How to Set Up a Nursing Cart
How to Set Up a Nursing Cart
January 12, 2023

How to Set Up a Nursing Cart

Babylist editors love baby gear and independently curate their favorite products to share with you. If you buy something through links on our site, Babylist may earn a commission.
Pinterest logo.
How to Set Up a Nursing Cart.
How to Set Up a Nursing Cart

You’re trying to squeeze in a pumping session so your partner can feed the baby. But you can’t seem to remember the last time you saw your pump. You’re also feeling a bit sore, and some nipple cream would really do the trick…but did you leave it in the bedroom or in the bathroom? And ohhh nooo is that poop leaking from the baby’s diaper? And also: you’re suddenly starving.

Sound familiar? Keeping it together as a new parent certainly isn’t effortless. Setting up a nursing cart is a simple solution that can help you stay organized and make daily tasks like pumping, feeding and basic infant care a little bit easier.

Learn about nursing carts (and why you might want one), what to put in your nursing cart to make it the most useful for you and shop some Babylist favorites.

What Is a Nursing Cart?

A nursing cart is a centralized spot to store and organize breastfeeding, pumping, diapering and other baby care supplies. While they’re often referred to as “nursing carts,” they’re not exclusive to nursing parents. They can serve many different purposes and are also called nursing stations, breastfeeding stations, pumping carts or even diaper stations or diaper carts. Think of a nursing cart as a customizable one-stop shop for all things related to feeding and caring for your little one.

You can make a nursing cart out of almost any type of utility cart, but you’ll want to look for one with several tiers for maximum storage capacity. Most nursing carts are made from metal, but you can find them in other materials, like plastic or rattan. Nursing carts are also often on wheels, making them portable and easy to move from room to room.

Do You Need a Nursing Cart?

Feeding and caring for a newborn baby involves a lot of stuff. As a new parent, you’ll likely find yourself reaching for your breast pump, flanges and a hands-free pumping bra one second and diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream and burp cloths the next. A mobile nursing cart gives you access to everything you need all in one place no matter where you are in your home.

For some parents, a nursing cart is a relatively simple way to make life with a new baby a little bit easier. It can help you stay organized and limit the amount of darting around you’ll need to do every time you need to pump, change a diaper or clean up after the latest round of spit-up. But it’s definitely not a necessity. A diaper caddy, basket or other storage solution can serve a similar purpose. It’s also completely doable to keep the bulk of your baby supplies in your little one’s nursery or other central location. Or, you can simply stash a few must-haves in the rooms of your home where you think you’ll be spending the most time.

How to Set Up a Nursing Cart

Here’s the beauty of setting up a nursing cart: it can be as big—or as little—of a project as you’d like it to be.

Live for lining things up in acrylic bins and all things Home Edit? Then you’re going to have a blast figuring out how to create the ultimate nursing cart for postpartum. Prefer a more low-key approach that covers just the basics and doesn’t take a ton of time? That works here, too.

Another wonderful thing about nursing carts? You can tailor-make yours however you’d like. Pack it with breastfeeding and pumping supplies if you’re nursing, snacks for when you’re hangry, or diapers, wipes and other changing supplies if you want to use it mostly as a changing station. You can stock it with whatever you’d like and skip what you don’t want or need.

First: Choose Your Cart

Do a quick search for “utility cart” and you’ll find a lot of options that will work as nursing carts across all different price points. Here’s what to look for in a nursing cart and things to keep in mind as you shop:

  • Portability. One of the biggest benefits of a nursing cart is mobility; it goes where you go, saving you time and energy when it’s time to pump or feed. Look for a cart that has wheels or casters so it’s easy to move around. You may also want to prioritize a cart with wheels that lock into place for more stability.
  • Storage. Our favorite nursing carts have three tiers to help you stay organized and maximize storage space. Don’t think you need that much storage or don’t have the room for a larger cart? A smaller option with two tiers works well, too.
  • Material. This one is more about aesthetics than functionality. Look for a cart that matches your design style and the look of your home. Metal is probably the most common choice, but there are plenty of options in other types of materials like rattan or plastic.
  • Longevity. Invest in a nursing cart you’ll be able to use post-baby. (Many can live on as an art supply cart or storage for lots of different types of items like towels, clothing or bar items.) Think about things like color, shape, size and design style.

The Best Nursing Carts

Brightroom
Plenty of storage and available in lots of fun colors.
Buy Now
The Container Store
Three storage tiers and custom inserts available for added organization.
Buy Now
IKEA
Modern, sleek and multipurpose.
Buy Now
Amazon
Locking wheels for added stability.
Buy Now
World Market
Good choice for stationary storage.
Buy Now
Simply Tidy
Affordable, 11 color choices.
Buy Now
SOLEJAZZ
Slim design ideal for smaller spaces.
Buy Now

Next: Get Organized and Start Stocking

Once you’ve purchased and assembled your cart, the fun part begins: filling it. The below list is just an organizational suggestion; you want a nursing cart that works for you and your life, so customize your cart’s contents and layout to reflect that.

Top Tier: Pumping and Feeding

If you’re planning to use your nursing cart mainly for nursing and pumping, use the top tier to organize these types of supplies. Use this checklist as a guide and add or delete items depending on your specific needs.

  • Breast pump, tubing and power cord
  • Spare pump parts: flanges, valves, extra tubing
  • Milk collection bottles
  • Secondary pump, like a wearable pump, a manual pump or a suction pump like a Haakaa
  • Breastmilk bags
  • Hands-free pumping bra
  • Nursing cover
  • Nipple cream
  • Lactation massagers
  • Nursing pads (disposable and/or reusable)
  • Hot/cold breast gel pads
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Small, cord-free night light

Middle Tier: Diapering and Baby Care

Here’s where to add all the things you may need for changing your baby’s diaper and for some basic baby care. Consider adding these items to the second tier of your nursing cart:

Bottom Tier: Self Care

One important person to remember when stocking your nursery cart: you! The bottom tier of your nursing cart is the perfect place to stash some self-care supplies, whether it’s a few snacks and a water bottle or extra hair ties (because how do those go missing so easily?).

  • Water bottle
  • All the “eat-with-one-hand” snacks! Granola bars; protein bars; dried fruit; trail mix; etc.
  • Hair ties
  • Journal and pen

Finally: Add Some Accessories

Want to really make your organization-loving heart skip a beat? You can take things one step further by adding bins, baskets or any other types of dividers or containers to each tier of your nursing cart to help keep everything in its place. Here are some worth a look—just remember to measure everything before you buy to be sure the bins fit.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and the Babylist Health Advisory Board.