Electric Pump Reviews: Avent, Tommee Tippee, Medela

I’ve mentioned a few times on the blog that I’m currently expressing for my son who’s four months. In that time I’ve had three different pumps so I thought I’d compare them for those who might be looking for one:

Phillips Avent Comfort Electric Pump
Price: we got ours from Boots for £93 – they’re now slightly more expensive in store but less online.
Review: buying the Avent pump was out of necessity rather than choice – we’d just checked in to the Ronald McDonald House by the Children’s Hospital and found out there was no pump there I could use. Cue a dash to Boots ten minutes before closing time to get the last pump they had.
Regardless, I found it quite a good pump to use. There weren’t too many parts to sterilise or fit back together after and, as Max took to the Avent teats we bought their bottles and could attach them straight on to the pump which was easier than decanting.
I found I could express more without the comfort shield on.
Unfortunately it broke after just over two months’ use, however as I pump about seven times a day it may just be that it wasn’t suited to such heavy use and might be better for someone who’s maybe just expressing one feed a day?
Overall: 7/10

Tommee Tippee Electric Breast Pump
Price: £100
Review: I totally gave up on this pump after two days when it took me half an hour to get 10ml. I knew my supply hadn’t dropped that much and I still felt full afterwards. The tube which connects into the pump itself came out constantly (and my husband tried connecting the tube too so it wasn’t just me being an idiot) and there were SO many parts to wash and sterilise. I’m a big fan of Tommee Tippee having used their bottles and steriliser with Alexandra but I’m afraid it feels like they’ve overcomplicated their pump just for the sake of it. I didn’t get on with this one at all.
Overall: 1/10

Medela Swing
Price: £100
Review: the daddy of all pumps (or should that be mommy). If you’ve been on a postnatal ward you’ll probably have seen the yellow Medela pumps lurking around as that’s what they use in hospitals (or the ones I’ve been in certainly). While the Swing is never going to match up to the hospital ones which are very expensive, it’s the closest you can get at home. I’ve been able to increase my supply using it and it’s SO simple to clean and sterilise as there are only three parts which need to be washed. Also it’s incredibly quiet (for a pump) – I express downstairs overnight to save waking anyone, our lounge is directly underneath the bedroom and my husband says he can’t hear the pump at all whereas he could hear the Philips one. Had I not had to go with the one available at the time, I would have got a Medela first.
Overall: 9/10

My overall advice here is: there’s a reason hospitals use Medela! It’s not any more expensive than the others and it’s far superior! There are also double options which are pricier but quicker (and you don’t have to deal with the whole ‘one leaky boob’ situation).

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

Buying Regrets

Unsure about this whole hat thing!

Unsure about this whole hat thing!

Today I thought I’d have a little ramble about some of the things we bought which we probably didn’t need plus things I really wish we’d bought!

I wish we’d bought…

Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep: I’ve heard so much about these and seen a huge amount of people raving about theirs, but Dylan just couldn’t be persuaded this machine (which prepares a perfect temperature bottle in two minutes) was worth buying. They are pretty pricey but if you can get them on offer they’re not too bad. It just seems to easy and saves the hassle of having a crying baby while you boil water, then get it cooled back down to the right temperature. Luckily Alexandra is pretty consistent with when she wants feeding but for those times she catches us unawares and goes from fine to STARVING HUNGRY in the blink of an eye, I do wish I had one!

Isofix: This handy little device which stays in your car and enables you to pop the car seat in and out within a second is again something which we didn’t really consider buying. However, having seen people use them since and spent many a minute waiting for Alex to be strapped into the back of the car (with my hand I’m pretty useless at anything like this so it’s not normally my job!) I think they’re well worth forking out for. The only downside I guess is that it stays in your car and Alexandra tends to go in a few different cars when friends and family drive us anywhere so its use would be limited due to that.

I wish we hadn’t bought…

Hats: A lot of the hats we bought were part of a set with other items of clothing so I don’t feel too bad, but those little cotton hats which every newborn has went pretty much unworn in our house. She wore a couple the day she was born and a couple once or twice since, but I’ve got a stack of about 15 which never went near her head and never will now she’s grown out of them! However the thicker winter hats she’s got have proved much more useful and certainly will do over the coming months. Maybe it’s because she’s got so much hair and always gets compliments on it that we shied away from hat wearing!

Scratch mitts: I feel like scratch mitts are one of those items everyone tells you the baby will definitely need, however she’s never worn a pair and again I have a stack of brand new ones. In the early days she didn’t seem to go near her face and now she’s started discovering and using her hands a lot more, we’ve had a couple of scratches (before my sister kindly cut Alexandra’s nails for us!) but it seems such a shame to cover up her hands when she’s so interested in them! We didn’t even use the built-in mitts on her sleepsuits although I can see how they’d come in handy if you were using mitts and your baby had worked out how to get the loose ones off.

Next time I’ll have a little chat about the invaluable items we bought and why I love them so much! Come back on Thursday for that.

Harriet and Alexandra x