Today, my lovely friend Jax from Making It Up has volunteered to review the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Manual Breastpump for us. Jax is a fellow breastfeeder with plenty of experience of pumps and expressing, so I’m happy to take her word for it! She writes partly about life home educating two children and raising a baby, and partly about anything else that takes her fancy, so do check out her blog!


When Luschka asked if I could review a Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Manual Breastpump for her I was very happy to oblige – I’m a big fan of Diary of a First Child, (edit: awwww. Thank you!) and also breastfeeding, so it’s a win win situation for me.

The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature manual breastpump has a lot going for it:

It’s BPA free, which I think has to be the starting point for anything you are going to put you r breast milk in really. It comes in a neat box that contains a microwave sterilising box, and doubles for me as a storage box, and is also supplied with milk storage pots and a bottle and teat.

I have to say that I don’t find the milk storage pots desperately useful anymore, although if I were expressing several times a day and storing it in the fridge for freezing it at the end of the day as I did with my eldest, they would probably come in very handy.

The pump itself is very simple to take apart for cleaning and to put together again, having only three parts, which is a definite plus point. Being faced with a Mensa level construction puzzle after a night of too little sleep doesn’t make any of us happy.

But, and this is a fairly big but, the style of the actual cup bit is, in my opinion, not absolutely ideal. It’s described as flexible with massage ripples, to encourage fast, comfortable milk let down, but I just didn’t find that it worked that way. It’s not uncomfortable as such, but it’s not all that flexible either, and I can’t see that it would fit all breasts all that well. I certainly didn’t get fast let down with it either – I just don’t think the massage ripples are as effective as they could be.

I also think that the lack of any way to cover it for transport is rather a shame – although you can use the steriliser/storage box at a push.

I don’t think this pump is efficient enough to suffice if you were relying entirely on expressing, or even doing daily bouts, but I think it may well suit people who are just wanting to pump every now and then – maybe to have some milk stored for an afternoon or evening out or for emergencies.


I must admit, I’m a fan of electric breast pumps myself, but I do know a few people who prefer manual and a big reason for that is that manual breast pumps are silent – there’s no buzzing to wake a sleeping household!

Letter from the Milk BankPlease note: Although sterilising is important for new babies, it’s not as important once your child is eating things off the floor! However, WHAT you sterilise with is incredibly important. Do not use Milton to clean your pumps or bottles – breast milk is ALIVE with antibodies and other awesome bits, so killing every living thing with Milton and other antibacterial soaps and sterilisers remove so much of the goodness. Instead, use a crushed 1g (1000mg) vitamin C tablet, or just use boiling water.

Tommee Tippee have offered to share a manual Closer To Nature breast pump with a Diary of a First Child. There are two ways that you can win this pump. Either leave an expressing tip in the comment section below, or leave a tip on how to increase milk supply. (Follow the links if you have no idea on either!)

The giveaway runs until noon (GMT) 29 November 2010, and is open to all readers. A winner will be drawn at random, using

If you can’t wait for the giveaway to end, you can also purchase the breastpump for £26.99 direct from Tommee Tippee, although shopping around could save you some money as various supermarkets often offer discounts on these.

You do not have to tweet or share this competition to enter, but doing so helps ensure that I can keep bringing you give-aways every week! You can subscribe to Diary of a First Child by RSS, email or through Google Friend Connect (see the bottom to the right). You can also follow us on Facebook or on Twitter. We hope to see you back again soon!

Congratulations to Victoria Boland who won the giveaway.

For reviews of other breast pumps:

For further breastfeeding information:


Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Manual Breastpump Review & Giveaway

  1. I researched before I bought because I don’t much money to keep buying different pumps, I loved what I read about TT so bought it and I am so disappointed. I did better with the manual even flo

  2. Tommy Tippy automatic breast pump is the worst pump you can buy. You pump for 30 min and yoy get 2ml.

    I recommend buy another brand. I threw my tommy tippy in the dustbin and bought another brand.

