What’s on a minimalists’ dream baby registry?

What’s on a minimalists’ dream baby registry?

DISCLAIMER: This post may contain affiliate links. This means after trying a particular product, I love it enough that I am willing to recommend it to others and the company will pay me a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you decide to purchase from my affiliate link. I will only recommend products and services that I have tried myself and love. Please click here for my full disclaimer.

 

Having a baby, especially for the first time, is a time where most people throw common sense out the window and buy every single baby item that is marketed to them.

I mean, how is the mum meant to know what she will need to make life easier? How are childless friends meant to know?

While this makes it easy for friends that throw baby-showers, how do you know what the minimalist mum will want and need for her baby?

Pro tip: anything that can be used in a variety of ways will be much appreciated by the minimalist mum.

When I had my first baby, I was given and gifted every baby item under the sun.

A lot of the items, although appreciated,  weren’t overly useful to us and were only used once or twice before we realised they just took up more room in the house.

Now that we have baby number 2 due very soon, I thought about what items we decided to use so that we get the most use out of.

What are essential items for the minimalist mum?

Travel and sleep essentials:

  1. Pram with a bassinet attachment – this saves mum having to purchase a separate bassinet and port-a-cot if they are travelling.
  2. Pram liner.
  3. A convertible car seat that is suitable from birth to 4-8 years.
  4. Woven Wrap to carry the baby in – a woven wrap can be used from 3kg until toddlerhood and can be tied in a variety of ways.
  5. Lightweight baby rocker.
  6. Cot or Bassinet Sheets.
  7. Baby quilt – this can also double as a play mat on the floor. Etsy has some adorable handmade quilts.

Feeding essentials

  1. Reusable breast pads – you can even make your own if you’re handy with a sewing machine.
  2. Natural nipple balm.
  3. An electric breast pump – I recommend a Spectra S2.

 Changing essentials

  1. Terry towel flat cloth nappies (they can double as spew rags if needed).
  2. OSFM Cloth nappies – these are suitable for babies from 4kg until they are toilet trained.
  3. Reusable cloth wipes – you can even make your own if you’re handy with a sewing machine.
  4. Nappy pail – a normal bucket with a lid is perfect.
  5. Natural nappy cream.

 Clothing

  1. Singlets – with press studs on the bottom.
  2. Socks.
  3. Grow suits.
  4. Leggings.
  5. Hats.

Now you’ve seen the essentials that are on a minimalists’ baby registry, what are yours? Reach out and add them to the Facebook thread

 

Essential items on a minimalist's baby registryEssential items on a minimalist's baby registry
items-on-a-minimalist-baby-registry
9 diaper bag essentials for a cloth diapered baby

9 diaper bag essentials for a cloth diapered baby

DISCLAIMER: This post may contain affiliate links. This means after trying a particular product, I love it enough that I am willing to recommend it to others and the company will pay me a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you decide to purchase from my affiliate link. I will only recommend products and services that I have tried myself and love. Please click here for my full disclaimer.

So you want to use cloth nappies? Good on you!

Using cloth on your baby’s bottom is so much better for the environment and for your family’s wallet! Not to mention all the gross chemicals you’re not putting on your baby’s bottom.

But… using cloth diapers is intimidating.

Gone are the days where cloth nappies were a piece of Terry towelling with a couple of giant pins. I mean, they still exist but there are some very sophisticated modern cloth nappies that exist these days. But that’s a whole separate blog post…or book.

Once you’ve figured out which cloth diaper system works best for you and your family, you might be feeling frazzled as to how you can use your beautiful cloth nappies when you’re out and about.

It’s actually really easy once you know what you’re doing and what you need

Here are my diaper bag essentials for a cloth diaper-clad bub:

1. Spare cloth diapers…. obviously.

It’s not a diaper bag without spare diapers, right? Make sure you have all the components of your cloth diapers when you pack your bag, like spare absorbent liners for pocket style cloth nappies, or the waterproof covers for your prefolds.

