breastfeeding essentials checklist

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Essentials Checklist (PDF Included)

A complete guide for moms who are just getting started on the amazing breastfeeding journey!

In this article, I will provide you with a breastfeeding essentials checklist to make sure you’re covered when you start breastfeeding your little one.

When I was pregnant and I mentioned to a family member that I planned to breastfeed my baby, she asked me “is breastmilk vegan?”

I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s been asked this question.

Although it seems obvious that breastmilk is vegan, some people feel the need to ask this question, whether it’s to undermine our vegan decision or out of sheer curiosity.

Whichever it is, I will answer this question for you and anyone else with this doubt.

Breastmilk is 100% vegan!

The dictionary definition of vegan is not consuming any animal products or byproducts. We, humans, are not considered animals.

Therefore, breastmilk is vegan.

Moreover, my definition of vegan is cruelty free, whether this is in food, diapers, clothing, or couches. Anything that involves cruelty to animals is not vegan.

So, to answer the original question of “is breastmilk vegan?”, it doesn’t come from an animal and there is no cruelty to animals involved, so yes, it is vegan.

Now that we know breastmilk is vegan and it’s 100% natural and healthy to breastfeed your baby, let’s explore what are those things you want to include in your breastfeeding essentials checklist.

You can get a printable version of this checklist sent to your email by filling in your details below.

Breastfeeding essentials checklist

I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, I may earn a commission. Thanks.

Here are a bunch of items that will make breastfeeding so much easier and will ensure that none of your breastmilk goes to waste.

The saying “crying over spilled milk” becomes very real when we start breastfeeding and some of our precious milk gets spilled by accident.

Some of the items I will mention below will help you ensure that doesn’t help, or at least it’ll happen much less often.

Manual breast pump

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This breast pump helped me build an impressive freezer stash. If you’re a first time mom and not sure what all these terms mean, don’t worry, I will explain it all.

I remember before Haylee was born and I was reading up on all the breastfeeding must haves, I kept seeing the term “freezer stash”.

It sounded like a stash of money or something, I had no idea what it referred to.

Well, it simply means that you collect your breastmilk and freeze it for emergencies or when you need to leave your baby with another caregiver.

It’s always helpful to have a freezer stash, even if you plan to exclusively breastfeed.

I’m still breastfeeding Haylee and she’s 19 months old. I pumped only a handful of times when I had to go into the office.

Besides that, I was blessed with the ability to work from home so I was able to breastfeed without the need to pump.

However, I still collected milk to freeze for when we were in the car or I wanted my husband to feed her a bit when I was out.

This manual breast pump was a lifesaver for me and I’ll explain to you why.

When your milk first comes in, it’s not regulated according to your baby’s needs.

It takes a few weeks until your body syncs with your little one’s needs. During these few weeks, you may produce extra milk.

While breastfeeding on one side, you will likely leak from the other side.

If you attach this breast pump to the other side while you nurse, it will collect the extra milk that would otherwise spill onto your clothes.

Instead, you can collect it and freeze it for later.

I used this breast pump every day for months, even after my milk supply was regulated since there was always a trickle of milk from the other side when Haylee would first start nursing.

This helped me collect over 30 ounces of precious milk!

You can do the same by simply attaching this manual breast pump whenever you feed your little one.

It’s as simple as that.

Vegan nipple butter

Earth Mama - Vegan Nipple Butter

Nipple butter is a breastfeeding must have for all moms!

Not only does this need to be at the top of your breastfeeding essentials checklist, but it also needs to be in your hospital bag.

Why is that?

When you first start breastfeeding, on the first few days, your nipples will be extremely raw and painful. You may even bleed.

This is completely normal! It happens to everyone.

However, this makes breastfeeding really painful.

The best way to deal with the pain and raw skin is to apply this vegan nipple butter to your nipples after breastfeeding.

Now, this nipple butter is 100% safe for your little one to ingest so you don’t need to wash it off before breastfeeding again.

Yup, that’s a nice benefit there!

Not only that, I mentioned that this nipple butter is vegan.

What makes regular nipple butters not vegan?

Well, most other brands contain lanolin, which is derived from sheep wool. So, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, vegan means not consuming any animal products or byproducts.

This is an easy way to keep the innocent sheep away from harm and help your nipples feel less pain.

I was so thankful that I brought this with me to the hospital!

Don’t forget it at home, so add this to your breastfeeding essentials checklist now.

Silicone milk storage bags

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The first item on this list was the manual breast pump for collecting extra milk.

Now you need a place to store this milk when putting it in the freezer. It needs to be a freezer friendly container and we want something that’s also eco friendly.

These silicone storage bags are perfect!

They’re reusable, freezer friendly, dishwasher safe, and will save you some money down the line since you don’t need to keep buying more bags.