    1. @carine, I think like with most things, different brands suit different people. I do know people who swear that their TT was the best they used. I know someone who couldn’t use Medela at all, yet Medela was the best for me. Unfortunately if you have a pump that doesn’t work for you, try another before thinking you ‘can’t express’. Different brands work differently for different people. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    2. I agree. Just bought it bc my old one is broken, so my husband said it was the only one in the store. I was expressing for more than hour and nothing. My breasts was full of milk and hardly get the one drop out. On the end I was forced to woke up my baby and feed her on my request 😉
      I don’t agree that different products work for different people, when we are talking about pump. Come on, it is a pump! It would be same like you say your vacume cleaner is working in your house, but not mine. I think that pump is rubbish, and people should be able to get full refund on it.

      1. Ah, I don’t agree with you though. I personally know someone who had loads of success with the TT pump and used it for ages. I also know someone who had no success with a manual Nuby pump, gave it to me and it’s almost as good as my Medela for how much I get out. Saying they’re all the same is like saying all trousers are the same, but different brands fit better on different body shapes, and it’s the same for pumps – different pumps work different for different breast shapes.

        It may be worth remembering that some mums can’t express, no matter how full their boobs are. If you’re struggling to express, it’s worth looking for tips on how to express – for example baby feeding on one side while you express on the other, looking at photos of baby while you’re expressing, and so on. Good luck! I’ve often had to wake my girls to ask them for relief!

        1. Though I only tried a single breast pump, I should aggree with Luschka. Some moms simply cannot feel comfortable with certain breast pump brand, so they prefer other brand, but they are who can express milk efficiently with that particular brand. I do know some mums who prefer to use the manual one as compared to electric counterpart (different brand) due to the insufficient suction level.

  3. I would say to either be near your baby or have a photo in front of you, be comfortable and make sure you have a chocolate bar or healthy snack and glass of water with you.

  4. My expressing tip is RELAX! and express where you are comfortable. For example, if your in a room full of people, you will find it so difficult to let down.

  5. Express with your baby (or photo of baby in front of you); this will help you relax and increase your milk supply. A Mars bar also does wonders if you are really in a rush!

  6. Leave expressing until half an hour after you have fed your baby. This yields more milk when you have fed your baby and you are more relaxed knowing that your baby is fed full and content.

  7. Increasing supply tip: take fenugreek and blessed thistle, and make sure you get a couple of night feeds in! You produce more prolactin at night 🙂

  8. My expressing tip is a hand-expressing one: You never need to use as much pressure as you think you need. Relax and gently squeeze your breast outward from your body. Don’t ever squeeze the nipple!


  9. I found expressing after baby has fed in the morning helps. I usually pop her in her activity station and play/talk/sing to her as I express. This way my brain is stimulated by sight of baby, breast are massaged by my hands and I am relaxed and not thinking about milking a cow (lol) x

  10. Get a cup of tea, put your feet up and watch something on tv while you are expressing milk and be prepared to keep swapping hands (unless you’re lucky enough to have an electric pump) – my wrists used to ache like ………….

  11. I’ve always had trouble expressing much milk so I started feeding from just one side through the night and this would give me more milk to express from the other side in the morning.

  12. Try to eat well and drink enough fluids. Drink usually 6-8 glasses a day.You need a minimum of 1800 calories each day while you are lactating, and you should eat high quality foods and limit fats and sweets

  13. Try massaging the breast gently as you nurse. This can help the rich, higher calorie hindmilk let down more efficiently.

  14. Never ever microwave your expressed milk – it destroys the nutrients in your milk. I know microwaving isn’t recommended because it can cause hot spots, but I know lots of people do anyway (I did with my eldest!).
    To increase your milk supply take good care of yourself and don’t try to diet. Drink plenty and try to eat little and often. Its fairly common advice but it does help!

  15. My midwife was great. She was always very patient with me when I fretted that I was not providing my baby with the milk she needed. Her best advice to me was to massage the breasts gently as you nurse as this helps the rich, higher calorie hindmilk let down more efficiently.

  16. My tip for increasing your milk supply is to express or breastfeed after having a hot shower. I’ve used a hot, power shower to clear some painful, blocked ducts but found that I’d have a good supply right after too. Perhaps it was because it was totally relaxing! Anything that really relaxes your mind and body will increase your milk supply.

  17. For me personally the Holle nursing tea was a godsend, it helped me to establish a good milk flow, I drink about 3 cups of this tea every day, and you should see my happy baby.

  18. expressing tip …i used to wear a bracelet on my arm and swap it each time i expressed then i knew which side to do next ! rt on twitter @twinklenicci

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