Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday - Nursing Tips

(Warning for my two male readers: this is probably not a post you want to read. You've been warned.)
Nursing works for us (Lili can't talk yet but if she could she would tell you that she's a big fan).
Here are my top 10 ways to make it work for you:

1. Nursing bras & tank tops. These are must haves but they don't have to break the bank. Target has a line that is affordable and works just as well as the pricier versions. Amazon has some affordable versions as well. Like this one or this one. (FYI: Those are Affiliate links.) I've seen a few tutorials on how to make your own but bargain shopping is more my speed.

2. Lanolin. (Here's an Amazon link to the Lansinoh version.) You probably won't need it for long, but in the first days - maybe a week or two - you will definitely want it.

3. Water. Lots and lots of water. As soon as I sat down to nurse a baby in her first days of life my mouth would go dry. My husband learned early on that one of his primary responsibilities in the newborn phase was to bring me a big glass of ice water. Water is always great but I have to confess that my favorite drink in the hospital is a half frozen cup of apple juice. In the first day or two after giving birth I go through more apple juice than a class of Kindergarten kids.

4. Learn the different positions. Eventually you will not need these but in the first few days (especially if you're recovering from a difficult delivery or a c-section) you will want to try different ways of latching on. After the first few weeks I usually settle into the cradle hold and the "whichever way I can lay down and doze and still nurse" positions. Which leads me to another point:

5. Co-sleep, if you can. At least keep the baby in the same room. When you're nursing several times a night you don't want to walk down the hall to fetch the baby. Keep her close and it's a lot easier. When she's a little older then you can move her to her room. Chances are you're all getting more sleep by that point and one walk down the hall isn't so bad.

6. Washable nursing pads are well worth it. You can make them yourself or buy them but either way is nicer than the disposable kind.

7. Button down shirts are your new best friend. No need to splurge on pricy "nursing tops". Another tip: unbutton your shirt from the bottom. Easy access but you're still, ahem, covered. Layers are great too - a tank or camisole under your favorite t-shirt or sweater can help.

8. Dresses with buttons. I always watch for these at outlet and thrift stores. When my oldest was a baby I had one special nursing dress ($$) but I quickly figured out that there were several styles of dress that had buttons down the front. Much less expensive and still convenient. (Side note: some wrap dresses work too but it's a little trickier. I like to wear a skirt under some of my sweater or wrap dresses - then I can nurse and still be dressed.)

9. A large blanket or nursing cover. You could make or buy a special cover but a large jacket or sweater will do in a pinch. (Ask me how I know.) Note of warning: at a certain point the baby gets old enough to decide she doesn't like hiding while she eats. Watch out for those baby hands!

10. Enjoy it. It's a limited amount of time. One day you'll be holding your baby in your arms and the next she'll be announcing, "Hey, I'm going to be 10 on my birthday this year. Double digits!" (Again: ask me how I know. Sigh.)

So, veteran moms, what did I miss?

This post is linked to Top 10 Tuesday at Oh Amanda.