2. A large wet bag to store soiled nappies.

Maybe 2 if you are out all day. I just use some cheap ones I found on eBay and Alva Baby.

3. A roll of flushable bamboo liners if you’re using them.

I swear by these to catch the poo and help make less mess. Simply flush them and you’ll have less of a soiled mess to store in your wet bag.

4. Wipes… obviously.

5. Wipes dispenser

if you’re using cloth wipes, a wipes dispenser is essential for your diaper bag.

6. Wipes solution if you’re using cloth wipes that aren’t pre-wet.

Some parents love a special wipes solution, some are happy with a squirt bottle of water. Find what works for you and stick with it. There’s no need to get overly fancy.

7. A bottom cream that is cloth nappy safe.

You’ll want one that does not contain zinc oxide otherwise it will leave a stain on your beautiful cloth nappies.

Some people are wary of ‘cloth diaper safe’ bottom creams, worried that it won’t effectively help diaper rash, but I never had a problem with diaper rash when I cloth’ed my daughter full time.

8. A small wet bag carrying any cloth nappy accessories you might use (such as nappy pins or snappis or bamboo liner)

There isn’t anything worse than fumbling around in a public change room trying to find something, like a fastener or a bamboo liner.

9. Spare change of clothes for bub

This goes for a cloth-clad baby or disposable-clad baby.

While cloth-clad bubs are less likely to experience a poo-splosion (at least in my experience), there are a million and one other reasons why you might need a change of clothing.

And if you have enough room, keep a change for yourself as well (speaking from personal experience when I was on the receiving end of a power-spew out in public).

At the end of the day, packing a diaper bag for a cloth-clad bub isn’t that much different to packing a bag for a disposable clad bub.

Here’s a checklist of everything you NEED for your diaper bag with a cloth diaper’ed baby.

9 Cloth Diaper Essentials for your Diaper Bag

 

Packing the essentials for a cloth diaper'ed baby's diaper bag
7 easy ways you can be a functional working mum

7 easy ways you can be a functional working mum

DISCLAIMER: This post may contain affiliate links. This means after trying a particular product, I love it enough that I am willing to recommend it to others and the company will pay me a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you decide to purchase from my affiliate link. I will only recommend products and services that I have tried myself and love. Please click here for my full disclaimer.

Does the thought of returning to work scare the wits out of you? Have you already returned to work and are struggling to keep it together? Here are some lessons I learned the hard way to make sure I was a functional working mum.

Functional working mum tip #1: Know what your work obligations are

Your boss may offer you flexible working arrangements, such as flexible office hours, or work at home times, but keep these for emergencies, such as sick kids. Keep to the hours you work in the work and stick to it. This will make the rest of your life so much easier. Your entire routine will be thrown out of order if you continuously stay late and therefore delay the rest of your day.

Work obligations

I plan my workday out and cross everything on my checklist. If there’s something leftover, it carries over to the next day.

The key here is to allow plenty of time to meet deadlines at work so you don’t feel obligated to spend hours after your nominated finish time in the office.

Learning to say ‘No’ (in a constructive way) or to compromise will make life so much easier both at work and when you leave for the day. Something like “I cannot guarantee that I can get this finished by x due to my own work commitments, but I can do y.” when you’re asked to do additional work.

Setting boundaries from the start make it so much easier to maintain a work-life balance.

Functional working mum tip #2: Meal plan.

Who wants to be known as the ‘organised mum’? I think all semi-functional working mums aspire to be the ‘organised mum’.

You have to be, otherwise, everything falls apart… especially when it comes to meal times.

We have a weekly meal planner to help us stay on track. This helps make the leaving work, picking Ella up from daycare and cooking dinner part of the day so much easier.

Most of the time it’s a matter of, once we get home at 5pm, chopping all the vegetables and meat (if I didn’t cut them and store on the weekend) and cooking the meal. I cannot function without my meal plan. It makes food shopping easier, it makes meals during the week easier. I think I will continue to meal plan once I’m on maternity leave with #2.

Functional working mum tip #3: Have a morning and evening routine with the kids.

