I used to dread late-night and early-morning breastfeeding sessions, wishing the minutes away so I could grab a moment’s more sleep. During the day I was anxious to carry on with my tasks or take care of whatever pressing needs had arisen while I was sitting.
I tolerated breastfeeding but didn’t necessarily enjoy it as a time of relaxation or a chance to regroup.
That all changed with the birth of my third baby when I decided breastfeeding sessions needed to be more than just tolerable.
I wanted to enjoy the quiet moments of breastfeeding; to feel comfortable and cozy while I sat with my baby.
Since then, I’ve decided to surround myself, and my little ones, with some key things to help us slow down and enjoy the quiet moments of breastfeeding.
Must-Haves for Mom
Before I sit down for a nursing session, I do a quick look around to make sure I have a few essentials and am ready to go.
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A good water bottle is essential to have on hand, especially in the first months of breastfeeding when thirst comes on quickly. My water bottle must be easy to open one-handed and can’t leak when tossed down mid-feeding. I love Lifefactory bottles and the Premium Glass Bottle has an active flip top that’s just right for the breastfeeding Mama.
I always have a receiving blanket or muslin blanket handy while breastfeeding. While these are my go-to for spills and spit up any time of year, they’re perfect for placing in-between baby’s head and your arm on a hot summer’s day. Such a simple blanket eliminates the problem of nursing a sweaty baby in the summer heat.
While those are the essentials of feeding, I make sure my breastfeeding spot is comfortable and has a few items just for me. I’m always surrounded by good books. Daytime feedings are great for reading nonfiction about parenting, babies, or something else of interest. You may even want to pick up a copy of On Becoming Babywise.
I reserve easier literature, such as young-adult level fiction, for nighttime breastfeeding. Books are a way to engage my mind and stop me from counting down the minutes of feedings. Once I’m in the middle of a good story, I can’t wait to get back to it.
Special Activities for Kids
When we bring a new baby home, the biggest transition for my older children is learning to slow down our pace. Instead of being on the go for hours at a time, we’re stopping along the way for feedings. While my older kids enjoy entertaining themselves during these times, my younger ones need a bit more help.
My solution is to keep a few special activities on hand for breastfeeding sessions. For my toddler, we keep a basket of activities close to my nursing area. Inside are favorite board books, games & puzzles, and soft activity books. For our preschooler, breastfeeding sessions are great times to pull out a bin of art supplies such as crayons, paper, markers, and glue and work on creating.
Learning to keep our minds engaged and hands busy during a breastfeeding session has finally moved us from tolerating these times to looking forward to them throughout the day.
What are your must-haves when breastfeeding baby?