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Registering for baby stuff is so much fun. I mean, who doesn’t love browsing around for cute baby items?!
If you plan on breastfeeding, chances are you plan on pumping. Whether you pump exclusively, pump at work, or just pump occasionally, you’ll need several pumping supplies on hand.
But what pumping supplies do you actually need?
Over the last 9 years (and three kids!) I’ve pumped a total of 43 months.
During that time, I’ve learned a LOT about pumping.
Here are my top 10 favorite pumping supplies you actually need.
Okay, this is obvious. Ha! But which breast pump is the best? I’ve used several different types, but my all-time favorite is the Medela Pump In Style. In my experience, it just works better.
Bonus tip: If you have insurance, give them a call and see if they will give you a FREE pump!
Unless you want to spend all your “spare” time washing bottles and pump parts, you’ll need lots of extra bottles.
I prefer to use glass bottles to escape any chemicals (such as BPA/BPS) in plastic. These chemicals can leach into milk, especially when the bottle is heated. Plastic bottles can also scratch, giving bacteria a place to harbor.
These life factory bottles are affordable AND they fit the Medela pump.
Having at least 2-4 extra flanges will also save you a lot of time and hassle. Before you purchase, be sure to measure your nipple so you’ll know what size to buy. (Here’s a handy measurement guide!)
Three things in life are certain. Death, taxes, and condensation in your breast pump tubes. (LOL!) Occasionally, milk can back up into the tubes. Before they get too gross, you’ll want to replace them. It’s a good idea to have an extra pair of tubes handy for when this happens.
Notice a pattern here? Those little white membranes are SUPER fragile. A tiny tear in the membrane will cause your pump to stop working. (I learned this the hard way.) These valves and membranes are for the Medela Pump in Style. Be sure to get the spare parts that work for your brand of pump.
I know I just said I prefer to pump in glass bottles. Sometimes I store milk in glass mason jars, but when I need to freeze milk, I feel comfortable using these Lansinoh bags. They are both BPA and BPS free. Added bonus? They don’t leak! Yay!
Pumping can cause your nipples to feel dry, sore, or cracked. Applying cream after you pump can help prevent any of these issues.
I recommend the Mother Love brand or Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter. It’s made with organic ingredients and is GMO-free. It’s non-toxic and completely safe for babies. Plus, it isn’t as thick as lanolin and goes on easily.
Multi-tasking mama? Hands-free to the rescue! Now you can pump and get stuff done at the same time. Win-win!
If you are an exclusive pumper, you will need a hand pump (also known as a manual pump). When I exclusively pumped for my oldest, we experienced a storm that knocked out the power for several hours. Since we had no electricity, I had no way of pumping milk for her. Thankfully, I dug around and found my hand pump. It was a lifesaver!
If you exclusively pump, you must have a hand pump on hand for emergencies. You can also toss it in the diaper bag if you know you’ll be leaving the house for a long period but you aren’t sure if you’ll need to pump or not — or if you don’t want to lug around ALL your pump stuff.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve pumped in a (parked!) car. Thank goodness for this adapter that lets me plug in my pump while in the car. You simply plug this inverter into your car’s cigarette lighter, and voila! You can pump on the go!
Okay, I know the title of this article is “10 Items you actually need,” but I thought of some more. Consider the rest of this list a bonus, haha! You’ll need a dish dryer or a bottle drying rack for when you wash pump parts and bottles. (Or, when your dishwasher washes them for you!)
Eventually, you’ll need to leave the house with your baby and you’ll probably want to bring your milk along in case baby gets hungry. A small insulated cooler with an ice pack is a must to keep your milk safe while you’re on the go.
If your milk contains high lipase, you’ll want to scald it before freezing. Having a digital cooking thermometer will make the scalding process so much easier. Many moms like to get a digital thermometer with a timer so that it beeps when it reaches the desired temperature and you don’t accidentally heat the milk too high.
If you haven’t already, be sure to start an Amazon baby registry. Seriously, everyone shops on Amazon so you’ll be sure to get exactly what you want.
Plus, once you’ve filled out your registry and someone makes a purchase (minimum $10), Amazon will send you a fab welcome box with lots of baby goodies valued at $35! Click the graphic below to start your registry!
What pumping product would you add to this list?
Read next: 7 Breastfeeding Products You Actually Need