Need a boost when feeding your little one? We've got you covered. Whether you're breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, these nursing pillows offer support and comfort at a time when you need it most.

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As new parents can attest, feeding your baby is physically exhausting, and it cause soreness in your upper body. Nursing pillows can make the experience a little less uncomfortable. Keep reading to learn how to safely use a nursing pillow for breastfeeding and bottle-feeding, and check out some top-rated options on the market today.

How to Use a Nursing Pillow

When you're constantly bringing your baby to your breast (or the bottle), your arms, back, neck, and shoulders are bound to get fatigued. Nursing pillows help by keeping your infant at breast height, ergonomically supporting their body weight as you feed them. Although they come in different shapes and sizes, the pillows are usually designed to fit around your midsection for added stability.

You might be wondering: Why can't you I a normal household pillow for supporting my baby? Bed pillows tend to be extremely plush, so they can't hold up the weight of a child. Throw pillows and cushions might have uncomfortable fabric that can irritate delicate baby skin. Nursing pillows have enough firmness to keep your infant in the proper position, and they're made with super-soft fabric to boot.

Nursing pillows often have other helpful functions as well. For example, they can make sleeping more comfortable during pregnancy, support your baby during supervised tummy time, or provide a comfortable place for daytime lounging. That said, you should never put a sleeping baby in a nursing pillow; read more about the safety concern below.

Nursing Pillow Safety Considerations

Before buying a nursing pillow, it's important to understand how to use them safely. That's because several infants have died after being put to sleep on nursing pillows and other pillow-like products. According to an October 2020 report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an investigation into recent incidents "shows deaths when children are left on or near pillows, and the child rolls over, rolls off, or falls asleep."

Essentially, if babies roll into or onto the nursing pillow, they might not be able to correct their position. This can lead to decreased airflow and suffocation—a phenomenon known as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Parents should never let their babies sleep on nursing pillows or related products; these products should only be used for feedings and supervised awake time.

The Best Nursing Pillows for Babies

Are you looking for the best nursing pillow for your little one? Consider these top-rated options for some extra support while breastfeeding or formula-feeding.

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Boppy Original Feeding & Infant Support Pillow
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Boppy Original Original Feeding and Infant Support Pillow

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Whether you breastfeed or bottle-feed, the Boppy Original Nursing Pillow and Positioner will fit your new parent lifestyle. The contoured shape allows for your pick of feeding positions, while the pillow and slipcover are machine washable. This product also grows with your baby, and you can use it for feeding, propping, tummy time, and assisted sitting. (Remember to always supervise your baby in a nursing pillow, and never let them sleep in it).

My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow
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My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow

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My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow has it all: a wrap-around design for easy positioning, deluxe straps for one-handed use, and a back rest for posture support. Bonus points for the extra soft fabric to keep newborns cozy while feeding, plus the convenient pocket on the side to keep supplies within reach.

Frida Mom Adjustable Nursing Pillow
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Frida Mom Adjustable Nursing Pillow

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Not a fan of the "one-size-fits-all" approach to nursing? Neither are we. This pillow boasts three interchangeable layers for customizable positioning, as well as different cushioning levels for your growing baby. The Frida Mom Adjustable Nursing Pillow is also great for C-section parents, since the wide opening keeps the pressure off of your incision.

Blessed Nest Nesting Pillow
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Blessed Nest Nesting Pillow

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The all-natural Blessed Nest pillow is as gentle on baby's skin as it is on the environment. Fashioned from organic cotton and buckwheat filling, the soft interior conforms to your little one's shape to create a comfortable fit. The removable slipcover is machine washable, and the insert can be spot cleaned or tumble dried,.

Twin Z Nursing Pillow
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Twin Z Nursing Pillow

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Looking for a twin nursing pillow? The Twin Z is specifically designed for parents of multiples! The innovative W-shaped pillow lets you comfortably feed both babies in tandem, and the back rest provides extra support for tired parents. When your babies grow, you can use the Twin Z for supervised lounging or tummy time. 

By Pamela Brill and Nicole Harris