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Get the best breastfeeding hacks and tips! Whether you are looking for first-time breastfeeding advice, breastfeeding products, DIY breastfeeding supplies, here are 50 breastfeeding hacks and tips to help you breastfeed your baby, from other breastfeeding moms.
Breastfeeding comes with plenty of challenges—cluster feeding, engorged nipples, leaking milk, and trouble latching—just to name a few. But for those who can get past all that and continue to have success with breastfeeding, it can be an incredible experience!
I wasn’t able to breastfeed Evelyn past the first month or so. I still want to bring you the most helpful information and encouragement that you need to do this mom thing, and I know breastfeeding can be so challenging, especially in the beginning! So I’ve chatted with friends and other moms to gather up these helpful breastfeeding hacks and tips.
Everyone’s experience is so different and different things work for different woman. Hopefully you’ll find several breastfeeding hacks and tips in this list that will help you breastfeed your baby.
Breastfeeding Hacks for Beginners
1. Nursing during the golden hour can have many benefits including promoting bonding and breastfeeding. The Golden Hour is the first 60 minutes after birth. Try to have this time alone with baby before any visitors come.
2. Getting your baby to latch properly can be one of the hardest parts about breastfeeding. If your baby isn’t latched properly, it can HURT! Rosaura from Solutions Mommy recommends getting your baby to open their mouth wide by tickling their mouth with your nipple. Once their mouth is wide open, you can bring them to your breast and get a better latch.
3. Try different positions. Laptops and Naptimes has the pros and cons of 8 different breastfeeding positions as well as illustrations so you can see what each one looks like. Try several different breastfeeding positions to see which works best for you.
4. Download a baby tracking app to keep track of feedings. (Your mind will be in a fog those first few weeks.) Tracker apps allow you to record vital information such as when you last breastfed, which side, for how long, and more. Popular apps include Baby Feeding Log, Feed Baby, and Baby Tracker.
5. Increase your milk supply by feeding baby on demand, especially in the beginning. Just watch their hunger cues and don’t worry about following any schedule until breastfeeding becomes more established.
6. When her baby was cluster feeding, Sammy from Down RedBud Drive would deem it a Netflix day, plop on the couch with baby for the day, and nurse as needed. Use it as an excuse to catch up on your favorite shows, guilt-free!
7. Create a comfortable breastfeeding station. Make this a place where you can go and have everything you need to breastfeed. Include things like an extra water bottle, snacks, chapstick, and your phone charger. Oh Happy Hotalings has a cozy one!
8. Nursing moms need to hydrate! Rabbi from Timeless Mama liked using a water bottle with a straw so she could sip water while laying back to nurse.
9. Cindy from Living for the Sunshine encourages moms not to panic if your milk doesn’t come in right away. It can take 3 to 5 days after birth for your milk production to really take, but you’ll still produce colostrum, which is all your baby needs in those first few days.
10. Take a breastfeeding class. Milkology is an online class that you can take at home at your own pace. The mission of the class is to give you confidence in breastfeeding your baby.
Even More Breastfeeding Hacks and Tips
11. Weigh baby in between doctor visits if you’re concerned. We had a small food scale that we could put our daughter on. You can also weigh yourself alone and then weigh yourself holding baby, but I’m not sure how accurate that is. If you want the most accurate weight, use a baby scale.
12. Reach out to a lactation consultant as often as you need. My friend Crystal says she had hers on speed dial with her first baby.
13. Have your partner help. My husband was such a great support when we were breastfeeding. Having a second set of eyes and ears when you meet with the lactation consultant can make a huge difference.
14. Another way to get dad involved is to have him help with the pump. Sleep deprived and full of hormones, figuring out how to work the pump was overwhelming to me. Nick helped set it up and showed me how it worked, and I loved him dearly for that.
15. Speaking of pumping, if you can, get your breast pump before your baby is here. You’ll have time and a clear mind to get properly fitted shields before those postpartum emotions and hormones come at you. This tip from Gabby is so smart!
16. Wait to offer your baby a bottle until breastfeeding has been established, usually about four weeks, according to La Leche League.
17. When you are ready to introduce a bottle, have someone else give it to your baby. It’s a great excuse for you to get a break!
