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Start Your Day Right: A Successful Morning Pumping Routine (Tips from 10+ Real Moms)

Start Your Day Right: A Successful Morning Pumping Routine (Tips from 10+ Real Moms)
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When you are pumping for your new baby, mornings can be so chaotic. 

First, you’re trying to get yourself and your baby ready to leave. Then, you’re also trying to pump, prep bottles for daycare, and pack your pumping bag. 

I found that I had to wake up extra early to get everything ready before I needed to get out of the door.

Here is my morning pumping routine along with tips to make your mornings go smoothly as smoothly as possible.

One of my followers asked this question:

“How do you handle the first morning pump after dropping the middle of the night one? Currently, I get up at 6:45am to start pumping. While I pump, I prep my little one’s morning bottle, then I wake him up and feed him. 

Then, I wake up my toddler and get him ready for the day. I do all of this while I pump because it takes over 45 minutes for me to empty. 

But, it’s a lot to try to do while pumping and it’s all very awkward. Do you wake up earlier to pump before everyone gets up? 

Should I try to push my pump later after everyone is up and fed? Something else? 

I have wearables, but I use my Spectra (blue one) in the morning to make sure I fully empty after going all night.”

The Best Routine When Pumping

Before kids, I could easily get myself up and ready and out the door on time without really needing to do much prep work the night before.

I found that my mornings went so much smoother when I started doing as much as possible in the evenings.

With my first baby, I was struggling trying to pack everything for myself and for daycare and there was never enough time in the morning. 

I felt like I was always leaving something important at home, and it was awful getting to work and then driving home. I even forgot my laptop at home a couple times and had to turn around and drive back.

The biggest thing that REALLY helped was to do everything possible the night before. 

The best mornings I had were when I was prepared the night before.

How To Handle The Evening Before

There were a few important things I would do in the evening to make my mornings go much more smoothly.

When I got home from work, I would wash, sterilize, and dry all of my pump parts and baby bottles that were used during the day.

To speed up the drying and sterilizing process, this sterilizer was such a life saver

Be sure to double-check the manual for your pump parts that steam sterilizing won’t damage them. Sometimes the wearable pumps or cups might become warped or damaged if they are sterilized.

Here are more details about the FASTEST way to sterilize pump parts.

Then, it was helpful to prep all of the bottles that would be needed the next day. 

As I was preparing dinner, I would also make my baby’s lunch and snacks to take to daycare the next day. (Obviously this was after she started solids). 

Then, I would go through the daycare bag. I’d pull out any artwork or projects. Then I would make sure there were enough diapers and changes of clothes that needed to be sent back to daycare the next day.

Upstairs in my bedroom, I’d make sure I had one or two clean and dry pre-assembled bottles at my pumping station before going to bed for the night. 

I’d also set out one or two clean and dry sets of pump parts that would be used overnight or the next morning.

It can be helpful for you to have a checklist of your night time and morning routines. 

The Easiest Morning Pumping Routine

I would usually wake up with the feeling of needing to pump and couldn’t really wait until after doing other things.

Usually I’d wake up around 6, which was about 45 minutes before my baby woke up. It ended up working out better for me to pump with my blue Spectra S1 in the mornings to make sure I was fully empty.

Then, I’d do one of two things depending on if I thought my baby might wake up soon. 

If I thought she might wake up soon, I’d pull a bottle out of this cute mini fridge I kept in my bedroom, and put it in the warmer while I started pumping.

If I thought she would sleep for at least 20 more minutes, I’d pump straight into her feeding bottle. Then, I’d give her the bottle of freshly pumped milk for her first feed.

If she woke up and I wasn’t finished pumping, I’d either set her up on the floor facing me on a boppy or in a bouncer.

When she was really little and needed to be held while feeding, I’d take off my pump parts and switch them out for a haakaa or milk collector cups while I fed and burped her. Then, I’d set her in the bouncer and finish out my pumping session.

If she didn’t wake up, which was most of the time, I would just relax and listen to a podcast, audio book, or scroll on my phone until my morning pumping session was finished.

I was usually done by 6:45 or 7am and then I’d get the baby up, changed, and fed. Then, I would get myself dressed and ready for the day.

When I needed to go into the office, I’d pump while driving on the way to work even if it hadn’t been a full 3-4 hours since my last pumping session. 

