Feeding is one of the more important aspects of a young mother’s and baby’s experience. Of course, breastfeeding is best, but it’s nice to let Dad have a turn sometimes. Since he lacks the “equipment” there are some alternatives.
Bottles-Since I’m breastfeeding, I don’t really have reviews for bottles or formula. I use the Avent bottles to feed Kaisa my pumped milk when I can’t nurse her, and they seem to work really great at reducing the gas.
Breast Pumps-I have both a hand pump and a double-electric pump. Let my just say that I love Medela pumps! The Medela Harmony is probably the best hand pump on the market. It has excellent suction (as long as there are no water droplets underneath the rubber part of the handle) and is very portable. It doesn’t tire my hands out to use it, and I am usually able to pump 4 to 5 oz in about 15 minutes. Great for those quickie-pumps in the car or in the morning to relieve engorgement!
I bought the older Medela Pump-in-Style off of eBay and I love it!. When you buy a used pump, make sure you purchase all new tubing, shields, valves, membranes, etc. for sanitary purposes. My used pump was $60 on eBay and my kit was $10. $70 for a pump that originally cost over $250 is not bad!! And this pump still works great! I like this for when I need to pump at work or build up my milk supply a bit. It thoroughly empties each breast and does it quickly. I am usually able to pump 6 oz in about 10 or 15 minutes. It requires more work to put together and take apart than the Harmony, but in the end it’s well worth it. It also comes in a nice black leather case with a compartment and ice packs to store pumped milk. It’s not super quiet, but the noise isn’t overbearing either. A working mom’s must-have!
I would recommend buying some sanitizing wipes to keep with your pump if you will be using it away from home more than once. This helps clean up the milk droplets after each use and keep bacteria out. However, the Medela brand wipes are quite pricey…just go with any generic brand sanitizing wipes at the grocery store, or even baby wipes!
Podee Bottle-I bought this bottle to try out on our trip to Canada. I thought it would be convenient to be able to set the bottle next to her in her car seat and just let her go at it so I didn’t have to sit back there with her. It’s a really neat idea, and I think it will be great when she gets a bit older. It’s a bit tricky to get the milk up all that tubing–she had to work really hard and it took her over an hour to finish four ounces. She seemed to get really frustrated with it after a while. I only used it once and then decided just to sit back there with her and feed her with a regular bottle. I think it will be nice to have when she is old enough to hold her own bottle–then she won’t have to tip her head back to get all the milk out. A bit expensive, and not really great for young babies.
Boppy-I bought a boppy nursing pillow with a soft fleece cover. I haven’t really used it while nursing as much as I thought I would. The reason for that, I think, is that I like to nurse in chairs with arm rests and that is all I need for support. The boppy is nice when you are sitting on a couch or something like that, but I don’t often nurse on the couch, or if I do I just put a regular pillow under my supporting arm. What I LOVE the boppy for is play time for Kaisa. I can lay her on a blanket on the floor and prop her up on either her tummy or back so she can look around a bit better. She seems to really like it and has even fallen asleep on it a bunch of times. I may need to buy one of those boppy covers with the toys attached!
Bottle Warmer-I bought a Circo brand bottle warmer from Target…only $10! This has been a must-have for giving Kaisa breast milk in a bottle. You are not supposed to put breast milk in the microwave as it can kill the antibodies and other “good stuff,” but it takes forever to hold that bottle under hot water long enough to warm it up! This is nice to have for travel and for sitters so they have an easy way to warm her bottles. It takes about 10 minutes, so be prepared to have a fussy baby while you wait…or just time it so they are not to that fussy point yet when you feed them. No need to spend big bucks on a warmer…Circo bottle warmer does the job great!