From the day we brought Chaim Yosi home from the hospital, he has always expressed a preference in being held over laying in his bassinet or even swinging back and forth in the swing that is on loan from a stepsister. While in the NICU, Elizabeth found a special pillow online called the Boppy — it has brought us much relief and helped us in numerous ways I will detail below.
The Boppy is a large U shaped pillow that can fit around the mid torso while you are sitting. The general purpose of the Boppy is that it helps support the weight of the baby and allows your baby to lay on it rather than directly on you. This is useful in a few ways.
Holding a baby, regardless of how light or heavy they are, can be a physically tiring exercise. Unlike holding an unmoving dumbbell of the same weight, a baby moves around fairly often when being held, particularly when said baby is cranky or feeling active. On a few occasions I have actually found both Chaim and my wife sleeping on the recliner, happy and at peace. One way my wife and I have found the Boppy to be useful is to lay Chaim on it while holding him. If we position him correctly, the need to actually actively hold him is relieved and the hands can do other things.
My wife has found the Boppy to be supremely useful in one of the more important aspects of raising a baby, being the nursing of said baby. I cannot speak to this as well as I can the other aspects as I am incapable of directly nursing our son however Elizabeth has told me in great detail the extent to which the Boppy helps her nurse Chaim. For one, Chaim is able to lay in a perfect position to feed — both he and she are more comfortable. When a child is being nursed, it is imperative that they are held at a certain angle — if you have ever been leaning over the wrong way while drinking you know how uncomfortable that can be. The Boppy helps to facilitate that right angle without having to manipulate the baby with both hands.
Additionally, the Boppy can be placed on a flat surface (such as the bed) and the baby can be leaned up against the interior of the U as though he or she were sitting on a comfortable couch. This is usually more easily accomplished when the baby is able to hold up his or her head. Chaim, for example, enjoys sitting in the Boppy — most of the time.
Lastly, there is the ever important notion of tummy time — said to be quite fundamental in the baby’s development so that he or she can learn to first push up and then crawl. The Boppy is helpful here as well, giving the baby something to look at that is not the ground an inch away from their nose. Putting Chaim on his belly onto the Boppy gives him giggles and few things are as delightful to the ears of a parent as their baby giggling with delight.
If you have a baby in your life or know someone that does, it might be worth recommending the Boppy to them.