All About Babies

Every Parent Should See This Coroner's Warning About Nursing Pillows

Sleeping babies and nursing pillows can be a deadly combination.

baby on nursing pillow Shutterstock
When my kids were babies, my Boppy nursing pillow was my best friend. I used it to support my babies during feedings and would nestle them in there during playtime, and while we were hanging out watching TV or relaxing. But I only used the Boppy during awake times, under close supervision, thankfully. Because now, a Pennsylvania coroner named Graham Hetrick is warning against using U-shaped pillows like these when babies are sleeping, due to potentially deadly consequences.

According to ABC 6 Action News, three infants died recently after being placed on the pillows, often called nursing pillows, to sleep. It's believed they slid down, and their necks bent to block their airways. The babies were too young to pull themselves up. Unthinkably, they suffocated as a result.

While the leading nursing pillow maker, Boppy, warns against using its product during sleep, this caution is an important reminder that when it comes to putting baby to bed, the rules haven't changed. Baby should always be placed on a firm, flat mattress on his or her back, with absolutely nothing else in the crib. Here's more on safe sleep guidelines for infants.

It's worth brushing up on these tips, even if you are a second, third, or fourth-time parent. Because even if it's just for a moment, allowing baby to fall asleep anywhere other than in his or her bed, like on a nursing pillow, can lead to an outcome too sad to even contemplate.

Did you know this was a risk?

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.