For something that seems so natural, it still amazes me how much of a foreign concept nursing a baby can be. If it weren’t for a few close friends that were seasoned pros at nursing and my breastfeeding class through the hospital, I would have been utterly lost when my baby arrived.
Sure, you can easily figure out the normal essentials you will need to add to your registry for your new baby and feel confident you are adequately prepared before your due date. But when it comes to nursing, I often see things I deemed as essential left off registries and even not talked about at all. That’s why my favorite baby shower gift has become a “nursing essentials” basket filled with all of the things the mom-to-be may not have thought about just yet or may not know about. My hope is that this basket will save them a Target run when they are only a few days postpartum.
- Boppy pillow – I used my Boppy pillow religiously with both children to help with latch positions. I know some women end up not using a pillow, but I think it’s a great tool to have available, especially since the nurses often push its usage at the hospital. There are several alternatives to the Boppy, so definitely make sure you check the registry and get whichever pillow the mama requested.
- Nursing cover – These are frequently registered for and I personally feel that a good nursing cover is important. I’ve never been comfortable nursing in public, but the cover helps a lot. The more comfortable a new mom can be, the more successful she is bound to be.
- Nursing tanks – I’ve tried a bunch of nursing tanks and bras, and I have to say, these are the holy grail! Every mom I have gifted these to has told me how much they love them and how they continue to wear them even after being finished nursing. These are super long, soft, and surprisingly supportive with the built in bra shelf.
- Water bottle – One of the best ways to be successful with nursing and pumping early on is to drink a ton of water! I like to throw in a cute “mom life” water bottle as a reminder of this.
- Snacks – Something that surprised me when I first started nursing was how hungry I was all the time. I usually try to include a few snacks in my gift that promote milk supply, such as my favorite lactation cookies.
- Nipple balm – I’ve also tried several nipple balms and my favorite has become the Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter. It’s thick enough to really coat the area and stay on for relief in between feedings.
- Lansinoh breastfeeding starter kit – When I first started putting these baskets together for showers I was buying a large box of nursing pads to include. However, I realized that not every mom feels the need to wear nursing pads and every mom seems to like a different brand of pads. More recently, I found this starter set and I think it’s genius! It includes 24 nursing pads, 2 freezable breast therapy pads, Lansinoh nipple cream, and a nipple everter. It really covers everything in my opinion!
- Haakaa breast pump – I discovered the Haakaa with my second baby and it was a GAME CHANGER with starting my milk stash for date nights and heading back to work. If you haven’t seen it, you place if on the opposite breast from which you are feeding your baby. It catches any milk that will leak out from that breast so that you are able to save it instead of wasting it into your nursing pad. I was able to collect around 2oz every feed in the early days which totally blew my mind.
- Birth affirmation cards – One of my favorite IG bloggers to follow, @lynzyandco, came up with these birthing affirmation cards and made them free on her blog. I instantly started bawling when I read them for the first time and I think they are such a thoughtful addition to any baby shower gift. I print them out on a heavy cardstock and tie them with a pretty ribbon or twine.
- Basket – If the mom-to-be registers for a cute hamper or basket I sometimes buy it and use it to contain all of the items. Otherwise, I try to find out the vibe of their nursery and grab a basket to match it. You can certainly never have enough baskets in a nursery or playroom!
When I’m putting together this gift, I usually go through their registry first and try to tailor it to their needs and anything they may have registered for before buying things outside of the registry. Lastly, I always include a card with notes of encouragement to let them know I am there for them at any time of the day or night. Because holy moly – nursing is freaking hard work!