These bags are made from food grade silicone and don’t contain any harmful ingredients that most plastic contains such as BPA and phthalates.

You can read more about the dangers of these ingredients in my post about shopping for natural baby products.

Nuk baby bottles

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Even if you plan to breastfeed, you will likely still need bottles.

If you’ll need to go into the office sometimes or run errands while you have a babysitter watch your little one, you’ll need some extra milk in a bottle for your baby.

I’ve tried countless different baby bottles for Haylee and she refused them all.

The only one she liked was Nuk.

That’s why I’m recommending these. However, I know many moms swear by Comotomo. That’s actually one of the brands we tried, but was unsuccessful with Haylee.

Whatever brand you choose, it’s important to have some spare bottles on hand.

You can even buy one bottle of a few different brands to see which one your baby likes best. That’s what I did and that’s how I discovered that she prefers Nuk.

Nursing bras

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Another important item to include in your breastfeeding essentials checklist is a nursing bra. This pack of 3 is a great buy!

They’re super comfortable and really adjustable for all different sizes.

You can get them in different colors too, for whatever suits you best.

Nursing bras are a must, whether you plan to breastfeed or pump.

Either way, when you’re out, you don’t want to start undoing your bra in public. These bras have a convenient clip to help you do what you need to do in a discreet manner.

Bamboo nursing pads

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When going out with a nursing bra, you should always wear a nursing pad inside.

Especially at the beginning of your breastfeeding journey when you’re producing a lot of milk, you may leak at the sound of your little one crying.

This is your body’s way of getting ready to feed your baby.

However, when you’re shopping in the mall and your baby starts crying, you don’t want to start leaking milk all over your clothes.

It can get a bit embarrassing.

That’s where these nursing pads come in handy.

Simply stick them in your bra and they will absorb whatever milk leaks out, keeping your clothes dry.

Many companies sell disposable nursing pads but having reusable ones is environmentally friendly and definitely cheaper in the long run!

Nursing tank tops

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I love these nursing tops since it makes breastfeeding in the summer so easy!

You don’t even need a bra with these tank tops, you can just wear nursing pads inside to make sure you don’t leak.

It’s really convenient to have a bunch of nursing-friendly outfits so it’s easy to breastfeed when out and about.

Soft breastfeeding cover

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This is a great addition to your breastfeeding essentials checklist since it works as a breastfeeding cover when you’re in public, but it can also be used as a swaddle or stroller blanket.

How convenient!

As a mom, I appreciate the multiusage of items like these.

For those that don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding in front of others, this will maintain your privacy while feeding your little one.

The material is extremely soft so no need to worry about uncomfortable fabric for you or your little one.

Adjustable breastfeeding pillow

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This pillow is a popular item among breastfeeding essentials checklists.

However, this isn’t the typical boppy pillow that you may have seen or heard about.

This one is adjustable!

You can use this breastfeeding pillow for different positions and it’ll accommodate it just as you need, without straining your back or arms.

Breastfeeding massager

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Breastfeeding is an amazing thing that moms do. The ability to feed your baby from your own body is unbelievable.

But there will also be some days that you dread nursing your little one because you’re in so much pain.

Whether you’re engorged – too much milk trapped in your milk ducts, or you have mastitis – an infection in your breast, you will want a way to relieve that pain.

This breastfeeding massager can be a lifesaver for many moms! It’s actually developed by lactation consultants so it’s designed to help relieve your pain.

It’s an item that moms swear by and I definitely recommend it for your breastfeeding essentials checklist.

Cozy glider and ottoman

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When you need to wake up in middle of the night to breastfeed your little one, it’s important to have a comfortable chair.

One that rocks back and forth is especially helpful in putting your little one back to sleep.

I have this glider and it’s still so useful!

It’s comfortable and the gliding is so smooth and calming.

A must have for all moms, whether you breastfeed or bottle feed.

Eco friendly water bottle

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In order to keep your milk production going, you need to ensure you’re drinking enough water.

You’ll also get really thirsty when breastfeeding so it’s great to have a big water bottle with you at all times.

I bought my water bottle right when I started breastfeeding and since then, I take it with me wherever I go.

I keep refilling it throughout the day and I can make sure I drink enough.

This water bottle is made of glass and bamboo so there’s no plastic here. Completely eco friendly and it has motivational sayings as you drink more from the bottle.

Add this to your breastfeeding essentials checklist since you’ll need to keep hydrated!

To wrap up

These are 12 items that should be on every mom’s breastfeeding essentials checklist.

It will ensure you have all the necessary items when starting your amazing breastfeeding journey with your little one.

Whether you’re a first time mom or a first time breastfeeding mom, this list of must haves will have you covered.

You can even add them to your Amazon baby registry so you’ll be prepared for when your little bundle of joy arrives!

Fill in your details below and get a printable version of this breastfeeding essentials checklist.

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