Kids thrive on routine.

If they know what comes next in their day, you’re likely to avoid timely arguments about something they don’t want to do.

Straight after dinner, we clean the kitchen while Ella has a shower and then it’s story time before bed. We also have a weekly routine. Thursday nights are for grocery shopping, while Friday’s nights are for the trip back home after picking Ella up from my mum’s. Ella knows that daycare days are “dinner, shower, story, bedtime” nights.

Functional working mum tip #4: Make time for mommy dates with the kids.

It doesn’t have to be elaborate.

Sometimes it’s as simple as a babycino with marshmallows at the kitchen table while we chat about anything and everything. But making special one-on-one time with kids helps them feel connected to you and that connection helps deal with any issues that might come up throughout their day/week.

I’ve found that setting specific mummy dates also helped me alleviate some of my “mummy guilt” about being a working mum. It’s all about quality time rather than quantity of time spent with kids. However, you can’t “buy” quality time with gifts to compensate for lack of presence.

When I was a stay at home mum, the time I spent with Ella wasn’t necessarily quality. I was bored at home, I just did housework and spent time with her around all of that. I struggled to provide a thriving and stimulating environment for her and as a result, we both struggled. Being a working mum has forced me to realise what’s important.

Fifteen minutes of hugs on the couch or a quick chat at breakfast make all the difference for kids.

Being a time-poor working mum forces you to seek meaningful interactions with the kids, rather than taking the interactions for granted because you have all the time in the world.

Meaningful interactions with kids make all the difference and as long as you have those, it doesn’t matter if you are a stay-at-home mom, working mom or a work-at-home mom. It definitely makes me a more functional working mum because I don’t feel racked with guilt constantly about work. And it’s these lessons that I learned as a working mum that will allow me to continue the meaningful interactions once I am on maternity leave.

Functional working mum tip #5: Have a cleaning schedule.

If you’re not up for hiring a cleaner (I’m not at a stage where I want to justify the expense), then have a weekly and monthly cleaning schedule.

Allocate each monthly task a day of the week within the month and allocate it to a particular family member. Then decide which day of the week is best for your family to do the weekly cleaning tasks.

Allocate weekly tasks to all family members so everyone pulls their weight.

By breaking your cleaning schedule down in manageable tasks each day, you won’t need to spend one of your precious weekend days doing a big clean. I’ve used both printables and a digital planner to schedule cleaning in. If you’re not up for a printable one – Cozi is a fantastic app to keep track of it all.
Get the #1 family organizing app

Functional working mum tip #6: Get into a good sleep routine.

I swear by going to bed at the same time each night. I might stretch it an hour later on weekends and sleep an hour later but a general routine is fantastic for combating drowsiness. Especially if you’re like me and have to be up for work by 5am and out the door by 6am. Once your circadian rhythm is regular, you should have mornings down pat, which should make you a more functional working mum.

Related post: 5 hacks to make your morning routine a breeze.

5 easy hacks to make your morning routine a breeze

I actually go as far as tracking my sleep cycles now. For the longest time, I never slept well and I wanted to see what my night actually looked like.

Most activity trackers, such as a Fitbit or Garmin can track your sleeping patterns to help you figure out where you’re going wrong if you are waking more tired than when you went to sleep.

Functional working mum tip #7: Don’t hit the snooze button

I used to be a shocker for this. Especially in the first trimester of pregnancy when I needed to take ondansetron just to get out of bed (or else I wouldn’t stop vomiting).

But hitting snooze and potentially sending yourself into another sleep cycle can send your body into a sleepy spiral and make you groggy and disorientated as you get ready for the day.

An article I read on the Huffington Post also mentions how hitting snooze can throw out your natural waking times.

Not exactly what you want if you want to be a functional working mum.

