There are so many lists of baby essentials floating around the internet and most include at least 2-4 different baby holding devices. While these pieces of gear are convenient for parents, what is really essential for your baby’s health and development is plenty of time to move and play – not awake time sitting in a seat…or swing…or car seat carrier.
Nursing Pillow Tummy Time
Nursing pillows are a great alternative to traditional tummy time. While babies may not have the strength to lift their head enough to make tummy time “fun,” propping them up on the nursing pillow allows them to see the world from a new angle while still strengthening their neck, back, and arm muscles.
Using a nursing pillow for tummy time puts your baby at an incline (shoulders and head higher than hips) – making it a bit easier to lift and hold the head up for extended periods. It also changes your baby’s line of sight so that he can see more of his surroundings. Plus, one of my favorite features is that it allows the baby to reach, touch and grasp before he’s able to shift all of his weight to one arm in order to free the other one for these tasks.
It’s important to remember that one of the many benefits of Tummy Time is upper body strengthening through weight-bearing on the arms. With that in mind, you won’t want all of your baby’s Tummy Time to take place over a Boppy or Tummy Time pillow. But it’s a nice way to add variety to belly-down play, still accomplishes many of the benefits of Tummy Time and is a great alternative to parking baby in baby gear during awake time.
By aiming to give your baby at least 60 minutes of Tummy Time by the end of month 2 and 90 minutes per day by the end of month 3, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do Tummy Time in a variety of places – on a nursing pillow, on a firm surface, on a parent or caregivers lap or chest (laying down), held belly-down on an adult’s forearm, etc.
Possible uses of the breastfeeding pillow
The purpose of the nursing pillow, also known as the nursing cushion, is to better support the baby’s weight, facilitating the baby’s correct posture while we mommies breastfeed him. Available in several different shapes and sizes, it can be an essential item in baby’s layette if you know how to take advantage of the product.
In reality, there are advantages and disadvantages of using a breastfeeding pillow. It is up to you to decide whether to buy it or not, whether to ask a friend or relative as a gift or not. In the following, we go over some of the uses we can give to the breastfeeding pillow.
When a woman is pregnant, one of the frequent complaints is the difficulty of finding a comfortable position at bedtime. Large, flexible breastfeeding pillows help to reconcile sleep as they favour a better posture in bed.
The main purpose of the breastfeeding pillow is to favour the posture for a better latch on to the breast by the newborn baby. See how to use the breastfeeding pillow with the recommended postures.
Many women like to use the pillow to have the baby more comfortably while they are sleeping. That way, instead of spending a lot of time with the baby in your arms, you can settle the baby in and let him sleep peacefully. The good thing about it is that it allows frequent contact between mum and baby. I’ve used the pillow a lot for this purpose. Other mothers also use it to delimit the baby’s space in the cot or bed, if they share a bed.
When the baby is over three months old and begins to interact with his surroundings, the pillow can be an ally to accommodate him in a more inclined position. This is a good item to use also when the baby has a cold. It facilitates breathing.
It can also be used to lull the baby to sleep. Have him in a higher position, closer to the breast, without breastfeeding, but also without straining the arms, shoulders and back.
For parents who have opted for bottle-feeding, daddy can help with the feedings. It is a way of establishing a bond with the little one. When the baby is already able to hold the bottle by himself, the pillow can be used to keep him in an inclined position.
Baby sitting up
Around 6 months, when the baby starts to sit up, the pillow can be used as a support. In fact, for people who follow the Montessori philosophy and share the principles of free movement proposed by Emmi Pikler, we see no need to use it for this purpose. Let’s remember that the child will naturally sit and later crawl and walk. We should avoid skipping steps and rushing the child’s pace.
Pregnant or not, the pillow can be used as a reading support. Leaving the arms free and rested.