selections.
2. Nursing Pillow
Both have great reviews and are loved by many, but I decided to go with the Boppy because I figured it blends in better if I leave in the living room or anywhere around the house. The My Brest Friend has a strap and buckle that make it very obvious that it's not a regular pillow, and also harder to put on and take off.
Once I decided on the Boppy, I shopped around for covers for it. Unfortunately, many of them are loud and kitschy. I found that Pottery Barn Kids has an exclusive collection of Boppy covers which are much better than the original ones. Mia was a winter baby so I got a fluffy soft one.
Love: comfortable, can also be used for propping baby up and tummy time, machine washable.
Could be better: prettier covers.
3. Nipple Cream
This is a must have for your hospital bag! I loved Earth Mama's Organic Nipple Butter. It saved me during the first few weeks.
Love: organic materials, no need to wipe off before nursing, smells better than lanolin-based creams.
Could be better: comes in a jar, a tube would be better and more hygenic.
4. Nursing Pads
My biggest problem with most breast pads is that they are thick and look weird under tight clothing. Bundlebliss make super-thin breast pads that are surprisingly absorbent!
Love: thin, don't show under clothes, absorbent.
Could be better: adhesive is ok but not the best.
5. Breast Pump
it's a closed system pump compared to Medela's open system (which means parts are easier to clean and it's more hygienic)
it has more cycle settings
it's hospital grade (which means supposedly more powerful)
it's supposed to be much quieter
Also, My online research revealed that while both pumps have awesome reviews, most people who actually tried both preferred the Spectra S1.
Most insurance companies in the US cover the Medela Pump in Style and the Spectra S2. However, the Spectra S2 does not have a battery and needs to be plugged in - a major disadvantage for pumping on the go (or even at home if you ask me!). Lots of the breast pump vendors offer to upgrade to the Spectra S1, which has a battery, for a fee. I got the S1 and am very happy with it.
If you decide to go with the S1, I highly suggest you check out a few vendors, because the fee you'll need to pay to upgrade may differ across vendors.
Love: easy to clean, hygienic, setting options, noise level, suction.
Could be better: would love if it came with a carrying bag, better bottles.
6. Breast Milk Storage
I love the Kiinde Breast Milk Storage Twist System. It's the most convenient system I've seen - you can pump directly into the storage bag (they sell adaptors for all major pumps), and then feed from the same bag too (they have a nipple that connects to it)! It's amazing since the only thing you need to wash is the nipple!
Their warmer has iffy reviews, but it works great for me!
Love: convenience, ease of use.
Could be better: measurement markings accuracy in storage bags, also wish the bags were more heat resistant (cannot be boiled like bottles).
7. Nursing Wear
Stay tuned for the POSTPARTUM section for my favorite nursing bras and clothing!
8. Dishwasher Basket
I love this basket from Boon for holding all my small breast pump and bottle parts in the dishwasher. It also has special slots for nipples to ensure optimal cleaning.
Love: shape, versatility, size.
Could be better: nothing really.
9. Drying Rack
I love Boon's drying rack that looks like grass. It's ideal for drying bottle and pump parts and also looks cute (this is the only time I'm happy with this shade of neon green)! I also love the cute accessories that can be added to the drying rack for extra space.
Love: look, functionality.
Could be better: this is weirdly not dishwasher safe. Also, some moms have noted that since there is no airflow, it's important to make sure to clean the tray regularly to avoid mold.
10. Burp Cloths
Mia spit up a ton when she was smaller, so I went through tons and tons of burp cloths every day. I really liked these simple ones from Amazon - they are nice and thick and super-absorbent. Note that they are not prime eligible on Amazon so it may take a while for you to get them (I forgot I ordered them and they arrived long after).
For a cuter option I really liked Little Unicorn's burp cloths. They have pretty prints, a unique shape that helps them stay up on your shoulder, and are also really absorbent!
Love: Simple ones: simplicity, absorbency, durability, price ; Little Unicorn: prints, shape, absorbency.
Could be better: Simple ones: more color options ; Little Unicorn: nothing.
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