Let me know what are your favourite tips for being a sane and organised mum. And don’t forget to download my printable pack to help you be a more functional working mum.
7 ways working mums can be more functional
8 simple ways parents can inspire mindfulness in children

8 simple ways parents can inspire mindfulness in children

DISCLAIMER: This post may contain affiliate links. This means after trying a particular product, I love it enough that I am willing to recommend it to others and the company will pay me a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you decide to purchase from my affiliate link. I will only recommend products and services that I have tried myself and love. Please click here for my full disclaimer.

As busy parents who work full time, my husband and I are very aware that life is flying right by us. I mean, our baby girl is almost 4 and my second pregnancy has flown by. It all comes back to ‘living with intention.’

But it got us wondering. If we have to consciously remind ourselves to take some time to appreciate what we have and the world around us, how can we instill that same mindfulness in children? How do we encourage ourselves and our kids to live with intention?

More often than not, you see kids spending less time in this beautiful world and more time with their head in a screen. How do we inspire them to appreciate the simple beauty of the world?

Related post: How ditching minimalism saved my sanity?

How ditching minimalism saved my sanity

But first of all – what is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a lot of different things to different people and cultures. But for me? It’s the conscious awareness of our world as well. It’s also about ‘living in the present.’

Too many of us are stuck in the past or worried about the future. How can we encourage our kids to stop and ‘living in the present’ while they still have their childlike innocence?

Here are some ideas we’ve used with our daughter to increase her awareness and appreciation of the world around us.

#1. Watch the sunrise or sunset

Something as simple and as beautiful as watching the different colours of the sky is a wonderful way to inspire mindfulness in children. Admiring the changes during a sunrise or sunset is not only educational for children but reminds them of the beauty in our world.

We often get caught up in the daily grind that we overlook something as simple as a sunrise or sunset. By regularly taking 5 minutes to enjoy the beauty in the world, we can inspire this same mindfulness about the world in our kids.

#2. Spend 5 minutes looking for the moon and stars.

This is the same concept as watching a sunrise or sunset. Learning about the beauty of our world is a beautiful way to inspire mindfulness in children.

#3. Stop and smell the roses.

They don’t even need to be roses. But appreciating a blooming plant and inspiring thought on the changing seasons. Remind your children of the effect that changing seasons has on everything around us will resonate with kids for years to come.

#4. Use imagination to look for pictures in the clouds.

Look up at the clouds. Ask your child to explain what they see in the clouds. After a while, encourage them to change their position and see if their ‘picture’ in the clouds looks different.

I found this very useful in explaining ‘perspective’ to both my daughter and my 12-year-old sister as a way of showing how everything looks different to different people. It doesn’t mean their view is wrong, just because they see something different.

Inspiring mindfulness in children isn’t just about appreciating the visual beauty in the world. It’s also about the encouraging them to see the beauty of our minds.

#5. Get your children to help you declutter.

Have you ever tried to get rid of old toys only to find that suddenly it’s the most important thing in your child’s life? Children are natural hoarders. Inspiring practical mindfulness in children might be one of the hardest jobs as a parent.

Rather than sneaking items out when they’re asleep, provoke your child into thinking about why it’s important.

What meaning does it have? And if they haven’t used it, ask them why?

I’ve found with Ella that asking her to explain her perspective helps her realise that it’s not as important as she thought.

We also use the ‘keep, donate and sell’ method to inspire mindfulness about physical possessions.

Related post: How to declutter your life after you decluttering your home.

how to declutter your life after you declutter your home

#6. Call or visit an elderly relative.

By instilling a strong sense of family in kids from a young age, they’re less likely to become too self-involved later as teenagers or adults. Empathy is another way of consciously instilling mindfulness in children. It inspires consideration of their actions, the value of time and the feelings of other people.

My great-nanna who is 93 (and has recently had a hip replacement after losing her husband of 74 years) lives with my mum. Mum has my daughter two days per week while I’m at work as well. While she’s at mum’s, my daughter often sits with nanna and just chatters away to nanna.

