How to use a boppy pillow?

Svetlana January 01 2022

What is a boppy pillow?

A Boppy pillow is a firm, horseshoe-shaped pillow that helps babies develop an upright seating position. It can come in different colors and patterns. It is often used when the baby starts to sit up.

Are there many types of boppy pillows?

Yes. You can buy a Boppy pillow that is used for pregnancy, breastfeeding, tummy time, and as an infant lounger. There also boppy pillows to be used with infants and toddlers.

What materials are used for boppy pillows?

The outer cover is usually made of cotton. The pillow is filled with polyester fiberfill.

How to use a boppy pillow?

You can use it in various ways like lying down on it, sitting on it, placing your baby against it while breastfeeding, or using it for support when learning to sit.

Lying down: Take the boppy pillow and make sure the small end of the horseshoe is in front of you. Then, lie on your back with your head resting on the big end of the horseshoe. Your legs should be straight out in front of you, with your feet touching each other's toes. You can also place pillows under your knees for added comfort. It helps keep an infant entertained if they are watching something like a mobile. 

Sitting: Place the boppy pillow on your lap and make sure its horseshoe shape is upright. Then, sit with your legs apart in front of you. Make sure that the small end of the pillow is touching your knees while you hold its big end up facing forward with one hand behind to support it.

Place your baby face-forward on the small end of the pillow, making it cozy for them by holding their head slightly elevated with one hand while supporting their back with the other hand so they are sitting up straight. It also provides support when breastfeeding or bottle-feeding an infant facing forward in this position.

Using it for support when learning to sit: Place the boppy pillow across your lap, with the small end of the horseshoe pointing toward your feet. Hold its big end up against your shoulder with one hand while gently holding your baby across their back and thighs with the other hand, making them sit up straight.

Then, lower them down slowly onto the pillow while still holding them in place. This position can also help develop an infant's neck muscles by allowing them to practice turning their head from side to side.

For breastfeeding: Place the small end of a boppy pillow on your lap and make sure its horseshoe shape is upright. Then, hold its big end up facing forward with one hand behind to support it while you feed your baby face-forward into its opening. It helps keep your baby propped up at the right height.

For bottle-feeding: Place the small end of a boppy pillow on your lap and hold its big end up facing forward with one hand behind to support it. Then, place your baby's bottle or sippy cup into the opening while your baby lies face-down across the pillow. This position will help develop an infant's neck muscles by allowing them to practice turning their head from side to side as they reach for their bottle or cup.

Placing another pillow under it: If you feel like you need additional support then you can place another small firm pillow under the Boppy pillow. You can also use this method if you're breastfeeding and you feel like you need a pillow behind your back to help support you.

Placing a baby on their stomach: Place the small end of a boppy pillow between your newborn's chest and a rolled-up towel or blanket placed long ways at the edge of a firm mattress, making sure they're lying face down with arms free.

Then, roll them toward you while supporting their chest and hips in one quick motion so that they land on their stomach with their chest resting on the Boppy pillow. If your baby is unable to hold up their head yet, place a small rolled-up towel under their forehead for added support when learning to sit up. This position can also help strengthen an infant's back muscles by allowing them to practice holding up their head while resting on a firm surface.

Placing an infant on their side: Place the small end of a boppy pillow under your newborn's head, with one arm reaching out to be used as a pillow by placing the side of their face against it. Then, place another small rolled-up towel or blanket under their hips for added support, making sure that they are resting on their side with arms free.

Using it as a feeding/playtime seat for older infants: After an infant has started sitting up on their own, you can turn the Boppy pillow around so its horseshoe shape is facing away from them and use it as a feeding/playtime seat by sitting down directly in front of them and making sure that the horseshoe opening is facing them.

Place your baby's favorite toys within their reach within this position for playtime and feed them while holding their bowl, plate, or sippy cup of milk in one hand and supporting their back with the other hand so they are sitting up straight.

If you want to sit more comfortably on the floor then place a pillow underneath your knees. You can also use it as a feeding/playtime seat when it's turned around by placing pillows behind you or leaning against a wall to support yourself if you find that difficult.

Placing an infant on their back: Once an infant has started rolling over from side-to-side with ease, you can turn the pillow around so its horseshoe shape is facing away from them and place them on their back by sitting down directly in front of them and making sure that the horseshoe opening is facing them. This position can also help strengthen an infant's back muscles by allowing them to practice pushing up as they hold themselves up with their arms.

Changing a diaper: You can use a Boppy pillow as a changing table pad when changing your baby's diaper by laying it face-down on a firm surface before placing your baby on top of it to lie down. Make sure you have a clean diaper, wipe or two, powder, cream, and other items needed for diapering within reach before you lay your baby down. Then, after you've finished diapering, simply remove your baby from the Boppy pillow and place them back in their playpen or bouncer.

