Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Perfectly Packed Pumping Bag

Welcome to another post in my Perfectly Packed series! Be sure to check out my other posts in the series as well! Please note that posts in this series include affiliate links. (Check out my disclosure policy here.) 
Perfectly Packed: A Series on packing perfectly organized bags at LaurasPlans.com
Today I'm sharing with you what I pack in my pumping bag. I'm a nursing mom, and I work full-time, which means that when I'm working, I'm pumping! Here's how pack my bag with my breast pump and all my accessories to keep myself organized. 
How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
First: the bag. I have been looking for a cute pumping bag for a LONG time without success. There are a lot of cute ones out there- and they all cost so much money! The bags in my price range were incredibly ugly. So I started looking for a bag that wasn't actually a pumping bag, but that I could use as a pumping bag. It took me a long time, but I finally found it!
How to buy a cute pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
You can find this awesome bag here for only $41 at Kohl's- which means you can get it for way less when you use coupons!

When I first saw this bag, I flipped it over and took a look at the bottom. I knew I needed a bag with enough space inside for my pump and a small insulated cooler to sit flat on the bottom inside the bag. When I saw that this bag had an extra-wide base, I knew it would work perfectly. And it does!
How to buy a cute pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
Next, I dumped all of my pumping essentials and took pictures of it all just for you. ;)
How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
 I've basically narrowed it down to 11 things that I need to bring with me each day. Here they are:
How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
1. Breast pump: connected and ready to go (When I pack my bag, I attach everything I'll need, including all of the pump pieces and the bottles I'll pump into. This saves time when I get to work and helps me make sure that I'm not forgetting anything essential.)

2. Extra bottles

3. A water bottle

4. Extra pump pieces (It's hard to see, but I keep an extra set of pump pieces in my bag at all times. Once I had one of the little pieces tear halfway though the day, and I couldn't finish pumping. Turns out that every piece- no matter how small- is actually really important, so now I keep extras on hand just in case!)

5. Bottle lids (Again, I usually keep one extra in there, just in case)

6. Cleaning wipes

7. Wet/dry bag (I have 3 of these because I have an addiction. I use them for everything and they come in such cute patterns and colors!)

8. Hands-free pumping bra (I love this one!)

9. Snacks

10. Insulated bag/cooler with ice packs (I have two of these - one for me, and one to send the bottles to daycare the next day. It's just the right size for 6 Ameda or Medela bottles.)

11. Nursing cover (If you're pumping somewhere you might get walked in on- eek! I love this one.)

You might also want to include a book or your phone so you don't get bored while you're pumping.

So, just a quick note about the wipes and the wet/dry bag: I don't wash my pump parts during the day. I just don't have time to/don't want to. What I do is wipe everything off, toss the parts in the wet part of the wet/dry bag, and throw it all in the refrigerator to keep everything nice and sanitary until I'm ready to use it again. I use the same parts all day, then I wash and sanitize them when I get home. I use the dry part of the wet/dry bag to store extra bottles and lids.  
How I use a wet/dry bag to clean breast pump parts for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
So here's how I pack it all up.
How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
1. Put extra pump pieces/lids in the zippered pocket.
How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
2. Put pump, cooler and water bottle on the bottom of the bag.
How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
3. Fill the handy-dandy pockets with snacks, wipes and hands-free pumping bra.
How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
4. Add nursing cover and wet/dry bag.
How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
DONE! But wait- what if you want an adorable printable checklist to glance at before you leave the house- just to make sure you've got everything?
How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work plus a free pintable checklist by LaurasPlans.com
Well, lucky for you, I just happen to have a free, printable checklist available for you! Check it out here.

Also, make sure that you follow my blog on Bloglovin', or on social media so you don't miss out on other great printables that are in in the works. :)

   

How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work plus a free printable checklist by LaurasPlans.com
And before you go, don't forget to check out my other posts in the Perfectly Packed series.
How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work plus a free printable checklist by LaurasPlans.com
So what do you think? Any other working/pumping mamas out there? Did I forget anything? What do you do to make pumping at work easier? Let me know in the comments. :)


20 comments:

  1. I love this perfectly packed series - can't wait to check out the others. I love this bag! I carried almost all these items in my pump bag. I also carried a small blanket to put over my clothing, so no drips would get on my clothing. Thanks for the ideas!