19. Stock up on must-needed breastfeeding supplies. Wearing a nursing bra and pillow can be game changers! See below for more favorite breastfeeding products.
20. Use a hair tie or nursing clip to keep track of which breast you left last fed on. You might not always remember when you’re in a newborn daze.
21. I know a lot of people say that if breastfeeding hurts, the latch is wrong. But I think it can just be a learning curve in the beginning and it can hurt no matter what. Rachel from The Analytical Mommy agrees and says don’t assume that pain means a poor latch.
22. Breastfeeding while babywearing is a great option if you need to nurse on-the-go or want to discretely nurse in public.
23. Leaking is totally normal! Use nursing pads to save your shirts from dripping milk.
24. Get support from the people around you. Call your bestie so she can encourage you that it will get better and let your husband help in the ways that he can. Know that breastfeeding is hard and it’s better when you have people to help support you.
25. You can store breast milk at room temperature (up to 77°) for up to four hours. If you need to store if for longer, refrigerate it or use a cooler with an ice pack.
DIY Breastfeeding Hacks
You can make your own breastfeeding products to save money. Some of these can be made easily while others will take more time. These can be great nesting projects while you wait for baby to arrive!
27. If you can sew, then you can make your own absorbent nursing pads. The DIY Mommy has a full tutorial.
28. Turn your everyday bra into a nursing bra. Venusian Glow did this and it looks like it would work great!
29. Give your baby something to play with while they nurse with a DIY breastfeeding necklace. Breastfeeding Place shows how she whipped this up with simple craft supplies.
30. Feeling engorged from milk? Take a hot shower to release extra milk and relieve engorgement.
31. You can also use cabbage leaves for engorgement. Just wash cabbage leaves and apply them chilled to breasts in between feedings.
32. Make your own nursing tanks so you can feed baby easily. Square Piece made these and just looped her nursing bra through them!
33. A hands-free pumping bra is a huge help if you’re pumping frequently. Pretty Providence came up with a DIY pumping bra tutorial so you can have several pumping bras for the same price as one!
34. Use the two-shirt method so you don’t have to expose yourself or invest in a nursing tank. Wear two tanks so you can lift up the top tank while pulling down the other tank to nurse.
35. Sooth sore nipples with DIY aloe vera bags. You can make these in advance, or even gift them to a new mom friend. Genius tip from Caroline!
36. Make your own nipple butter with this super easy recipe from A Blossoming Life. Much cheaper then store bought!
Breastfeeding Products Moms Love
If you aren’t the DIY type, there are plenty of products that can help make breastfeeding a little more convenient, and help you feel more comfortable. Here are some favorites!
37. If you’re short, use a nursing stool when nursing in a chair or sitting upright to help you get more comfortable.
38. Nursing bras clip off easily so you can breastfeed baby without taking your bra off completely. This three-pack is a deal!
39. Pumping mamas can use these quick steam bags to wash pump parts in a flash. Perfect for sanitizing on-the-go.
40. Nursing tanks make it a lot easier to nurse in public without exposing yourself. Just unhook and feed.
41. The Haakaa manual breast pump can be used for portable pumping or as a milk saver to catch letdown milk when you’re nursing on the other side. Coffee and Coos has a bunch of tips for using your Haakaa!
42. Milks savers are another product to catch any precious leaking milk. Save that liquid gold mama!
44. If you’re a working mom use these bottle labels to send breast milk to daycare. Makes being a working mom a little easier.
45. This nursing sweatshirt is cute and functional. Perfect for public breastfeeding in the colder months.
46. TheraPearl hot and cold packs serve double duty. The cold helps relieve engorgement while the heat encourages letdown and helps relieve plugged ducts.
47. Moisturize nipples and soothe dry skin with Earth Mama nipple butter. You don’t have to wash it off before nursing either.
49. If you’re going on a road trip or have a long commute you can get a breast pump car adapter to pump on the go. One of my girlfriends did this while pumping in the limo at my bachelorette party!
50. Multitask while you pump at work or home with a hands-free pumping bra. This is a must if you pump frequently!
My final tip is to keep going as long as you and baby are mentally and physically healthy! If breastfeeding doesn’t work out in the end, everyone will be just fine!
Were there any breastfeeding hacks or breastfeeding tips I missed? Leave them in the comments and I can add them to the post.