Cover Your Nips: Disposable v. Washable Nursing Pads

I am slowly creating a list of baby ‘must haves.’  At first, I thought I just needed stuff like a crib, diapers, and a stroller. Now, I’m beginning to understand that babies require a lot more, like baby nail clippers, burp clothes, diaper rash ointment, a first aid kit, and something called Sophie the Giraffe, which everyone insists I buy.

Here’s one item that gave me pause – nursing pads. Apparently, when you’re breastfeeding, your boobies leak all over the place, and you essentially need to stuff a nipple maxi pad in your bra. Who knew? 

A while back, I switched from using traditional tampons to the DivaCup, a reusable menstrual cup (here’s why I switched). When I read that there are two types of nursing pads – disposable and washable – I was intrigued. Obviously, reusable pads are better for the environment because they create less waste, both in the pad itself and in the packaging.

I couldn’t help but wonder, however, if having to keep track of reusable nursing pads would end up being a giant headache, especially because the cute ones on Etsy.com come in a variety of colors and patterns. I am reminded of how I once bought a packet of sports socks in a rainbow of colors. You know what?  I can never find two yellow socks or two blue socks and end up wearing totally mismatched pairs.  Not that anyone would tell if my nursing pads were mismatched!

Plus, if I handwashed the nursing pads in the sink and laid them flat to dry (as opposed to tossing them in the machine with my regular clothes), I would be less likely to lose one. Right?

So, environmental and mismatching issues aside, maybe the debate comes down to cost. The reusable Bamboobies Organic Nursing Pads, which come in a four pack of one set of daytime pads and another set of nighttime pads, are $29.99 on Amazon.com. I spotted a five pair pack of reusable pads on Etsy.com for $18. Disposable ones vary in cost, but Amazon.com offers four boxes of 60-count Lansinoh 20265 Disposable Nursing for $29.56. I’ve heard leaky women go through, at a minimum, at least two pads a day and one at night, which means the disposable pads would last 80 days. More convenient? Perhaps. But if you’re planning to breastfeed for more than three months, it may be financially worth it to get cheaper reusable ones.

Do you use disposable or reusable nursing pads? Or both?  Does one type work better than the other?

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