When I decided to breastfeed my baby, I started researching what I’d need for nursing. While breastfeeding does not require much in terms of equipment -- just you and the baby -- certain items can make the process easier, such as a Boppy pillow.
Even though breastfeeding is natural, it’s not easy. Don’t make the same mistake I did and think that babies are just born knowing how to latch on and start drinking breastmilk. Getting the baby in the proper position is very important for success. Having a breastfeeding pillow such as the Boppy pillow makes positioning easier.
There are a number of breastfeeding pillows out on the market, so it’s important to do some research before buying a pillow. The best time to do research is before you actually need the pillow so that once you give birth, you’ll have everything ready to go for feeding your baby.
[amazon box=”B00HMGBJCS,B013P1M6ZW,B014A7MABU,B003TSDMH8,B07F3KTPV6,B01C5GFVSM” template=”table”]
What Is a Boppy Pillow?
Now, what exactly is a Boppy pillow you may wonder? It’s a U-shaped breastfeeding pillow that provides support for you and the baby while breastfeeding. Having a breastfeeding pillow can really help as you’re trying to get the hang of positioning your baby and getting a proper latch. Newborns don’t have much head control, so having a pillow can keep them in the right place.
The Boppy makes a few different pillow options so that you can select what works best for your needs. In addition to breastfeeding pillows, they also make a baby lounge pillow, which is useful for providing support and a comfortable resting place for newborns.
The classic Boppy pillow is very versatile and offers many uses beyond just breastfeeding. The U-shape of the pillow helps to hold up the baby during bottle feeding sessions. As your baby grows and starts to work on tummy time, the Boppy can help with propping. It can also act as a bumper around the baby as he learns to sit up (and falls many times in the process).
The Boppy pillow has a polyester fill that provides a firm yet comfortable surface for both mom and baby. You can use the pillow both with and without a cover, and you can safely put them both in the washer and dryer. Getting the cover back on the pillow after you wash it is also a cinch.
Another great thing about the U-shaped design is that the pillow is easy to put on and take off, especially when your baby falls asleep after nursing. It’s lightweight, and you can move it around with one hand (speaking from experience). In addition, the pillow has many other uses beyond just breastfeeding, which makes it a great value.
The price of the original Boppy pillow depends on whether you decide to buy one with or without a cover. You can also buy the covers separately so you can have extra on hand for laundry days.
How We Reviewed
When looking at breastfeeding pillows like the Boppy, we considered how supportive each pillow is as well as the stuffing material. Since babies tend to be spitting, pooping machines, we noted if the pillow was machine washable and if it had a washable, removable cover. Features such as an adjustable strap, pockets or different surface options were an added bonus, so we made sure to note them as well.
Boppy Pillow Options
Below are a few different Boppy pillow options that may fit your needs.
[amazon link=”B00HMGBJCS” title=”Boppy Nursing Pillow”/]
The original Boppy pillow is very versatile and has many uses beyond just breastfeeding your baby. The U shape makes it easy to put on with one hand as you get ready to feed your baby. It’s also easy to take off when you have finished breastfeeding, even when the baby is asleep.
The pillow is firm yet comfortable, so it provides adequate support for both mom and baby. You can also use it to prop up the baby during bottle feeding. As your baby gets older, you can use the pillow as a baby lounger, for tummy time, and for help with sitting. Never leave your child unattended when using this pillow.
Some of the advantages of this pillow include the firm, supportive surface for both you and the baby. Boppy makes the pillow with 80 percent polyester and 20 percent cotton. Both the pillow and covers are machine washable, which is a must since they will get dirty (hello poop explosion). The pillow holds up well in the wash and is easy to put back together.
Some reviewers note that they had issues with the baby rolling toward them when using the pillow while others had problems with the pillow staying in place.
[amazon link=”B013P1M6ZW” title=”Boppy Breastfeeding Pillow”/]
A lactation consultant specifically for breastfeeding designed this pillow by Boppy. Unlike the original Boppy, it offers two feeding surfaces -- one firm and one soft. Also, it has a removable and adjustable belt to help keep the pillow in place.
The firm surface side is best when your baby is a newborn and getting the hang of breastfeeding. As your baby grows, you can flip the pillow over to the soft side for added comfort. You can remove the foam insert and belt so that you can toss the pillow in the wash for those inevitable accidents.
Some of the positives of this pillow are the adjustable belt that helps keep it in place while feeding. Additionally, the two surface options -- one firm, one soft -- give you options as your baby grows and gains more head control. The wide arm design fits most moms.
Unfortunately, some reviewers had problems with the straps, which they said never stayed in place. Others noted a lack of support for smaller babies during breastfeeding.
