With only ~8 weeks left to go until Baby Girl arrives, I have been in FULL nesting mode. We’re still waiting on a few pieces of furniture to arrive for the nursery, but we have the rest of the necessities. I’m just starting to get little stations prepped throughout the house to make life a little bit easier on us when we come home with a newborn. I still need to get a postpartum recovery kit set up for myself, but my first priority has been focusing on prepping my nursing / pumping / diapering station.
I have seen so many good recommendations from mama experts on how they set up their nursing / diaper changing stations to make life more convenient. The only thing is that the carts that most of the mamas suggest (such as the above setup from Wendy Correen — using a three-tiered kitchen cart), while certainly economical, are not super aesthetically pleasing (in my humble opinion!). I just don’t see how I could incorporate them into our home style once our breastfeeding journey comes to an end. The idea would be to keep the cart around in our house for the next baby (we’d like to have two kiddos!). Having something that is both functional AND stylish is necessary for me, so I set off on my search for a nursing cart alternative that would fit our aesthetic.
Some people just opt to use a large bin / basket on the floor (like this well-stocked one from Swaddles’n’Bottles), but it seems to me that if you needed to retrieve something out of it, it would take a feat of gymnastics to reach down once your baby is latched on or snoozing on your arms! I could definitely see it being helpful if you kept it on top of a little side table next to you, but I’m not sold on the floor option. Additionally, even though the basket is technically portable, it looks kinda bulky / heavy to me and after giving birth (especially if you’ve had a c-section!) you need to be really careful to avoid overexertion so carrying a big basket room to room probably isn’t the best idea.
While shopping, I kept my list of “must have” features in mind: (1) a fairly neutral style cart that could work in either a girl’s or a boy’s room that also works with the rest of our home decor 😬, (2) nothing too large as our space is pretty limited in this old house, (3) rectangular in shape so that it would be easier to configure within our space and so that smaller square / rectangular organizers would easily fit on shelves, (4) with preferably 3 levels for maximum storage, and (5) wheels for mobility… which seems like quite a lot of criteria for a nursing station. 😅 #whoops
Nursing Cart Shopping
In my search for a stylish nursing cart alternative I discovered that bar carts are actually kind of perfect for the job(!). I know that’s not exactly what you would traditionally think of using in a nursery, but hear me out! Bar carts are generally very sturdy as they are designed to hold glassware and heavy bottles of alcohol / mixers so they could absolutely withstand supporting some baby items.
If you have a super small space, this cart would be perfect for the necessities.
Love this art deco style cart, but that doesn’t really vibe with our very traditional home.
This acrylic cart is pretty cool, but it only has two shelves and I would personally prefer three.
This one has only two shelves and a bit too contemporary of a style for our decor, but still a cool option.
I really like this option, but I don’t think it would work for our space as this piece needs to be placed against a wall. If that works for your space, I hope you get it because it’s beautiful!
The main contender (for me) in the bar cart consideration is this one; my only concern is that it doesn’t look like the caster wheels will lock in place (also available here). Don’t write off the bar cart option because it could DEFINITELY work as a nursing cart and then be repurposed in your home once baby graduates from the nursing stage! 😉
I also found quite a few “tiered basket storage” options (like the one above from Project Nursery) that I believe are intended mostly for maximizing storage in small bathrooms, but I felt that they were a great solution in my nursing / diaper cart search!
I really like this rattan one because it works well with the other “natural” elements that I incorporated into the nursery to make it feel more homey and grounded.
This one would also be great if you planned to keep your setup stationary!
In keeping with the basket theme, but changing materials, I love this three-tiered gold wire basket option.
Speaking of staying stationary, I love both of these tiered gold baskets, but they ended up losing out because they didn’t have wheels which is one of my (many 😬) cart requirements.
My favorite tiered basket storage selections are pretty different from the bar cart idea, but I love both options! It ultimately depends on your style and the look you’re going for.
The winner ultimately ended up being this wire basket cart. I love the simplicity of it while still having a bit of interest from the brass color, the texture of the baskets, and the curved handles.
The sides of the baskets are tall enough to keep everything contained, but there’s also enough space between each basket tier to be able to fit the items I need onto each “shelf”.
I ordered clear bins to keep everything organized and create flat surfaces for things that might tip over easily.
The rectangular shape and size are just right; not too big, not too small.
The wheels roll / swivel smoothly and the brakes lock / unlock easily.
This cart is absolutely perfect for my needs.
Nursing Cart Supplies
As I just mentioned, I bought acrylic bins to further organize and stabilize everything I want to keep nearby in my nursing station.
I used: three of these acrylic bins for the larger items
(for extra pump supplies, burp cloths, diapers and wipes),
I also made sure to order a spare phone charger (power adapter // 2 meter cable) to plug in nearby so that I can keep myself occupied during feeding / pumping sessions. I’ll probably also keep a baby blanket over the back of the glider chair for chilly nights.
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Breast Pump Details
I ended up ordering the Spectra S2 Plus as my main pump after reading about a zillion breast pump reviews; it just seemed like the right option for me. We’ll see how my breastfeeding / pumping journey goes, but I’ll be sure to share a review if I get the opportunity to use the Spectra. I bought it ahead of baby’s arrival so that I can take it with me to the hospital because I’d like for the Lactation Consultant(s) to be able to show me how to pump on my own machine.
I love the idea of the wearable pumping options of the Willow and Elvie brands, but as I am not going back to work after Baby Girl arrives, I just don’t think it would be the most advantageous purchase for me. Maybe I’ll change my mind later on, but for now I’m planning to just use the Spectra. If you’re considering the wearable option, I used this Willow vs Elvie review to help me choose between the two brands so I’m ready to order if I decide that I want one for mobile pumping while running errands, etc.
I know that the Haakaa manual breast pump has a cult following in the mama world and I think it would be a great option if you have a need for it! I have no clue what my milk supply situation is going to be so I haven’t ordered anything yet. Elvie recently launched their own wearable version that can fit in your bra called The Curve and the “discreet” style certainly appeals to me. I plan to use this Elvie Curve vs Haakaa review to help me make my decision, depending on what my breastfeeding / pumping needs are.
I hope this helps you to give you a little inspiration and motivation to think outside the box when it comes to your nursery decor!
Sending hugs —