While every new baby needs a crib and clothes, there is one piece of essential equipment that gets left off the list: a nursing pillow. Even if you don’t intend to or are unable to breastfeed, a nursing pillow can be a great help to you, your partner, your baby and anyone else who happens to be around.
Obviously, I bought the pillow to help make breastfeeding more comfortable. In that respect, it did it’s job. It was especially handy in the early days when I was struggling to find comfortable positions to nurse in and when Zayden needed extra support for his head. When our family babysits, they use the pillow to help feed him his bottles. But if all you use your pillow for is feeding the baby, then you are missing out.
It is also useful for supporting your arms when you are simply holding the baby, especially for long periods. This was vitally important in the early months of Z’s life when he would only take a proper nap at home if someone was holding him. My arms would have fallen off without the pillow to support them. Sometimes, we would just prop him up in the pillow and he would fall asleep on his own. Before he could sit up, we often propped him up in the pillow in order to give our arms a break. In this position, he was first able to play with toys. Once he was able to sit up on his own for short periods, we used the pillow to help support him. My husband finds the pillow so comfortable that he sometimes uses it to take naps.
There are a few drawbacks to this particular pillow. It’s large size has made it comfortable to use, especially with my rapidly growing chunky monkey, but it also limits the places where I can use it. I have to nurse my son on our couch or in my bed; it does not fit if I try to nurse him in the rocking chair in his nursery. It also lacks a removable cover. Given the number of times he has drooled and spit up on the pillow, that would have been a really nice feature and for the life of me, I can’t think of why anyone would design anything for use with a baby that you couldn’t throw in the laundry.
If you can find a pillow with a similarly sturdy design that allows you to use it for multiple functions that has a washable cover, I believe you will have found one of your most indispensable pieces of baby gear.