The Boppy : A pillow with multiple uses

While researching information about the “Boppy” (trademarked name for infant positioning/nursing pillow) on the web, I learned it was among the top ten favorite items of moms.
The Boppy Pillow won the 1999 Child Magazine “Best Nursing Pillow” Reader’s Award
The Boppy Pillow was voted the number one baby product by American Baby magazine a record eight times.
While you can get by without owning one of these pillows (I did and breastfed both my kids) it does provide some help to both mom and dad and to the baby.  Most moms on the Rez can’t afford to buy a Boppy  – in fact many moms may not have a pillow of any kind, for many this would be a “luxury” item.

Uses for the Nursing Pillow    

  • Feeding an infant –  Helps support the weight of baby while breast or bottle feeding reducing the strain on mom’s back and arm muscles.
  • Playing – Allows parents to position the baby so they get tummy time to strengthen neck and arm muscles
  • Sitting – The pillow can be used as a support for baby while he/she is learning to sit by placing it behind the baby on the floor  or in front of baby while sitting on a couch or chair playing with a toy or book (monitored by an adult of course). This again helps support the child’s efforts to stay in one place and sit up
  • Lounging
  • Propping up a baby who suffers from acid reflux or regurgitation after a feeding
  • Neck support pillow for a parent

One thing a nursing pillow shouldn’t be used for is sleeping.  No pillow should be placed in a baby’s crib as it increases the risk of suffocation and SIDS.

When I talked to the Rez they said parents would like to have a nursing pillow and although they are affordable for most of us, twenty or thirty dollars is too costly for those on the rez who are struggling to make ends meet, so I decided to try my hand at making one.

My daughter lives in the state of California and is very aware of chemicals in children’s items. She ordered a nursing pillow she thought without flame retardant but the chemical had been added. She asked me to remake the boppy so it would be chemical free .  New article on the standards. I used her existing boppy as a pattern for the shell and am using this pattern for the boppy I am currently making. There are patterns that you can buy to make a boppy at any sewing store or on the web.

The inner shell was made from a medium weight fabric and stuffed with polyester batting and sewn closed at the opening where stuffing was added. The batting should be about 4 inches deep. The removable outside cover was made from  the same pattern piece  using a prettier fabric and a 1/4 inch seam allowance instead of a 1/2 inch for the shell.   I didn’t want to add a zipper to the cover so for the back pattern piece of the cover I divided  it in half and added a few inches to each side so they would overlap and close up the opening.   Check out this link for a tutorial in making a removable pillow cover.  The downside to not using a zipper is that it’s a little tight trying to get the cover off for washing but it can be done.  Basically what I did is shown in this Spindles to Sashes video

The nursing pillow will be given out to needy moms with the baby bags that they are  putting together from our donations. Thanks from Sew For Kids.


One thought on “The Boppy : A pillow with multiple uses

  1. An interesting idea. Like the idea of no zipper. I sometimes make pillow covers that way, so you can just slip the inner pillow in and out. Zippers can be a nuisance and scratchy.

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