March 3, 2010

How to Buy a Nursing Pillow

Nursing Pillow Introduction

Why would you need a nursing pillow?  When you’re feeding your baby, finding a comfortable position can be a challenge. Your lap isn’t high enough for proper support, and holding your baby in your arms can start to feel like some sort of weird endurance test.

However, a rounded feeding or nursing pillow that fits around your waist can help support your child at the proper elevation, making your job a lot easier and saving you from cramped arms. Position is especially important for breast-feeding moms, and these pillows let you easily navigate the perfect elevation for achieving a good “latch” — the key to productive and comfortable breastfeeding.

Nursing  pillows outline:

  1. Your Basic Choices
    1. horseshoe style
    2. doughnut style
    3. regular pillow
  2. Features to Look for
  3. Stage Considerations
  4. Usage Tips

basic choices

There are two different styles of feeding pillows, plus a minimalist option that utilizes an everyday pillow:

horseshoe style
Just like they sound, these nursing pillows are shaped like a horseshoe and fit part way around your waist, allowing you to sit on a couch or rocker while you nurse.

doughnut style
The doughnut style reaches further around your waist and has a strap that latches in back, still allowing you to sit back comfortably but holding the pillow in place so you can walk around with it. The trade-off for some is the boxier shape and firmer feel that’s a little less pillow-like.

regular pillow
If you really don’t want to add yet another thing to the pile of baby stuff, you can get away with any regular pillow. It won’t offer the customized fit and support of the other two options, but it can be used for other purposes.

features to look for

  • Machine washable. Breastfeeding pillows get dirty. Look for a removable, washable cover and consider picking up a spare cover for busy wash days.
  • Multiple capacity. If you have twins or multiples, look for special versions just for you.
  • Storage pockets. To keep the essentials close at hand, some pillows offer a bit more cargo space with pockets for stashing goods.

stage considerations

A horseshoe-style feeding pillow can enjoy a second life when your child is learning to sit up. Just like you wrap the pillow around your front to support the baby, you can wrap the pillow around your baby’s backside to give them a little extra support during the wobbly early stage.

This baby gear guide was written by Ali Wing, baby product expert, author of giggle guide to baby gear and founder of giggle.  Follow Ali on Twitter and the Giggle Fan Page on Facebook.