We caught the most adorable moment of my daughter reading one of her books to nanna before bedtime. Not only does this uncomplicated, simple interaction make Nanna happy, but Ella enjoyed spending time with her. My beautiful, thoughtful girl told me all about how she reads to nanna and she likes making nanna happy.

little girl reading to grandmother

By inspiring mindfulness about the importance of family, not only are you making someone else happy by giving them your presence, your child is learning to be mindful of others and the time they have with them.

#7. Meditation, yoga or breathing techniques for children.

This is fantastic for young children who are still learning to regulate their emotions.

It’s hard when little ones have such big emotions. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s very easy for them to become overwhelmed and susceptible to ‘explosions of feelings’ that they have trouble articulating.

Taking 5-10 minutes to sit down and think about life, their day, or perform some yoga poses is a great way to diffuse an overwhelmed child.

It doesn’t even have to be regimented. Just something as simple as focusing on mindful breathing techniques is a wonderful way to inspire mindfulness in children.

Asking them to breathe in and breathe out, focusing on mindful breathing distracts them from what was making them feel overwhelmed. Then move into questions about their feelings will help your little one understand their feelings a little bit more.

Emotions are big for little kids. By providing with tools of relaxation, we’re also inspiring them to think about what emotion they are feeling. And as they get older, they may be able to understand why they feel that emotion and how to deal with it.

Related post: 10 screen-free activities you need to do with your kids today

child playing outdoors, picking flowers

#8. Ask them to pick up their belongings.

From a young age, this will inspire children to be mindful of their activities.

Packing away as they go creates less of a chore later for them. It also inspires mindfulness in encouraging children to ensure all the right pieces to the particular activity they are playing with are packed away to prevent missing pieces later on.

This also inspires children to learn to live with other in a functional way as they grow.

Is it worth it?

You tell me?

Trying to inspire mindfulness in children is one of the most important things you’ll do as a parent in today’s society.

It might take an extra five minutes out of your day, but the pay off being that you’ve raised a self-motivated, mindful, creative and considerate child is well-worth the investment of your time, even if you are busy.

 

10 screen-free activities you need to do with your kids today

10 screen-free activities you need to do with your kids today

DISCLAIMER: This post may contain affiliate links. This means after trying a particular product, I love it enough that I am willing to recommend it to others and the company will pay me a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you decide to purchase from my affiliate link. I will only recommend products and services that I have tried myself and love. Please click here for my full disclaimer.

In a society centred around convenience, it’s no surprise that modern parents rely on TV or iPads to keep their kids entertained. Despite living in a tech-age, my daughter thinks an iPad is only used to call her grandparents who live interstate.

For me, I was concerned about the detrimental effects of excessive screen time on my kids.

After watching kids around me glued to screens, I was worried about:

  • Reduced physical activity,
  • A reliance on the instant gratification that TV and iPads provide, as well as,
  • Issues sleeping and,
  • A loss of developmental skills such as imaginative play.

So in my home, Ella rarely watches TV or uses the iPad because it’s considered a special treat in our house.

The benefit of restricted screen time?

The pay off for us is that our little girl has an amazing imagination and is able to entertain herself.

I will often find her having a tea party with her dolls, reading her books in bed, or drawing on her chalkboard.

But what can screen-free activities can you do with kids, once imaginative play has exhausted itself for the day?

Here are some of my favourite things to do with a preschooler that doesn’t involve a TV or iPad. And most of these in itself will inspire your child’s imagination or help them develop skills in self-sufficiency that they can use later.

1. Go to the park and collect leaves, gum nuts or sticks the can use for craft later.

My only rule is, we do the crafts within days of collecting so we don’t end up hoarding in the house.

Ella and I love making collages from native Australia flora (such as eucalyptus leaves, gumnuts and bottle brush flowers).

2. Bake or cook something!

This is a fantastic way to incorporate learning activities into a practical skill with a preschooler. Older kids will learn some finesse in their cooking skills.

I love making healthy pumpkin scones with my daughter. I found the recipe from Be Forever Healthy, and the pumpkin scones are a massive hit in our home because we use our own home-grown pumpkins to make them.

