Breastfeeding essentials: The best and worst of breastfeeding accessories


Breastfeeding is tough for a new mom, but every day there are new breastfeeding essentials going on sale that can absolutely turn around your breastfeeding journey.

This list of breastfeeding accessories is all about the best and the worst breastfeeding products that I used when I breastfed my two little ones. Learn from my mistakes Mama’s!

When I had my daughter I had consumed every bit of information I had available to me about breastfeeding. We went to the classes at the hospital, read books, and watched youtube videos.

If only I knew then what I know now! There are many things I would have done differently but also just as many things or more that I now know we did just right.

I am a very frugal person, and the idea of wasting money is crazy to me. So, finding the most cost-effective products that made a major difference became really important to me.

There are affiliate links in this post. You can find out more about them in my here.

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Best and worst things to pack in your hospital bag
Best and worst baby products
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Real quick before we start, If there is one thing that is going to make THE most difference in your breastfeeding journey is being educated in breastfeeding.

Having information, and knowing what is going on will, in turn, give you the confidence that I am convinced is crucial for breastfeeding moms to have.

Obviously that’s not the only thing they need, but it helps a ton.

This class is by Stacey Stewart, a Certified Lactation Educator, and breastfeeding mama who knows her stuff. I had already breastfed once before when I took her course and STILL learned things.

The best part? It’s only $19. You cannot beat that when you are talking about your sanity, and having a lot better chance of not giving baby formula. Which will cost WAY more than $19.

Can you tell I love this class?

Click here check it out while she still has it at this steal of a price.

The best breastfeeding accessories

manual hakaa breast pump awesome breast pumping accessory for moms

The Hakaa

This product is quite literally life-changing. This breastfeeding essential is manual breast pump that can attach to the opposite breast while you are feeding your baby to catch your let down instead of it just spraying into a breast pad. Genius.

You can also use it as a manual breast pump!

Find it here on Amazon.

Lacti Cups

These are handly little shells that go in your bra and save the milk that leaks out during the day. Insanely smart.

Especially for the pumping mom who needs just one more ounce or the stay at home mom who can’t find time to pump! These will be a big help in supplementing your stash.

Nursing bra

You absolutely must have a good nursing bra when you are a breastfeeding mama.

I highly suggest you buy these when you are pregnant as your breasts grow instead of buying a whole new bra that you can’t nurse in. It’s an easy way to knock out two birds with one stone.

Also, attempt to avoid underwire, it can lead to clogged ducts which are never ever fun.

Find some great nursing bra options here.

Nursing Tanks

I really don’t recommend you buy a ton of fancy clothes specifically for breastfeeding, but these nursing tanks have been one of my favorite purchases I have made for my breastfeeding journey. They make feeding a breeze and I can stick them under anything!

Find great nursing tanks here.

Nursing Dresses

This is only something I would recommend if you have to wear a dress for an occasion that you will need to breastfeed.

In case you haven’t thought about it, breastfeeding in a dress is really difficult. So if you like to wear dresses or will probably need one I would absolutely spend the money on one.

You can check out this bestselling nursing dress here.

Disposable breast pads

Leaking all over your clothes is not fun. You’re already going to be covered in spit-up, these will help you not be covered in breastmilk every time you have a letdown.

I have tried several different brands of these, and for new mom’s I would absolutely recommend Lasinoh and Medela. They are comfortable even on nipples that have been through the wringer.


This is the best way to avoid cracking and bleeding nipples. Start using this immediately, do not wait until they are already hurting!

Put it on before and after feeding it is perfectly safe for baby. Usually, hospitals will give you a small travel size, but you’ll want a bigger tube at home.

Check out the nipple saving cream here.

Soy Lethicin or Sunflower Lecithin

With both of my little ones I tended to get clogged ducts often, so this became essential on my breastfeeding journey. With my son it was awful, and several times I could tell that mastitis was on its way.

I had mastitis three times with my daughter and I had no desire to go through that again. So I searched the web for a way to stop it and I found a few suggestions for Soy Lecithin.

Let me tell you, this helped me get rid of the clogged duct quickly and if I took them regularly kept them away! In the beginning, every time I stopped taking it I would end up with yet another clog.

Take my word for it, this is amazing. I would absolutely have it on hand just in case. Things like clogged ducts and mastitis hit you hard and fast.

Find my favorite lecithin here.

Muslin Swaddle Blankets

While these are great for swaddling I loved using the Muslin Swaddle Blankets as nursing covers. Let me say this part really loud- you do not have to cover when you breastfeed!

But, I wanted to. It was how I was most comfortable. I loved using these swaddle blankets because they were large, and breathable so baby didn’t get too hot.

Another option is the Milk Snob, it’s a car seat cover and a nursing cover all in one! I will say the Milk Snob has a one up on the muslin blankets in the aspect that you don’t have to worry about it coming off while feeding. But you get the hang of it either way.

Check out these cute muslin swaddle blankets here.

Mattress protector

You know how I said earlier you would have plenty of spit up on you? It will also definitely be on your bed, especially if you nurse while laying down (and you’d be crazy not to).

