This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn commissions when you make a purchase through these links (at no extra cost to you). See our disclosure policy for more details.
How to Create a Portable Nursing Station Stocked With Breastfeeding Essentials for Mom & Baby
Getting ready to set up your portable nursing station (or a stationary one, for that matter)? You’ll definitely want to look over my ultimate breastfeeding station checklist. Make sure you have all the things you’ll need handy when it’s time to feed your baby.
I totally get how annoying it can be to sit down and start feeding your baby… Only to realize you’re absolutely starving. Or your phone’s battery is almost dead and your charger is nowhere nearby.
Which is why I’ve compiled this list of breastfeeding station essentials for moms (and their babies!).
Run through the list and make sure you have all the gear you’ll need to keep nearby. You can keep it all in a little caddy, in a cart, or on a table next to you when you’re nursing your little bundle.
This way, you’ll have all the things you need in one convenient location. And you can simply snuggle up with your baby and stay cozy from the moment you sit down for a nursing session.
Without delay, let’s get right to that list!
Breastfeeding Station Checklist At-a-Glance
If you’re in a hurry, I’ve compiled the shortened list of breastfeeding essentials here:
– Back support
– Gel pads
– Burp cloths
– Water bottle
– Lip balm
– Hair ties
– Entertainment (for Mom)
– Diapers changing supplies
Not sure if you need a certain item on this list? Don’t worry – we’ll discuss each item in a little more detail shortly. I’ll explain why you may (or may not) need it, along with my buying tips.
But, first things first….
How Do I Organize My Breastfeeding Station?
First of all, you’ll need to decide if you want a portable nursing station or not. If you need to be able to move your supplies around the house, then buy a basket or caddy for storing your supplies.
Maybe you’d rather just keep everything on a table or in a drawer. Totally fine! Evaluate your needs and go from there.
If you’re keeping a LOT of supplies in your nursing station, you might want to try a rolling cart like this one. (I’ve never used one, but I hear they’re super popular!)
Not sure how much space you’ll need? I’d suggest gathering your supplies first. That’ll give you a nice visual so you can determine whether a basket or a rolling cart would better suit your needs.
Let’s move on to each of the items on my ultimate breastfeeding station checklist.
A nursing pillow is SO helpful while feeding a newborn. I highly recommend the My Brest Friend breastfeeding pillow. It clips around your waist, preventing it from slipping away.
Of course, it won’t fit in a portable nursing station, but keep it wherever you’re most likely to feed your little one.
A comfortable chair and good posture are crucial when it comes to breastfeeding. If you find yourself with an aching back, try adding a cushion or pillow behind your back. The previously-mentioned nursing pillow provides lumbar support, but you might find that you need additional support.
My posture was so bad when I started breastfeeding my firstborn that I had trouble breathing. After having my back adjusted, it got a lot better. Still, proper support and posture are invaluable.
You may or may not want to add a nursing cover to your breastfeeding station. You might feel more comfortable covering up when you have company. It can help to cover up with a stretchy nursing/carseat cover while you latch your baby.
BUT, BUT, BUT!
I only promote using a nursing cover when it increases YOUR comfort level. Never, ever to make other people comfortable. Besides, there are plenty of ways to discreetly breastfeed without a cover.
It seems like there’s never a pacifier nearby when you need one. If your baby uses them, keep an extra one in the nursing station…just in case. This one is our favorite.
Manual Breast Pump
If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you might not need to add a breast pump to your nursing station.
But pumping a small amount of milk can help relieve engorgement. This is especially true in the first few weeks while your body tries to figure out how much milk to make. (Of course, the more milk you remove, the more your body will make, so keep that in mind.)
I like to have a manual Medela breast pump on hand because it makes pumping quick and easy.
Some mamas leak milk from the opposite breast while nursing, so they use a milk collector like the Haakaa Ladybug to catch the leaks. They prevent wasted milk AND keep your clothing dry!
Sore, cracked nipples can be an unfortunate effect of breastfeeding. At least, for the first couple weeks while your baby tries to get the hang of latching. Your nipples might need a little while to adjust.
But it can help to rub freshly expressed breastmilk onto them, then let them air dry. Afterward, protect them with a cream like Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter.
Gel pads, like Medela Soothing Gel Pads, provide cooling relief for engorged breasts. You can use them alongside a warm compress for extra comfort.
It seemed like there was NEVER a burp cloth nearby when I really needed one! Keep a stash nearby in your nursing station to catch the inevitable spit up.
Oh, and… If you have a firehose letdown, you can also use burp cloths to catch the milk spray from your opposite breast.
I always stored my extra breast pads in my bedroom. But I realize now that it would have been handy to have them nearby during a breastfeeding session.
You can try disposable pads, but I preferred reusable cloth breast pads. Not only will you save money, but they’re MUCH more comfortable!
Not every nursing mom needs to use a nipple shield while breastfeeding. But if you do, keep it in your nursing station so that it’s always there when you need it.
Entertainment (for Mom)
I get it – breastfeeding is a full time job! And as much as you adore looking at your sweet baby’s face, sometimes you just need a little mental stimulation.
Keep some form of entertainment in your breastfeeding station. Even if it’s just a set of wireless earbuds so you can watch Netflix on your phone. Audiobooks and podcasts are also good entertainment during this time.
After all, reading a magazine (or even a book) can be tricky when your hands are otherwise occupied.
Extra Long Charger Cord
Most cell phones and tablets come with chargers that aren’t quite long enough. Yours should be able to reach from an outlet to your nursing station.
An extra-long charger cord will keep you connected and entertained during feedings… And you won’t have to worry about battery life.
The noise from phones and other devices can be really distracting to a nursing baby. Wireless earbuds can help you enjoy your entertainment without being distracting.
Hydration is crucial when you’re breastfeeding! After having my first daughter, I remember being SO thirsty all the time. Make sure you keep a water bottle nearby so you can sip while nursing your little one.
Quick and healthy snacks provide an energy boost during feedings. Nuts, granola bars, and fruit are convenient choices.
I love Nature Valley Protein Bars because they taste great and help keep me full. I buy them in bulk from Sam’s Club, but you can also get them via Amazon.
I always like to have a tube of lip balm, like Carmex or Chapstick, nearby in case my lips get dry.
Hair ties are nice to have nearby, especially if you find your neck getting sweaty while feeding. They also keep your hair out of the way during feedings and prevent distractions for both you and your baby.
I know how hard it can be to remember to take vitamins and supplements regularly. If you’re taking a prenatal vitamin, you might want to keep it in your breastfeeding station. The same goes for any other supplements, like Vitamin D drops for your baby.
Diaper Changing Supplies
If you’re feeding in the nursery, you might have already set up a changing station nearby. But if you’re moving throughout the house, you might want to add a few diapers, wipes, a changing pad, and a tub of diaper rash cream. You’ll be glad you did!
Breastfeeding Essentials for Mom & Baby – Final Thoughts
And that’s a wrap! If you’re setting up a breastfeeding station, this checklist will get you started. From hydration to entertainment, you’ll have everything you need while nursing your baby.
More Breastfeeding Content from the Writer Mom: