As with many mums, I’m good friends with back and neck aches when nursing(note the sarcasm). Soon enough I came across this item that supposedly helped out, a boppy pillow.
Naturally, I started wondering:
“What’s a boppy pillow?”
“How to use a boppy pillow?”
I didn’t stop there though, I searched for answers! Now, I bring those answers to you, read on to learn all about boppy pillows and most importantly how to use them.
What Is A Boppy Pillow?
A boppy pillow is a nursing or breastfeeding pillow. Boppy is a brand name but due to its versatility and popularity, it has come to be the common name for nursing pillows.
This pillow is firm and has a distinct “C” shape which allows for easy usage when nursing a baby.
Boppy pillows don’t always take the C shape. More times than not, I’ve run into a U or crescent-shaped boppy at the store. They seem to do the job pretty well at least that’s what the manufacturers say. I, though, have only made use of the regular C-shaped boppy.
As its name implies, it is for nursing mums, to breastfeed. That’s not its only use but we’ll get to that later. For now, I’ll be showing you a simple way to utilize your boppy pillow for breastfeeding.
How To Use A Boppy Pillow
Lots of mums including myself worry at the first instance of using a boppy. This is especially true if it’s your first baby or first time breastfeeding. It’s normal, I found a great tutorial by baby chick on using a boppy pillow that may make things easier for you.
Additionally, follow these simple steps and your confidence might just shoot up.
- Choose the location for your breastfeeding. Nursing can last up to half an hour so make sure you choose a comfortable spot.
- Arrange three to four regular pillows on your couch or bed that will offer you some back support.
- Sit on the couch, and place the boppy pillow on your lap. Ensure that the open side wraps around you and points to your back. This provides convenience and enough space for your baby to be.
- Carry your baby onto the pillow. Always face your little one’s tummy to yours; their chin to your breast and their nose to your nipple.
- Nurse your baby.
- If you find yourself slouching, add another pillow beneath the bobby.
That’s all it takes if you’re going to use your boppy pillow for nursing which is its sole purpose. Is it though? No! The boppy pillow can serve a lot of other purposes for you and your baby. That’s one of the reasons why I just love a boppy and you might too!
1. Using A Boppy Pillow For Bottle Feeding
We’ve already established that these pillows are for nursing, so why not use them for bottle feeding?
If you’re going to use your boppy pillow to bottle feed your baby, you have two options.
The first one works very well with paced feeding, this ensures your little one doesn’t identify the difference in nipples which can make them reject breastfeeding after bottle feeding. All you have to do is:
- Place the boppy on a bed or otherwise flat surface. Note that if you’re doing this on the floor you have to spread a soft blanket underneath the boppy pillow.
- An elevation of 45° for the baby’s head is necessary for paced feeding. This is where your boppy comes on.
Sit your little one in the center of the boppy with their legs facing the pillow’s opening. So their head rests on the boppy and is properly elevated.
The second step is the same as the process of breastfeeding. Only this time you’re using a bottle.
2. Using A Boppy Pillow For Tummy Time
Tummy time with a boppy pillow gives the baby a new elevated view of things while strengthening the baby’s back, neck, and muscles.
To use a boppy for tummy time, follow these simple steps:
- Spread a soft blanket across the floor.
- Place the boppy pillow in the middle of the blanket.
- Carry your little one and place them on the boppy with their stomach facing down and their legs toward the opening.
- It can get boring quickly so make sure to get some color contrast toys ready to play with for your baby.
- Most babies will start crying and making a fuss after a few minutes. So, start tummy time for 2 – 3 minutes and increase the time as your baby begins to tolerate it.
Remember to always and I mean always keep an eye on your baby. We don’t want any hazards happening.
If you’re looking to watch a video for better understanding, a great one to check is this one about tummy time for newborns by Nekole Amber.
3. Using A Boppy Pillow For Sitting Aid
Soon, it will be time for your baby to start developing motor abilities. The sitting part typically starts between 3 – 5 months.
For this you should:
- Get the blanket, toys and of course your boppy pillow ready.
- Sit baby in the center of the boppy with their arms above the pillow. Fit the pillow snugly around your baby.
Your little one is better protected in a boppy pillow. Still, you should never leave your baby unsupervised! Either mum, dad, or a caretaker must be around your baby.
4. Using A Boppy Pillow For Pregnancy Or Postpartum Sleep
The further you go into your pregnancy the more likely you are to experience discomfort. Especially in bed, trust me when I say it can be frustrating.
You can easily get a pregnancy pillow for this but that’s its only purpose, come on! If you’re like me, then you’d rather get something that you can use for some other thing.
Boppy pillows are perfect for this.
- Simply place it beneath your knees or thighs while you sleep.
- Use it to support your protruding tummy as well.
- Utilize it as a support for your back to prevent rolling over while you sleep.
As for postpartum, you may have some discomfort due to tears or stitches especially if you underwent a C-section.
- Use it as butt support while you work, breastfeed, or even sleep.
Remember to use it on a soft surface like a couch because the height difference can add to your ache.
5. Using A Boppy Pillow For Back Support
I earlier mentioned using regular pillows as back support while you nurse. However, boppy pillows work the magic as well.
It’s up to you to decide how you’re going to place it for maximum back support. You can use it as a butt cushion or otherwise place it around your shoulders to support your neck.
6. Using A Boppy Pillow For Acid Reflux
According to the mayo clinic, acid reflux is when food from the stomach moves back up the baby’s throat causing your little one to spit up after a meal.
I’ve had quite the experience with acid reflux with my baby and although it’s not always an indicator of a health issue, it can be unnerving.
When this spitting up occurs, I place my baby inside a boppy pillow to help soothe her. Better still you can place your baby in a boppy pillow almost immediately after feeding. It may benefit you and your little one.
7. Using A Boppy Pillow For Congestion
Occasionally, your baby may catch a cold or get congestion. As with many babies, this is a common occurrence.
However, you can use the boppy pillow to place your baby in a posture that results in relief and eases their congestion.
8. Using A Boppy Pillow For Propped Playing
We can reckon this with tummy time. However, in this case, your baby mostly lies on their back.
Newborns typically have restricted motor movement and so will yours. But that certainly won’t kill their curiosity and interest in playing.
Most playing sets have the toys above the baby. Using a boppy pillow will elevate your little one giving them easier access to the toys. Baby’s happy mama’s happy! Or Papa too!
Now that I’ve covered various uses for a boppy pillow, I’m sure you’re eager to go get yours. You go! But – there is a but – before you head to the store, there are some questions commonly asked by parents that I’ll be answering.
How Long Can You Use A Boppy Pillow?
This question goes two ways.
- Firstly, if you’re wondering for how long a boppy pillow will be useful to you. Then I’ll stay quite a long time.
Say you get a boppy pillow for the initial pregnancy support in your 5th month. You can use it from then up to when your little one’s a toddler. Some babies can get attached.
You can even keep it for your next baby if you’re planning to have one. As long as you take care of it properly, it should work just fine.
- On the other hand, if you’re talking about using it at a go then use it for as long as you deem fit.
If tummy time takes 4 minutes, use it for 4 minutes; if you’re nursing for 40 minutes, use it for 40 minutes; and just like that!
How Many Boppy Pillows Do You Need?
You can get one for your baby and one for you. Or as many as you want!
These pillows are quite useful and if you want to get a couple of them, you totally should. I mean your and baby’s comfort is the top priority, isn’t it?
Are Boppy Pillows Safe?
I’m pretty sure this question has been stuck on your mind since the start of this guide, “Boppy pillows are useful and all but are they safe?”
Well, sit tight as I clear all your doubts.
Can You Use A Boppy Pillow For Sleeping Time?
It is not advisable to leave your baby to sleep on a boppy pillow. Even the youngest of babies can shift position and with a boppy, your baby might turn to a position that hinders breathing.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that boppy pillows and boppy newborn loungers are for use only when your baby is awake. It’s for a really good reason as it prevents a lot of hazards such as positional asphyxia.
I know that it’s tempting to leave your baby to sleep on a boppy pillow but for your sake and theirs, fight the temptation.
As long as you can be observant and keep to laid down regulations then a boppy pillow is safe to use. Otherwise don’t get yourself one.
Since I came across boppy pillows, nursing and lots of other things have been easier especially being a busy mum. I understand how it gets and that’s why I’ve written this tutorial to guide you on using a boppy pillow.
Did you gain value from this tutorial? I’d be happy to hear your feedback in the comment section. Also, let me know if you do get yourself one of these multi-purpose boppy pillows!
Remember to share and like this article if you enjoyed it!
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2020, Dec 17). Infant Reflux. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/infant-acid-reflux/symptoms-causes/syc-20351408#
- Proper Use of Boppy Pillows and Boppy Newborn Loungers, (2020, Feb 14). American Academy of Pediatrics, Wisconsin chapter. https://www.wiaap.org/proper-use-of-boppy-pillows-and-boppy-newborn-loungers/