Back when I was working on projects for the nursery I also made a few other baby items. One of those items was a nursing pillow similar to ones that you can purchase. I’ve heard somewhat mixed reviews on these so I was a little hesitant to spend the money to buy one.
Instead I did some searching on the internet and I ended up finding a combination of two online tutorials to make my own pillow and cover. The first blog post by <A Load of Craft> has a link to the pattern I used and the second tutorial on <Vanilla Joy> has a little bit more description on how to make the pillow and covers.
I printed out the pattern pieces and assembled them like in the directions.
With my pattern assembled I cut out two pieces of white muslin for the main pillow. I serged around the edges and then used a 1/2″ seem allowance to sew the pillow together. I left a big enough opening in the seam so that the pillow could be stuffed with filling.
After the pillow was sewn together I turned it right side out, ironed it then added a bunch of polyester fiber fill. I had read online that the biggest complaint about other nursing pillows was that it’s too soft and flattens too easily especially once it’s been used a while. Because of this I probably ended up over stuffing my pillow a little bit. Once the pillow was stuffed I hand sewed the opening closed.
To make the pillow case a little softer and easier to wash I made two covers to go on it. Instead of using the pattern that included extra pieces for the zipper section I used the same pattern as for the pillow to cut out two pieces of fabric. then I just sewed on an invisible zipper right into the top of the seem.
After I sewed in the zipper I sewed up the rest of the seam and tried it out on the pillow. It fits nice and snug. I’m glad I put the zipper in the seam instead of along the back like in the other tutorials. This way I can use either side of the pillow as the top and the zipper won’t be in the way.
Here’s the two covers I made. Each with one side cotton print and the other soft minky.
Now that Nolan is 5 months old I can tell you my thoughts on the pillow. I am glad that I had it especially in those first few weeks but I’m also glad I didn’t spend the money to buy an official breastfeeding pillow since I didn’t use it very much past the first few weeks. Honestly I regular bed pillow would have been good enough for me but everyone is different.
As far as the stuffing is concerned I am glad that I over stuffed it since it held up Nolan’s weight really well as a newborn and it’s held it’s shape over time.
I’m also glad I made two covers and went with the minky on one side. I ended up using the minky side up most of the time and if anything got on it I could pretty much wipe it right off since minky is a little bit water resistant.
Since Nolan is older now I think we’ve used it more for things other than feeding him. For a while I would lay him on it to prop him up a bit and now as he’s getting just a little closer to sitting I put it around him every once and a while so he can sort of sit on his own.
So I’d say if you’ve got some sewing knowledge and some extra fabric like I did go for making your own. It’s a really simple project and you can save some money instead of paying the $30-50 that it would cost to purchase a pillow and two covers.