3. Go fruit picking or foraging.

We live close enough to the hills where we can take a day trip to an orchard, pay a small entry fee and walk out hours later with kilos of fruit to take home. You could probably use some of your fruits in baking.

If you don’t live near any orchards for fruit picking, have a look at what is the native flora in your area and take the kids foraging for these wildflowers. Get the kids to identify types of flowers they find and take photos. You could even use those photos for other screen-free activities later on.

4. Do some gardening as a family.

I love, love, love doing this with my daughter.

This helps maintain the home, teach children pride in their home and valuable life skills. There’s also plenty of things in the garden to spark their little imaginations.

Weeding the garden, watering the plants, even add food scraps to the compost heap are all the little tasks help spark excitement in toddlers and preschoolers.

Including them in choosing what to plant and then ensuring they help you water and maintain the plant instills a sense of responsibility in kids.

5. Ask them to tell you or write a story if they are old enough to write.

Give them a writing prompt if they get stuck.

Brainstorm the main character, an event and a problem the main character needs to solve. Not only does writing help your child’s literacy skills, it helps their little imagination.

It doesn’t even need to be a short story.

You guide your child with the following ideas to write:

  • A letter to a loved one.
  • A poem.
  • A list of all the things that make them happy.
  • A recipe of what they would like to make (it can be completely imaginative).
  • Where they would like to travel in the world and why.
  • What they would like to achieve in the year.

6. Make natural body care with your daughter (or son).

Ella and I LOVE making natural personal care to use at home. I think this is one of my favourite screen-free activities to do because you end up with something creative and useful at the end of the process. AND… it can kill hours of time with the kids.

What natural personal care can you SAFELY make at home?

The list is endless. Our personal favourites are:

  • Homemade lip balm – I use the recipe from One Crazy Mom.
  • Homemade shampoo.

How do we make our own homemade shampoo?

The best resource I have found for homemade shampoo is from Natural Living Ideas because she breaks down what essential oils are best to use for particular needs. Using Castile soap, Aloe Vera Gel, a carrier oil of choice, Vitamin E oil (I have added this even though it’s not in the recipe because Vitamin E acts as a preservative to make the mixture last longer) and essential oils, we made our own shampoo.

At the time Ella was very adverse to having her hair washed (no idea why) so I thought if we made her own special shampoo that smelled how she wanted, we could overcome the issue. And guess what? IT WORKED.

Having a diverse range of quality essential oils (I use the Plant Therapy range) really helps in making personal care toiletries a lot more fun as kids are motivated by scent. Just make sure you research the effects of each oil before using it and DILUTE EACH OIL ADEQUATELY.

Check out iHerb or Amazon for carrier oils and castile soap that you can use in your recipes.

7. Help around the house.

It’s never too early for children to assist in cleaning up after themselves.

From as young as 18 months, we taught Ella to put her toys away after use. Now at the age of three, she collects all her washing and puts it in the hamper, puts her daycare bag away, helps load the dishwasher and helps water the garden.

I have an adorable photo of her trying to help me with the vacuuming.

Child helping clean house Naturally Busy | Chores by age | household chores for kids |

8. Build a blanket fort.

This is a great rainy day activity. Collect all the chairs, blankets and pillows you can find and set up an elaborate blanket fort. Beware – the kids may want to sleep in their blanket fort rather than their beds!

An alternative to the blanket fort– create a tree-house if you have a tree that is suitable in your yard. This could be an ongoing screen-free activity that helps keeps the kids entertained during summer. Scout some sturdy timber and create a platform in the tree (and create some form of railing for safety).

9. Puzzles

Start with simple puzzles and then make it a family activity as the kids get older and can help with those mammoth 1000+ piece puzzles you can get.

Right now, Ella loves her spelling and maths puzzles. What I love about this screen-free activity is that it both fun and education AND develops fine-motor skills.

10. Building blocks!

Lego, Duplo, even old-school wooden building blocks!

There are so many weird and wonderful ways for children to stretch their imaginations with building blocks.

You don’t need an abundance of toys to provide kids screen-free activities. Toys and art supplies that encourage imaginative play are the BEST way to help your child develop essential skills and reduce TV and iPads in their life.

