In a world teeming with technology, choosing to breastfeed can sometimes feel downright primitive. Sure, it's natural, and yeah, my body was designed to do it, but that doesn't mean gadgets that make nursing easier can't offer a little help along the way. Learning how to breastfeed isn't necessarily easy, and I, like many first-time moms, questioned how something "natural" could be so difficult. After all, haven't women been doing this for hundreds of thousands of years?
As a modern-day mama, I do have one thing on my cavewoman ancestors, though: I live in the digital age, and surely if my pizza will be delivered by drone in the not-too-distant future, there have got to be some techie products that make breastfeeding easier for a mom who's more used to being attached to a smartphone than a baby.
Lucky for us, there are, and — you're welcome — I've sifted through the clutter to see which of these gizmos and gadgets can make nursing easier, more comfortable, and even enjoyable. So grab your smartphone, grab your baby, and get ready to nurse away with the help of these 10 products. (Whether you choose to take a #breastfeedingselfie, however, is entirely up to you.)
A Wearable Night Light
Moms may be superheroes, but they can't see in the pitch dark. Flipping on a bright light isn't an option at 3 a.m., which is when this light will be your new best friend. Clip it to whatever you're wearing, and it'll provide just enough glow so you can see what you're doing without waking up your sweet slumbering babe. The device also features a timer so you can track your baby's feeds (or wake yourself up when you invariably fall asleep).
All-in-One Feeding Diary With Clock, Nightlight, And Sound Machine
Would it be overkill to say that this nifty all-in-one gadget will be the, ahem, star of your nursery? It features a gentle night light, a room temperature indicator, and a soothing sound machine to keep your baby sleeping peacefully. Then when your baby wakes up hungry, it helps track feeding times. It does all of this and, in typical aden + anais fashion, still manages to look stylish and cool.
A Smart Changing Pad
Despite around 200,000 years of evolution, human breasts don't come with a gauge that lets Mom see how much milk she produces or the exact amount her baby eats, but this game-changer of a changing pad is the next best thing. Weigh your baby before and after a nursing session to ensure your little one is getting enough of that liquid gold, then use it to track diapers to confirm what goes in matches what comes out.
A Little Relief
Sometimes, the thing that makes it easier to stick with breastfeeding is not breastfeeding. Using an efficient breast pump can give you a break, so you can get out of the house. A few moments with the pump could also help improve your baby's latch by taking the edge off an engorged breast.
Before I had kids, I assumed I'd spend those middle-of-the-night feedings working my way through the books on my nightstand. Turns out, it's really hard to concentrate on allegorical literary themes at 4 a.m., but it's really easy to scroll through your Instagram feed. Have a backup battery on hand to avoid the horror of a lifeless phone at a time when you need it most.
A Pocket Reminder
This nanny may not watch your baby while you grab brunch with the girls, but she will help you easily keep track of baby stats like nursing sessions (including which side baby nursed from last) and diaper changes. Unlike with a phone app, the Pocket Nanny can be used by multiple family members and caregivers, so Mom isn't the only one trying to remember when her baby last ate.
Eyes in the Dark
The obvious pro to this hands-free nursing light is that you get to wear it on your head and look like a miner while feeding your child. Yes, you may feel silly at first, but then you'll realize the two-level lighting and adjustable beam makes nursing in the darkest hours of night a breeze. Beyond night nursing, use it to read bedtime stories, change diapers, and fix that leak under your sink.
The Right Light
Inspired by the same technology NASA uses to help astronauts sleep in space, this light bulb emits just enough of the right kind of light to help your baby know it's time to settle down. Without distracting bright lights, your baby can focus on eating rather than playing the "pull off, laugh, and giggle" game that's so fun for Mom in the middle of the night.
Sounds of Silence (Or T. Swift)
Some babies just want to be on the boob. Maybe they're cluster feeding, maybe they're colicky, or maybe they just feel better knowing their milk supply is never out of reach. Whatever the reason, pick up a pair of wireless headphones, and you'll feel better knowing that Netflix and Spotify are never out of your reach, even if your partner is fast asleep.
Two a.m. Moment of truth. Baby finished nursing and has drifted back to sleep, ready to be transferred (ever so carefully) into the crib. This typically involves Mom holding her breath while lowering her baby at the rate of one millimeter an hour — silently praying to anyone who will listen that she doesn't have to sneeze. This sound machine helps lull your baby back into sweet slumber — because even though breastfeeding is beautiful, so is bed.
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