Bouncing a baby: You can place a Boppy pillow on the floor and have your infant lie on it, or hold them with one arm through the opening in front of you while gently bouncing up and down with your legs bent to keep the momentum going. This is a great way for building up leg muscles as well as coordination by allowing infants to practice pushing off with their legs.

During pregnancy: You can use your Boppy pillow while pregnant, by placing it behind your back when standing up to support you. However, if you're expecting twins then we would suggest getting two Boppy pillows that are shaped like horseshoes since the one round shape is only meant for one infant at a time.

How to choose the best boppy pillow?

You have to consider such aspects as:

  • The size of the pillow. Depending on how old your baby is, you will either need to find a thin one that can be placed in their crib when sleeping or a thicker one that they can lie against while resting in an infant seat or bouncer.
  • Its shape. You have to determine whether or not you want it to look like a regular pillow, shaped like a horseshoe, or large enough for two infants at once depending on its intended purpose.
  • Fabric type and design (patterns). Consider such factors as softness/texture, color, and pattern (if any). This will help ensure your infant enjoys interacting with the pillow since comfort breeds trust and trust builds an emotional bond between parent and child.
  • Amount of support it provides.
  • Price tag and warranty/return policy if applicable.
  • Durability. Can it withstand being machine-washed for those inevitable accidents? How much weight can it hold before a seam rips, a pattern fades, or a zipper breaks? Is the fabric strong enough to resist tearing from sharp baby fingernails that have just begun to develop the skills needed for grasping small objects?

Be sure that not only is your pillow going to be comfortable to use, but also safe as well because no one will use something they find uncomfortable or unsafe.

Safety precautions of using boppy pillows for babies:

Ensure that your child is sitting in an upright position and doesn't lean or fall forward when using it because this can lead to choking or suffocation when the pillow gets wedged against their face(s).

Watch out for sharp infant fingernails because they will eventually grow strong enough for grasping and tearing fabrics, zippers, etc. in order to get a better grip (this applies to all toys that infants will play with in the future).

Check seams/Zippers for signs of damage such as loose threading, broken, or missing parts before use since these can break apart during use and cause internal damage/injury if not repaired properly within a reasonable amount of time.    

Be prepared for accidents since anything infants play with will sooner or later be chewed on, thrown, drooled on, etc.

Replace the pillow as it becomes worn out from use over time to ensure a longer life span which means a better end-value for your money.    

Can you sew this pillow on your own?

Yes, you can make it at home on your own. You will need such materials as :

  • Fabric (for exterior and for interior)
  • Sewing machine
  • Tape measure
  • Safety pin    
  • Filling
  1. Measure your body and then cut out four pieces of one fabric that will be used for the exterior and four more pieces that will be used for the interior.
  2. Fold each piece of fabric in half with right sides together, align them perfectly along all edges, and then sew down two adjacent sides using a ½ seam allowance. Leave one side open so you can turn it inside out later on before filling it with the filling.
  3. Turn each exterior piece inside out and then pin them together along one open side until you get something that looks like a large (fabric) pillowcase. Make sure that all seams are properly aligned by matching up the edges before beginning to sew across this end of the exterior pieces using a ¼ seam allowance. Leave enough room at either end for turning it inside out later on so make these openings slightly larger than what you'll need to fit your hand through when fluffing or shaping it.
  4. Turn each interior piece right-side out and place them inside the exterior pieces, aligning all seams before zipping up their respective sides using a ½ inch seam allowance from edge to edge so they don't slide out.
  5. Sew along the exterior pieces' open edge using a ½ seam allowance so you get something that looks like a large pillowcase with no top or bottom. You can use an invisible stitch if you have one to ensure it's completely invisible from the outside.
  6. Turn it right-side-out, give it a good fluffing, and then stuff it with the filling before zipping up all four open sides using a 1-inch seam allowance from edge to edge.
  7. Fold each corner inwards until the raw edges are hidden behind each other, being mindful of any seams in order to protect them when folding, and sew across these corners using a ¼ seam allowance to finish your pillow.

How to wash a boppy pillow?

There are some easy steps that show you how to clean a boppy pillow:

  1. Place the Boppy pillow in the washer in a delicate setting.    
  2. If there is dried milk or any type of stain on the fabric, use oxygen-based bleach (brand names include OxiClean, Nellie's All-Natural Oxygen Brightener, or OXO Brite). This will ensure no color transfer occurs between your baby's clothes and the cover since they'll most likely be lying against it after feeding time.
  3. After washing, let the pillow air-dry.
  4. Store it in a dry location until you need to use it for your child again so that it doesn't get ruined by moisture/water damage while waiting to be used.