What I love about the lack of TV in our routine is that there is a lack of tantrums. That’s not to say we never have tantrums but, they are few and far between compared to when TV was a regular part of our routine (I relied on it WAY too much when I was struck down with hyperemesis gravidarum during my second pregnancy).

What are your favourite screen-free activities to do with your kids?

Leave a comment below or let me know on social media.

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10 screen-free activities you can do with the kids today

Breastfeeding after maternity leave: Spectra breast pumps makes it easy

Breastfeeding after maternity leave: Spectra breast pumps makes it easy

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links. This means after trying a Spectra breast pump, I love it enough that I am willing to recommend it to others and the company will pay me a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you decide to purchase from my affiliate link. I will only recommend products and services that I have tried myself and love. However, this post is NOT sponsored by Spectra (although, if they offered to sponsor it, I would not decline 😉 ) Please click here for my full disclaimer.

For any mother who wants to continue to provide breastmilk for their child, especially mums returning to work, a Spectra breast pump is worth its weight in gold.

When I had Ella, I was adamant that I wanted her to consume breastmilk for as long as I was able to produce enough for her needs.

However, I slowly returned to work from 4 months postpartum, slowly increasing the days I worked. To ensure that my gorgeous little monkey had an adequate supply of breastmilk, I needed an adequate pump.

Why did I want to try a Spectra breast pump?

From the day Ella came home, I expressed in between feeds to build a stash of expressed milk in our freezer for ‘just in case’. I was gifted a hand pump and within 4 weeks of using it, I had lost my temper and thrown it against the wall. I was barely expressing any milk, despite having an adequate supply. The handpump started leaking the little that I managed to express and I had enough!

Any pumping mum would know… You can you will cry over spilled milk.

I asked around. With the knowledge that I was returning to work before Ella was 6 months old, I knew I needed an electric pump. The Medela brand seemed to be the most common, especially after I had used one in hospital, but I research every purchase extensively before purchasing.

One of my friends raved about the Spectra S2 Double Electric Breast Pump. It was cheaper than the equivalent Medela hospital grade pumps and seemed to have raving reviews about its amazing abilities.

I was sold.

I purchased an S2, just like my friend Jen had recommended and never looked back.

Did the Spectra breast pump solve my concerns about returning to work and maintaining a healthy supply?

It sure did. From struggling to pump 40 mL of breastmilk from one breast in 20minutes, I was able to pump 140mL in less than 10 minutes.

I remember being so excited that I took a photo of the bottle and sent it to my husband and mum!

Here is the first bottle I ever expressed using my Spectra S2 breast pump

My supply was healthy (which I already knew). I just had to convince Ella to take a bottle now!

How easy is a Spectra breast pump to use?

I can’t speak to the other Spectra breast pumps, but the Spectra S2 is a dream to use. So if S2 is anything to judge by, I think you’d have a safe option with any Spectra breast pump.

Double pump feature

The Spectra S2 has a double pump function which is handy for expressing both breasts at the same time which helped me express quickly on my lunch breaks at work.

I found the pump was so effective that I could be finished expressing within 10-15 minutes. And I knew that I had replenished the entire supply my daughter was consuming that day.

Adjustable pump settings

This is probably my favourite feature of my Spectra breast pump.

You can adjust the strength of the suction and the speed of pumping during the pumping to mimic a baby feeding. For me, this helped letdown happen a LOT sooner with a breast pump once I learned which settings induced let-down.

Then I could weaken the suction and speed up the expressing once let-down had occurred, maximising the amount of milk I expressed. I could do this at any stage during the expression session.

Night light

I didn’t use this feature much, but it’s a handy feature to have if you need to express in the middle of the night.

Low-noise during pumping

For those of you who need a little privacy when expressing, the Spectra S2 is extremely quiet compared to other breast pumps I have used. The low noise makes it perfect during the middle of the night so you don’t wake your baby or partner up.