[amazon link=”B014A7MABU” title=”Boppy Newborn Lounger”/]
The company did not design this Boppy pillow for breastfeeding, but it does provide great support for newborn babies. The recessed interior cradles the baby and offers enough support to keep them in place. As a new parent, it’s great to have a comfortable and safe place to put down your baby for a few minutes. Make sure you’re always close by when using the lounger.
This pillow is recommended for babies up to 16 pounds. It features a convenient handle for easy portability so you can move it with you from room to room. You can wipe down the fabric cover or toss the entire pillow in the wash. In addition, the slightly upright position can help with baby reflux.
Some of the advantages of this pillow are the supportive design, easy carrying handle, and wipeable fabric. Since babies can also be quite messy, the option to throw the whole pillow and cover in the wash is an added bonus. The pillow provides just enough support to keep babies upright while not letting them sink in.
However, some reviewers had issues with their babies sliding and slumping when using the pillow.
Boppy Pillow vs. Other Brands
If you’re not quite sure if you’d like to get a Boppy pillow or another brand of cursing pillow, below are some of the other options that might also fit your needs.
[amazon link=”B003TSDMH8″ title=”My Breast Friend Pillows”/]
This comfortable and sturdy pillow offers a unique wrap-around design to help support both mom and baby. By promoting proper posture, My Breast Friend pillows alleviate back, neck, shoulder, and arm pain. The flat surface combined with two strategically-positioned bumps help get the baby in proper feeding position.
The pillow wraps around the mom’s body and offers a section in the back with cushioning for additional support. The adjustable strap and buckle design make it easy to get the pillow in a secure position for breastfeeding. The removable, washable cover features an easy-access pocket so you can store your nipple cream, lip balm, a burp cloth, or any other breastfeeding necessities.
Some of the positives of this pillow are the supportive design for both mom and baby, and adjustable straps to keep the pillow in place along with a removable, washable cover. The pocket on the side helps hold breastfeeding extras and keeps your hands free for holding your baby.
Unfortunately, some reviewers had issues with getting the pillow to fit properly and stay on. Others noted issues with the foam insert falling apart.
[amazon link=”B07F3KTPV6″ title=”Extra-Soft Breastfeeding Baby Support Pillow “/]
The unique design of this nursing pillow positions the baby at an angle and can help with reflux. In addition, the pillow sits taller and wider than other options, giving moms more positions for maximum comfort. A lactation consultant created the shape and design of this versatile pillow.
The pillow consists of a 40 percent bamboo and 60 percent polyester. You can use it with or without a removable cover, although it is best to have one so it's easier to clean in case of an accident. Both the pillow and covers are machine washable.
Some of the advantages of this pillow are that it offers multiple propping and sitting positions for the baby, so it can be quite versatile. It’s also completely machine washable, and you can use it with or without a cover.
However, some users found the pillow's design awkward and others thought it was just plain uncomfortable.
[amazon link=”B01C5GFVSM” title=”Ergobaby Nursing Pillows”/]
The Natural Curve nursing pillow by Ergobaby offers two different side options for breastfeeding support and positioning. The flat side offers a boost to newborns while the contoured side helps position the baby tummy-to-tummy during breastfeeding.
The pillow's design also reduces arm fatigue during bottle feedings. As your baby grows, you can use the pillow for propping and during tummy time. The curved design means the baby’s head rests above the tummy, which may help with digestion. The firm foam material maintains its shape over time.
Some of the positives of this pillow are the unique and supportive design that also helps babies with reflux. The removable cover is fully machine washable. In addition, the easy carry handle helps put this pillow within easy reach.
Unfortunately, some reviewers noted that the curved design made the baby slide off the pillow while others found it uncomfortable.
Which Pillow Should You Buy?
When researching breastfeeding pillows, it’s important to keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another. Breastfeeding pillows need to fit you well so that they can provide adequate support for both you and the baby. Some pillow designs may work better for larger women while others are more comfortable for those with a slender build.
You may not get the right breastfeeding pillow on your first try, and that’s okay. Without actually using the pillow, it’s very difficult to tell what will be comfortable for you and your baby. If you can borrow a couple of different options from friends or family, it's great to give them a try before making a commitment.
The Boppy pillow is one of the most popular options out there, so definitely add it to your list. Even if it doesn’t work out for breastfeeding, it has many different uses for supporting the baby during different stages of development. Luckily, I was able to borrow a Boppy pillow from a friend and used it with both of my babies until their first birthday.
When shopping for breastfeeding pillows, make a list of three to five features that are important to you. This will help you narrow down your choices and make the process less overwhelming. Ask around for recommendations and read several review guides like this one to get a better idea of what options are available.
Final mom tip: Whatever breastfeeding pillow you decide to buy, don’t forget to bring it with you to the hospital for the delivery. I didn’t think to do this with my first baby but I got smarter with the second one, and it made a big difference.