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I've been having fun making this series. Having cute bags makes something like pumping a little bit easier. :) Good idea about the blanket!

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  2. Laura, this is AWESOME! I too am a pumping and working mother and I've been really struggling keeping all my pumping parts organized. Admittedly, they are not. Some days I have forgotten a part (OW!) and been stuck without pumping for a whole day...can someone say painful? I don't have a lot of these things with me, but they seem absolutely essential. I think investing in a pumping bra would be perfect for me...I'm tired of holding the darn thing. Thanks for sharing this with Welcome Home Wednesday! I'm always looking for working/pumping articles to read so if you have anything else on this topic please direct me to is :)

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    1. I'm so glad this was helpful to you! Pumping is not my favorite thing in the world. . . but it's so much better when you're organized with cute supplies and a pretty bag! (Or so I tell myself.) I'm always happy to meet another pumping/working mom- You're doing something amazing for your little one, and I think it's so important to support each other. Thanks for your comment!

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  3. Wow, these are such great tips! And that bag is gorgeous! Pumping with style :) Thanks for linking up at the Manic Mondays blog hop!

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  4. Thank you for sharing this, Laura Beth! I'm definitely keeping this for my next venture with nursing. I only wish I had it with my first one! I had such a hard time packing and determining what to bring and what not to bring, but your list and this post would've helped tremendously. Thanks again :)

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    1. It's been a learning process, for sure. I'm looking forward to (hopefully) knowing what I'm doing from the beginning with my 2nd one. ;)

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  5. I wish I would have thought to buy a nice pretty bag when I was nursing my boys. I always had to do the "walk of shame" to the closet with the huge pump bag while everyone in the office stared at me with knowing eyes. LOL

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    1. Hahaha, Amber! I know EXACTLY what you mean. I used to walk around thinking, "Everyone knows exactly what is inside of this huge plastic-y looking bag!"

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  6. You're so brilliantly organized! And you took fantastic photos for illustrating it all too...

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  7. What type of wipes do you purchase? I am trying to decide if I need to buy the actual wipes for pumps. Thanks in advance for your help!

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    1. Thanks for reading, Breanna! For a while, I did use actual pump wipes. Then I switched to CVS pacifier wipes because they were so much cheaper. (Find them here: http://www.cvs.com/shop/baby-child/health/teething-oral-care/cvs-pacifier-wipes-natural-watermelon-flavor-skuid-917607)

      I'm no expert, but I figured that if they were safe to wipe off a pacifier, which gets stuck right back in the baby's mouth, they would be safe for pump parts. I wasn't too worried about sterilization since I store all my pump parts in the fridge in between uses, and then give them a good cleaning once I get home.

      I hope that helps. Good luck! :)

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  8. I just returned to work last week and had been on the hunt for a bag to fit my pump, parts, and cooler. So thankful I found your post! I picked up the bag from Kohls on sale and love it! Thanks also for the comprehensive list, it made packing my bag for work the first time so simple!

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    1. Hey Maggie! Thanks so much for your sweet comment. I'm glad that I was able to help make your transition back to work a little bit easier. And by the way- if you ever get discouraged- just imagine me and all the other pumping mamas out there cheering you on. You're doing such an important thing for your baby, and you deserve to be congratulated for that! :)

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  9. Thank you for helping us stay organized! I would suggest a picture of baby too! Most people have pictures in their phones nowadays,but just in case, and for convenience. I found that focusing on my precious little one helps with the let down, especially if I'm having a busy day at work.

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    1. Great idea! It can definetely be hard to transition from the stress of work. Pictures or videos of your little one can help. :)

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  10. Thank you for this. I use the medela backpack but having items that you mention in it make it easier. Pumping while I work in a busy hotel is hard to do. Sometimes I feel real discouraged that I'm only ale to pump once in an 8 hour period. When i can pump twice I'm celebrating

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    1. I'm glad I could help a little bit. Hang in there- I know it can be tough! I've had some really busy days, too, and I would always try to remind myself that every little bit counts. Even when you can only pump once- you're still doing so much to help your baby!

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