Again, I didn’t really use the breast pump at night, but I did appreciate the quiet when I had to express in the office.

Assembling the pump

Assembling the pump may be intimidating at first because there are a couple parts that look confusing (I’m looking at you backflow protector!)

But once you get your head around it, you can assemble it in less than 10 seconds.

Spectra breast pump banner

Any gripes?

I wouldn’t necessarily call this a gripe me with the product but with the process overall. Each separate part requires cleaning and drying after use. If you’re packing your pump in a hurry, it’s a MAJOR hassle if you forget one part.

But… being a double pump, you get two of each part so it just means that you can use the spare part and just express one breast at a time.

The potential to forget parts due to the dissembling and assembling process is the only real gripe I can think of with my spectra breast pump and it’s barely a gripe. Especially as the parts are required for the unique backflow protection that the Spectra S2 offers, so the benefits of having these parts far outweigh the minor gripe that centres around my own forgetfulness.

If I had my time again, I might have purchased the Spectra S1. It’s exactly like the S2 however it has a rechargeable battery rather than requiring a power supply.

However, in the 13 months of use, I can only think of one occasion where I desperately wished for a rechargeable battery.

What is the customer service like?

The Spectra team are amazing. I’ve never actually needed to use them for issues with my pump but when I purchased a brand new pump from someone who had never used it, I was assured by their Australia customer service team that the warranty was still valid.

I’ve had to purchase new duck valves for my bottles since the pump is going to get another thrashing when my second child arrives. But replacement parts are inexpensive for the amount of use I’ve had had from my pump.

I think I used my pump 5 days a week for 13 months, each about 2-3 times a day, so inexpensive replacement parts are fantastic.

Who is the Spectra S2 is a perfect fit for?

Any model of Spectra breast pump is perfect for working mums that don’t want to top up feeds with formula or other milks.

Or any mum that pumps exclusively.

If you’re more of a casual expresser, perhaps look into a cheaper spectra breast pump that doesn’t have as many features as the S1 or S2.

Would you recommend this product to a friend?

Over the last 3 years, I have recommended a Spectra breast pump to more people than I can count – especially on parenting group pages on Facebook.

I loaned my (sterilised) pump to a friend to try so she could decide if the investment was worth it.

As I write this, she’s already made her Spectra breast pump purchase after borrowing mine for a couple weeks.

I used a Medela (not sure which model) when Ella and I had to stay in the hospital when she was 6 weeks old before I had purchased my Spectra. I don’t understand the hype around Medela pumps after using my Spectra breast pump. I wish more hospitals would convert to using Spectra breast pumps because of how amazing they are, just to help women realise that breastfeeding doesn’t need to end just because you can’t feed your baby directly.

I know they say that pumping is not an indication of your supply, but I’ve never had anyone tell me they’ve hated a Spectra breast pump because they weren’t able to express enough.

Where can you buy a Spectra breast pump?

If you’re in Australia, you can buy directly from Spectra Baby Australia. There may also be a lactation consultant that is a Spectra stockist.

If you’re in America, you can also buy directly from Spectra Baby. The American website has a feature where it will advise if your Spectra breast pump is covered by your health insurance and how to contact your insurer for more information.

What accessories do you get with your Spectra breast pump?

The S2 model comes with:

  • The pump unit (obviously…)
  • 2x 24mm wide neck breast shield
  • 2x bottles with slow flow teats
  • 2x caps and discs to use as lids on your bottles
  • 2x tubing to connect the electric pump to the back-flow protectors (…which connect to the breast shields, which connect to the bottle)
  • 2x backflow protector to prevent milk going through the tubing into the pump unit.
  • 2x valves which deposit the milk into the bottle.
  • Power adaptor

Should you buy a Spectra breast pump?

YES YES YES! If you ever plan on expressing breastmilk, then you should consider a Spectra. You may not necessarily need the hospital-grade S2 model, but, after experiences with the brand as a whole, I cannot recommend them enough.

The best breast pump to help working moms breastfeed successfully
The best breast pump for working mums

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