When can a baby have a pillow? Read on for the answer, and for the best baby pillow/lounger recommendations.
I am a total nerd for marine biology, so when I started planning my nursery, I was so excited to get undersea-themed gear. I chose organic sheets printed with blue Acropora coral. And to complete the bedding set, I had a little coral-shaped pillow made.
I knew “sleep positioners” or “baby nests” are unsafe, but I learned another important safety fact: I couldn’t put any kind of pillows in my baby’s crib for a while! This is due to the increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) associated with the use of pillows in the baby’s crib. And while I didn’t love the idea of plopping my new baby down on a mattress with no place to rest his little head, I knew I had to defer to the experts on this one. So I tucked the pillow away and searched the internet for the answer to my burning question: when can baby have a pillow?
The answer: it’s safest to wait until 18 months or older.
That sounds like forever when you have a new baby. But don’t worry, there is one kind of pillow baby can use (while awake and supervised), and you can still deck it out in a cute pillowcase: the Boppy.
The Boppy, also known as the Boppy lounger, is a brand of nursing pillow. It offers ergonomic support to prop your baby up while they breastfeed or take a bottle. But that’s not all a nursing pillow is good for! It also keeps baby positioned comfortably when they’re too small to sit up on their own. For me, this was an essential tool that was used daily, especially since my special needs baby couldn’t sit up well on his own for some time.
So while a nursing pillow can’t be used in the crib, you can still use it for your infant. Plus, you’re bound to leave it lying around in your living room, so it will be on full display instead of hidden away in the nursery. Win/win!
So, with all that in mind, here’s a round-up of our favorite nursing pillows and some great nerdy Boppy covers.
Looking for even more ideas for the nursery? Check out our other articles on baby nursery themes and decor!
Boppy Lounger & Other Nursing Pillows
The original award-winning Boppy is a classic nursing pillow that has been used by countless mamas. It’s machine-washable and recommended for feeding at 0+ months, propping at 3+ months, tummy time at 6+ months, and sitting at 9+ months. This one is the “bare naked” version (just waiting to be customized with your hand-selected cover!), but it’s also available with a cover included.
Just like the original Boppy, but more travel-friendly! This Boppy travel nursing pillow includes a stretch tie that can be tied around your waist while you hold your baby. It’s also more compact than the original, so it’s great to keep as a spare in the car or take on a plane. No need for a cover; just toss the whole thing in the washing machine when it needs cleaning!
Another popular brand of nursing pillow is the My Brest Friend deluxe pillow. It features a pocket for bottles and burp cloths and an adjustable strap to wrap around you (or secure it to your diaper bag!). The top of the My Brest Friend pillow is flatter than the Boppy, and the strap keeps it in place while feeding your baby. This makes this a great choice for feeding your baby, but makes it less versatile than the Boppy for propping your baby in a sitting position.
The Snuggle Me crescent-shaped feeding and support pillow is certified organic, sustainable, and ethically made in the USA. It’s also hypoallergenic. The shape of this pillow makes it less bulky than the Boppy, but it’s still great for supporting your baby while sitting up and during tummy time. It’s available in six colors, with covers sold separately.
Did I already mention I’m obsessed with all things undersea? I did? Oh, my bad. Well, needless to say, I am in love with this seahorse-shaped nursing pillow. It’s a giant velvet seahorse and a functional nursing pillow; what’s not to love?! Oh, and if aquamarine isn’t your color, there are SEVENTEEN other variations available in the seller’s Etsy shop.
Boppy & Other Lounger Covers
This Harry Potter-themed Boppy cover is the intersection of Harry Potter nerds and sports nerds! Inspire your little one to reach for their dreams and catch that golden snitch with this adorable cover. You can even customize with a monogrammed name or initials. I could totally see a whole Quiddich-themed nursery designed around this cover!
I don’t think you’ll find a more nerdy Boppy cover than this. Covered in science terms and tools, you can ponder STEM concepts while you nurse your baby. Is it possible that early exposure to complex equations will make your baby a genius? Probably not. But, it probably can’t hurt either.
Feel like you’re taking a trip down Route 66 with this retro-style car Boppy cover. Featuring old-school convertibles, 60’s-style signs, and license plates, this cover gives off an unmistakably cool vibe. Plus, it’s available with a customized monogram. This is made to fit the Boppy pillow.
Get your little one into Marvel comic books from the jump with this Boppy cover. It includes all your favorite Marvel Avengers characters, such as the Hulk, Ironman, Captain America, Spiderman, Thor, and Daredevil. Best of all, they’re all splashed over a great retro comic book motif, so you can read comics while you feed your baby!
Love dinosaurs? Love outer space? Either way, we have you(r pillow) covered! This hilarious Boppy cover depicts planets, dinosaurs peering through telescopes, astronaut dinosaurs, and space ships. It’s absurd in the best possible way. It’s also substantially cheaper than other options on our list (without sacrificing on style), so you can order multiples!
If you’re into etymology and love all things creepy and crawly, you have to see this Boppy cover. It includes insects, their scientific name, and pictures of their chrysalises, eggs, and more. This is as nerdy as it gets, and it’s perfect for bug lovers.
A “World’s Best Boss” mug. A stapler in jello. Beets. You can find these and more on this amazing Boppy cover. Featuring some of the memories from The Office, this print even has a pretzel so that you can be reminded of the magic of Pretzel Day while you feed your little one.
Available in white and navy, this organic cotton cover is printed with all sorts of cute watercolor cacti for the desert botanist. Just select the “Nurse+support pillow” style to get a cover that fits the Snuggle Me nursing pillow. Best of all, this seller also makes car seat canopies, crib sheets, headbands, and changing pad covers in the same print, so everything will match!
Ok, so I know this cover doesn’t have an exciting print, but hear me out: it’s waterproof. That means baby-barf-proof. Which makes it an absolute winner! You’ll spend more time doing the nerdy things you love and less time doing laundry! This is one of the few custom covers that fit the My Brest Friend pillow.
If you really want to get the full nerdy experience, check out the Geek Thread Ultimate Baby Box. It includes one Boppy cover, two onesies, three bibs, one burp cloth, and one pacifier clip. Just choose a Fandom and they’ll send a box full of gear with any of the following themes: Harry Potter, Marvel, DC, Doctor Who, Nintendo, Geeky TV, Disney, My Little Pony, Lord of the Rings, Firefly, or mixed Superheroes.