Inevitably your sheets are going to be covered with spit up and leaking breastmilk. Making sure your mattress doesn’t end up covered in those things as well is pretty important.

It is so much easier to throw a mattress protector in the wash than attempting to get the smell of spit-up out of a mattress!

Snag my favorite mattress protector here.

A Frugal Mom’s Guide to Prepping for Baby (Free eBook)

I go over the most important aspects of getting ready for baby along with some great tidbits on what you need for baby along with a printable checklist with all the new baby must-haves.

Other things included are getting your finances in order for baby (even if you don’t have a lot of money), getting your home ready, some great classes that helped me a ton, and more!

Sign up to get your free eBook below. 

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7 tips for DIY maternity photos 
Massive list of New Parent and Pregnancy Resources 
8 tips for DIY newborn photos

The worst breastfeeding accessories

Nursing shirts

 These shirts are very convenient. But if you take my tip on getting nursing tanks don’t even worry about nursing shirts.

You can easily execute the two shirt method of nursing this way and you won’t have to redo your entire wardrobe to fit your new breastfeeding lifestyle!

Reusable breast pads

 While the idea of reusable breast pads sounds smart in the end I found that they leaked a lot more than my trusty Lasinoh and Medela disposable nursing pads.

Plus if your anything like me, small things like this seem to disappear in the wash and you never have them when you need them.

Lasinoh breastmilk bags

Lasinoh may make a great breast pad. But their milk bags are the worst!

I have heard countless moms talk about how when thawing breastmilk the bags leak everywhere and all your hard work goes down the drain. I’ve had a lot of success with the Medela brand bag.

Bras with underwire

The first reason why these are the worst is simply that when breastfeeding they are just plain uncomfortable.

The experts claim that bra’s with underwire should not cause issues like clogged ducts, but with your breasts changing size every few hours it will be very difficult to get one to fit correctly. I can say with experience that an ill-fitting underwire bra can and will create clogged ducts.

Milk warmer

I won’t lie, a milk warmer maybe would be convenient when thawing out frozen milk for your baby. But it is just as easy to just put the milk in a warm glass of water.

You’ll save cash and space, you will already have entirely too many baby things in your house. No need to add one more.

Milk storage systems

You absolutely should find a good way to store your milk in the freezer. You absolutely should not spend money on a cheap plastic bin for it.

Do yourself a favor, go get your favorite 12 pack of pop from the grocery store, tear off the top, and voila. See more on how to do that here.  It fits the milk bags perfectly! You can also try the gift bag method with bags from the dollar store.

Burp Cloths

I’ve said this in other posts about burp cloths and I will say it again. Whoever thinks that a baby will only spit-up on the designated small area of a burp cloth is crazy.

Get several packs of receiving blankets instead. They are absorbent and will cover a much larger area when your baby inevitably spits up everywhere.

Did we miss your favorite breastfeeding essential?

There are a ton of products out there for breastfeeding. These are just the ones I have experience with! I’d love to hear in the comments below anything that you have loved or hated on your breastfeeding journey.

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Breastfeeding as a new mom is hard! Take some tips from a breastfeeding mom of two with this list of best and worst breastfeeding accessories. Make sure you get the right breastfeeding essentials!

25 thoughts on “Breastfeeding essentials: The best and worst of breastfeeding accessories”

  1. Only thing i disagree with is your breast pads and soy.

    I get so itchy from the disposable breast pads and had a crazzy amount of leaks, i love my reusable ones.

    Soy is becoming one of the most common allergies, so be careful using it on something that will come in contact with baby mouth.

    1. Man I had the exact opposite experience with the reusable breast pads! Disposables have been my best friends. I know all too well about Soy allergies, my daughter has that and many others 🙂 This is actually in pill form that mom takes. Unless you are already avoiding Soy in your diet it shouldn’t make a difference. I’ve heard sunflower lecithin works as well! Thanks for sharing your experience Skye!

    2. Soy lecithin is not the same as other soy products. It doesn’t have the protein and it isn’t the oil byproduct after processing occurs. Allergies or hormone changes are not an issue with soy lecithin. I know this as a health care provider who recommends soy lecithin for different health issues. 🙂

      1. No you had the same experience she said she didn’t like reusable and likes disposable just like you. Didn’t read careful enough apparently. Also she mentioned the sunflower lecithin,

  2. I found an awesome reusable breastpad on Etsy. I would still recommend disposable maybe the first month and then check out Charis Baby Design on Etsy!! So much easier to wash and reuse than buying them all the time. And a worst product would also be nipple protectors (I think that’s the right name). They’re like little shields you wear under your bra. They did help my sore nipples to not get bumped or rub against my clothes, but any milk I leaked would pour out any time I bent over!

    1. Oh man that does sound awful! Maybe it is just my disdain for laundry, but I found it so much easier to just buy the box and be done with it haha.

  3. I also don’t agree about burp cloths, I think they’re great! Now my first was a spitter, so maybe the blankets would have been ok, but my second didn’t spit much at all and burp cloths were fine.

