When my kid was an infant, I found myself in a deep relationship with something called a Boppy. A ubiquitous baby product, it is a pillow designed to help nursing mums breastfeed — you basically wear it around your body like a four-year-old going swimming.
However, its functionality extends beyond that. The Boppy saved my arms as I held my daughter for hours when she had a fever, cradled her when I fed myself breakfast, and kept her from bonking her head on the wood floor when she eventually tried to sit up.
It’s no wonder new parents want the thing with them at all times, even when they travel. Especially when they travel.
On baby forums, you’ll find a string of threads titled “Boppy on a plane??” with mums and dads desperate to know whether they can lug the support pillow onto an aircraft, where they’ll be stuck carrying their bundles for several sweaty, anxiety-filled hours. While it’s possible to do so, it can be a pain. The Boppy is bulky, wider than most economy seats, and you may not want to plop it around the germy airport.
In our parenting Facebook group, a mum named Alanna who is currently on a trip abroad with her three-month-old (bless her brave soul) dropped a travel hack that I find brilliant: Just pack the Bobby cover and fill it when you get on the plane.
My baby is getting too heavy to just hold in my arms while feeding, especially on an aeroplane. Instead of trying to pack the Boppy, I take off its cover and throw the cover into my carry-on. International flights still provide people with pillows and blankets, so I stuff them into the cover to fill it. It has absolutely saved my back every time I need to feed her, fits pretty well in an aeroplane seat, and allows us both this comfort of home without having to pack the full pillow.
Alanna adds that she stuffs the Boppy so that it’s half-full because, as I mentioned, the full pillow is too big for the aeroplane seat.
If you aren't given pillows and blankets on the plane, you can stuff the cover with other soft items you may have packed — T-shirts, underwear, baby onesies.
Having this makeshift travel pillow may help your baby nap and give your arms a rest as you make it to your destination.
What will you do with all that freedom, you ask? Why not page through a magazine, eat a burger with two hands, or do a 10-minute workout in your aeroplane seat?