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What to Pack in Your Breast Pump Bag
Updated on
December 4, 2023

What to Pack in Your Breast Pump Bag

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What to Pack in Your Breast Pump Bag.
What to Pack in Your Breast Pump Bag

If you’re a nursing or pumping parent, it won’t be long until you find yourself pumping in some pretty interesting places. (Think the car, airports, a friend’s house, work or even a bathroom.) While pumping on the go isn’t always ideal, having the right supplies organized and at the ready can help a lot. And that’s where a well-stocked breast pump bag comes in.

Knowing how to pack your breast pump bag and what essentials to include can make pumping away from home less stressful and more efficient. Bookmark this list so you don’t leave anything behind.

A Pump

The first thing you’ll want to pack in your breast pump bag? Your breast pump! Whether you’re using a traditional pump or a wearable breast pump, be sure it’s stowed away safely. The Motif Luna is sleek and compact and has a battery life of 2+ hours between charges, making it a good choice for mobile pumping. If you’re insured, you may even be able to get it free of charge through your health plan.

Pro tip: consider purchasing an extra power cord for your breast pump to keep in your bag at all times. You’ll never have to worry about running out of juice when you’re on the go or remembering to repack the cord if you use it to charge your pump at home.

A Backup

You never know when an electronic device is going to decide to have a bad day. Stashing a manual breast pump in your bag is an easy, affordable insurance policy that ensures your electric breast pump’s bad day does not cause you a bad day. This manual pump from Medela is light, compact and easy to use.

Somewhere to Store Your Milk

If you’re pumping milk on the go, you’ll need somewhere to store it. Most breast pumps also include a milk storage bottle set, but you’ll likely want to purchase a few extras to keep in your pump bag and at home.

Another Storage Option

The Ceres Chill is another breast milk storage option to consider, and a really convenient pumping accessory to keep in your breast pump bag if you often pump on the go or at work. This innovative all-in-one storage system takes the place of milk storage bottles, a cooler bag and ice packs. Just fill the inner or outer chamber with ice and store up to 24 ounces of milk for up to 20 hours. And you don’t have to toss it when your pumping days are behind you; it also works to keep both hot and cold drinks at just the right temperature.

And One More Storage Alternative

What can we say, we like choices! The Ceres Chill is an amazing breast milk storage option, and while it can hold smaller quantities of milk, we prefer it for larger ones. For a more compact, more portable milk storage solution, Mila’s Keeper is our chiller of choice. The cooler can hold up to 12 ounces of breast milk in four different ways: in one five-ounce glass bottle, one five-ounce pump bottle from leading brands (like Spectra and Medela), two six-ounce breast milk bags or poured directly into the chiller. We love that it keeps milk cold for up to 20 hours and that there’s no chance of leakage or contamination from melting ice.

A Cooler

If you prefer the cooler + ice packs route, we love this collab from pumping influencer @bemybreastfriend and breast pump bag designer extraordinaire Sarah Wells. The tall design fits up to four eight-ounce bottles and there’s an adjustable carry strap and a pocket for whatever you need to stash. Added bonus: a dollar from every boob print cooler bag sold is donated to Mother’s Milkbank Northeast, a nonprofit community milk bank.

A Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Lots of nursing bras also double as pumping bras, so if you regularly wear one that does, you won’t need anything else. But if not, tossing a hands-free pumping bra like the Simple Wishes into your breast pump bag is a good idea. It slips on over any bra and turns it into a pumping bra, freeing up your hands to do all the other things that need doing.

A Nursing Cover

This multipurpose nursing cover folds up neatly and won’t take up a ton of space in your bag, yet it offers generous coverage if you need to pump (or even nurse) in public. It’s made from bamboo and organic cotton, so it’s super soft against your skin, and you’ll only find this print at Babylist.

Cleaning Wipes

You’ll likely find yourself pumping somewhere with no access to a sink. So how do you keep your pump parts clean? Stash a few packs of these quick clean wipes in your breast pump bag. You’ll still want to do a thorough soap and water scrub when you get home, but these wipes are the next best thing when you’re on the go.

A Bottle Brush and More

If you know you will have access to a sink while you’re pumping away from home, pack this kit in your pump bag. The compact case opens to double as a drying rack for pump parts, and there’s a full-size bottle brush and nipple cleaner inside, too. (This is also the perfect cleaning solution if you’re traveling and staying in a hotel or rental home and need a dedicated spot to dry pump parts and other baby things.)

Hand Sanitizer

And speaking of clean, you never want to start a pumping session with dirty hands. Attach a few of these travel-size hand sanitizers to your breast pump bag so you can sanitize your hands no matter where you are.

A Wet Dry Bag

You’ll need a place to store your bottle and pump parts both before and after you pump, and this wet and dry bag is your answer. It’s more eco-friendly than using single-use plastic bags and keeps everything contained so it’s both organized and mess-free.

Extra Pump Parts

You should always keep a spare set of replacement pump parts on hand at all times, no matter what. They don’t take up a ton of room and having them at the ready will make your life a whole lot easier if you misplace a piece or if something breaks.

A Stash of Nursing Pads

If you’re prone to leaking (or even if you’re not), it can’t hurt to toss a few sets of nursing pads into your breast pump bag. These are some of the best because they’re soft, absorbent and stay put in your bra.

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Jen LaBracio

Senior Gear Editor

Jen LaBracio is Babylist’s Senior Gear Editor, a role that perfectly combines her love of all things baby gear with her love of (obsessive) research. When she’s not testing out a new high chair or pushing the latest stroller model around her neighborhood, she likes to run, spin, listen to podcasts, read and spend time at the beach. In her past life, she worked for over a decade in children’s publishing. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and their two boys, Will and Ben.

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