    1. Yes, I think if you have a big spitter then they are so needed! I just had my second and he doesn’t spit up nearly as much, I still used the blankets. I think they just provide more coverage so I don’t have to change my shirt every time he spits up in a different way than I was expecting! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Meredith Blakeley

    I actually prefer the Lasinoh milk bags – I only had issues once and I figured out how to deal with it potentially occurring again. I froze the bags on a cookie sheet in case they leaked bc the one time they did they were stuck to my freezer shelf. I also made sure to lay them out on the counter for a minute to check for leaks. And then I thawed the bags in a large plastic cup to catch any potential leaks from holes that somehow appeared later. But again, I only had issues from one pack of 25 out of the hundreds I probably used. I actually don’t like the medela bags because they don’t freeze particularly flat which makes storing them a bit more challenging. (I love the soda box method – it holds 25- 4oz lanisoh bags which makes a nice 100 oz and that’s much easier to note than a random amount of bags/amounts in dated gallon bags which is what I did before 🙂

    I really like burp clothes, however my daughter really didn’t spit up much so the small size worked fine.

    I’d also disagree with Lanolin. I never actually used it because I read somewhere that it’s made from sheep somehow and that if you think wool clothing is itchy, lanolin could be problematic. I loved the Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple cream and I also had a prescription cream that was great in the beginning.

    The nursing clothing options would totally depend on your lifestyle and preferences. I never used the few tanks I bought because I don’t like wearing lots of layers of clothes. For working outside the house, nursing shirts and dresses are great for pumping.

    1. I’m so glad those bags worked for you! I never had issues with Lanolin, but I also like wool!

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, I love that everyone has different experiences that we can share. Hopefully other mom’s will find the info that fits them best!

  5. 100% agree with the Haakaa pump being on the list. It was recommended to me by my sister as I had such a massive let down I’d drench my daughter’s lower half if she was laying across me feeding! Now I just pop it on to the other breast when I feed her & Ive built up a good freezer stash from that alone… it’s also ridiculously easy to clean, & small enough to take out with you in a handbag (although I wouldn’t wanna pop it out when bf in public- I’ll stick to using pads in those cases!)

    1. Right?! It’s amazing! I wish I had it with my first. I pumped and worked I so could’ve used it to build a stash!

  6. I had the opposite experience with reusable breast pads. I loved them!!! they are soft, comfortable and you don’t leak at all. With the disposables I was always fighting because they get really wet and tend to roll and stick in the bra .
    As you say in tour post we tend to buy many things we don’t need/use and sometimes we miss the good ones, loved your post!

    1. Thank you Mariana! So good to hear your experience, I just felt like I leaked everywhere with them. I’m glad other mom’s can see they do work for some!

  7. I use cloth diapers as burp rags. They are very absorbent and bigger than your typical burp rag. They work great!!

    And the lansinoh disposable breast pads have saved me many a changed shirt! I have a pretty intense let down and milk gets everywhere if I don’t wear them! They are very absorbent!

    1. I had a few of the cloth diapers as well Nicole, they did work great! I loved how they were bigger than normal burp rags. Seriously thank goodness for the breastpads. That brand is so comfy too. I had a very intense let down at first as well, they are must-haves in my opinion! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  8. I agree with you Rachel.
    Actually with everything on here that’s you have mentioned so far even with tank tops\dress and all. I normally do not agree with everything 100%. Thank you for all great advice.

  9. I disagree with some of this for sure! I love my reusable breast pads and have never had any of them leak, and they’re so much softer and more comfortable than disposable ones. And much more eco friendly. I also love the lansinoh milk bags and have never had a leaking problem. I prefer them over every other brand I’ve tried. They freeze the flattest. I also love my burp cloths, but my baby also doesn’t spit up a lot. I never tried the Hakka pump, but I plan to give it a try the next time around. And I agree about nursing shirts!! I used the nursing tanks daily, but the nursing shirts I bought have never been worn. Lesson learned!

    1. Thanks for sharing Chelsea! I love hearing what has worked for other moms. I just could not get on board with the reusable breast pads, maybe I’ll give them a try if I have another baby just to see if they are better than last time!

  10. I haven’t tried disposable breast pads, but I got two pair of wool reusable breast pads and I love them. You only have to wash them ever 2 weeks or so since they are made of wool. The haakaa is fantastic. I don’t leak all over the place while breastfeeding and sometimes collect up to 3 ounces. I’ve been having some trouble with clogged ducts, so I’m going to check out the lecithin recommendation. Thanks!

    1. Hmmm Maybe wool is where it is at then Sarah! I felt like I had to wash mine every day. I had the WORST trouble with clogged ducts with my son and the lecithin was a lifesaver!! I hope it does just as well for you 🙂

  11. I’m not a fan of the traditional burp cloths either. I had them with my first two and ended up using a cloth diaper instead. This time around someone gifted me the Aden and Aneis burpy bib and I loved it so much I went out and bought two more. They are wider on the ends and cover the front of your shirt better. I can’t believe no one ever recommended them to me before.

    1. I actually did see someone get those at a shower Ashley and I was impressed! I definitely think those are game changers. Thanks for commenting! I totally forgot about that until you brought it up.

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