This bought me time at work so I didn’t need to take a break to pump for another 3 hours. You can read more here about switching from pumping every 3 hours to every 4 hours.

More Advice From Real Moms

Here are a few more tips and strategies from other pumping moms that you can use for making your mornings go more smoothly.

Mom 1: I Have Help With My Older Children

My first pump is an hour. I’m lucky that my husband doesn’t start work until 10:30. I am lucky that he is able to get the older one ready and on the bus, and wrangle the 3 year old. 

After they are situated, he gets the baby up for her bottle while I finish pumping. Then he gets bottles washed and prepped for the day.

Mom 2: Prep Bottles The Night Before

Supportive partners are the best. We prep all the bottles before bed at night. My husband gets the kids up and he brings me breakfast while I’m pumping. 

He also comes home during lunch 3 days a week to help with my afternoon pump. Our baby never naps long enough during the day for me to pump without her wanting to be held. 

She’s not much of a self entertainer. I try to avoid the wearables unless absolutely necessary.

Mom 3: I Wake Up Early

I wake up before my kids so I can get the pumping session out of the way. I usually wake up at 6am. 

With my first, I would wait until my baby was fed and settled. Now that I have 2, if I did that, I would never have any time to pump. So I end up getting up earlier.

Mom 4: I’m Faster When I’m Not Multitasking

I wake up early to pump with my wall pump, and then I do stuff. I found out I was faster at prepping when I wasn’t trying to multitask and pump at the same time. 

My morning pump is my “me time”. I read, grocery shop, do crossword puzzles, etc.

Mom 5: I Power Pump Early

I do a power pump between 5 – 6am. I use that hour to catch up on my shows and grab a cup of coffee. This is so I get to pump in peace.

Mom 6: I Pump While Bottle Feeding

I pump while my little one has her bottle. She feeds herself.

Mom 7: I Wake Up Before My Kids

I wake up before all of the kids wake up. If my older ones do wake up, I just have them relax and snuggle on the couch before I finish. I typically start my day around 5am.

Mom 8: I Prep Bottles While I Pump

I wake up at 5:30am to pump before all the kids wake up, but I only pump for 20 minutes. I fix the baby’s bottles for the day while I pump. 

Then, I wake up my toddler and my boyfriend wakes up the baby and feeds and dresses him. I am out the door by 6:35am to take them to daycare.

Mom 9: My First Pump Is at 5am

I wake up before everyone. I am still doing my MOTN pump but when I pumped for my first, I always got up before everyone else. 

I set my schedule to pump at 1am and 5am. After I drop my MOTN pump, I’ll keep the 5am pumping session because my son wakes up at 5 or 5:30am. 

My baby usually does a feed at 3am and again at 6:30 or 7am.

Mom 10: I Get My Kids Ready Before I Pump

I currently get my 4.5 year old up first and set him up with breakfast. Then, I get my twins up and dress them. 

While they have their bottles I pump. It takes me longer to empty than it takes for them to eat, but I just try to keep them entertained until I’m finished pumping. 

Then, I move them to their play mat while I clean up everything and get us ready to get in the car.

Mom 11: I Use A Wearable Pump

I use a wearable pump while feeding my baby the bottle. I use an Elvie stride and I find that it empties me fully.  

I try not to go too much later than 6am though, so if the baby is still sleeping then I’ll pump before he wakes up. It is pretty rare that he actually sleeps that long though.

Mom 12: I Don’t Sleep In

I wake up around 6 or 6:30am, and my husband takes care of waking up the 9 year old and taking care of the baby while I pump. 

I’m out of luck if I sleep in or if he has to leave earlier. I can usually finish just before or just after he has to leave. We prep all of the bottles the night before we go to bed. 

I wouldn’t wake up the baby early to feed them because they will wake up when they are hungry. Just take the extra time to pump and relax.

Pump Smarter, Not Harder

Don’t forget to grab my free guide to help save your time and your sanity.

Packed with insider tips, expert advice, and invaluable insights, this guide is your go-to companion on your pumping journey. Pump Smarter, Not Harder: A Time Saving Guide for New Moms. Check it out here.

Must-Have Pumping Gear

Hear are a few of my favorite pumping items that made my life so much easier.

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