When I was building my baby registry, I had no idea what I needed as a soon-to-be breastfeeding mama. Seriously, I mean NO idea.

In this list, I share the most helpful breastfeeding accessories, products and gadgets that helped me go from semi-comfortably breastfeeding to “more” comfortably breastfeeding. For me, getting the products right took some trial and error, and even though I took recommendations from friends, I wound up not agreeing with all the advice I got.

This list serves to help you find out what’s truly useful and practical for putting on a baby registry so that you can be nursing your baby with the right things in no time when you give birth.

Milkies Milk Catcher

Step aside, all other breastfeeding products: this is the product that I liked so much I got two of it. Basically, this milk catcher (which is dishwasher-safe!) goes into your bra or shirt and catches milk from one side if you’re nursing on the other.

I got one to keep in my diaper bag, and one to keep at home. It’s easily cleanable with a bottle brush, and well-designed. Overall, I thought it was invaluable to nursing from start to finish.

Medela Shell Cups

There are things that no one will tell you about when starting breastfeeding and one of them is sore nipples: nipples so sore that you don’t want your nursing bra or nursing tank touching them.

So what’s a good product to solve the issue? These Medela Milk Catching cups, which have a dual purpose: to catch excess milk during leaking, and prevent nipples from scratching against fabric! I found this to be a brilliant product that I use for months and months.

Nipple Balm (Olive-oil based)

Up there with the other top essentials for a baby registry, nipple balm proved necessary! Friends told me that I should have the Lansinoh lanolin nipple cream for sore nipples in my first months of having a newborn, but that was bad advice: lanolin is super sticky and I didn’t like the stickiness of it.

When asking around again, I was recommended the Motherlove Nipple Cream, which is specifically lanolin-free, and I decided this was for me. I kept it by my bedside for months and used it before and after pumping. This one gets 5 stars as a breastfeeding essential to have on your registry.

Medela Manual Hand Pump

The number of times I’ve had women from my breastfeeding support group say, “Just use a Medela Hand Pump,” is too many to count. Admittedly, I didn’t use the Medela Hand Pump as much as other nursing moms, but I did keep it at the bottom of my diaper bag and took it as a backup pumping accessory when we’d go away from home.

The fact that it’s affordable and small (it packs up when you disassemble it) makes it a good alternative to a Hakka pump, if that’s not a quick pumping method that is working to relieve pain or milk.

I wound up buying one because I didn’t know I should have had it on my baby registry.

Ceres Chill Mini Breastmilk Chiller

I wasn’t well-informed, and didn’t know that I should have had a Ceres Chill Mini Breastmilk Chiller on my baby registry. This brilliant product keeps milk at safe temperatures for your baby to drink, for up to 16 hours, if you’ve pumped or collected milk while on the go (or at home!). It’s also a bottle cooler, and connects to most pumps.

It’s a handy product, and a favorite product, among breastfeeding and pumping moms, and it’s a great product to have if you plan to be going places (who isn’t!) with your baby.

Legendairy Milk Sunflower Lecithin

Another thing I didn’t know I should have in my medicine cabinet was Sunflower Lecithin, and this would’ve been perfect on my baby registry.

Basically, sunflower lecithin has properties that cause it to “thin” breastmilk, which helps alleviate hardness in breasts when you get clogged ducts (which for some women, is unfortunately very frequent). Sunflower lecithin is a natural fat emulsifier and loosens fatty clogs in milk ducts.

So, basically I learned a lot about this product and found it useful when a friend gave me 4 capsules during a pretty painful day for me. It’s good to have on hand, and it’s not too “personal” to have on a baby registry.

A cute nursing cover (or nursing infinity scarf)

I got a nursing cover as a hand-me-down from my cousin and as it turns out, it was kind of goofy. It was gray and white striped, and it seemed kind of hot for my baby to use when the weather got hot and we’d be out at open-air restaurants.

What I liked better was the infinity scarf nursing shawl I got, and this one was breathable, lightweight and folded up great in my diaper bag. I wish I had known to register for something like this.

Nursing bras

I found that having a nude-color nursing bra was great if I wanted to wear one of my regular pre-pregnancy blouses, or any type of white shirt. I still opt for this because of how stretchy they are, and I also wore them toward the end of my pregnancy because of all the adjustable options.

Silverettes nipple covers

It’s hard to believe, but I slept in these silver nipple cups every night for ages. They make it so that your nips don’t have to touch fabric when you’re sleeping, and they are smaller than the Medela cups I recommend above.

They were worth EVERY registry penny of having them on my registry (and I was lucky that one of my best friends got them as a registry gift for me just in time!).

Nursing tanks and camis with adjustable straps

I found out the hard way that some second-hand and gently-used nursing tank tops that were stretched out, too long or baggy on me or just plain bad quality were not going to cut it.

I opted for stretchy and firming nursing tanks that made all the difference. I wore them every day for 18 months, and I have friends who’ve stopped nursing who even wear them just because they’re so comfy and supportive!

If you’re wondering where to start with breastfeeding products on your registry that aren’t too “personal,” these are one of my best ideas for that.

Lansinoh Therapy Hot & Cold Ice Packs

I used these hot and cool pads a LOT in the first few months, and then they made appearances in later months with some “clogged ducts” when I needed relief.

These are good to have as a registry item because they’re multipurpose and they’re a specialty product: they can be warmed in the microwave, or kept in the freezer to be cool therapy in needed areas.

Breastfeeding products I got but never used

Here are a few things you don’t really need on your registry in terms of breastfeeding essentials and accessories for nursing.

  • Single-use Medela gel pads: too sticky for my liking
  • Breast pump sanitizing spray: found this to be silly to carry around
  • Disposable nursing pads: used reusable ones instead, to be sustainable
  • Lactation supplements: it’s not confirmed if they really work
  • Lactation massagers

You can visit my guide on things you don’t need in your baby registry to see what I consider the not-very-useful products.