If you’re a new Mom or Dad reading this, you’ll understand. Surely there’s been at least one time that you’ve thought of something and decided that a patent might be wise, lest the idea be stolen from the clutches of your grey matter only to show up in mass production at Babies ‘R Us making someone else millions of dollars.
I had a thought like this early in my breastfeeding career. Out for a walk with my then-three week old – during what should have been a predictable two-hour sleep cycle – far enough from the comfort of home and my nursing pillow (My Brest Friend – review to come), The K Man started to WAIL. One of those oh-my-god-what-has-that-awful-mother-done-to-that-poor-child kind of wails. I didn’t know it then, but this marked the beginning of his need to nurse every hour and a half between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., a routine that continued for many months more.
I carefully cradled that little 10-pounder in my arms and let him nurse in the park. I remember what a beautiful day it was, the sun’s rays peeking through the tree tops. But soon, the charming weather lost all interest as my leisurely infant ate, and ate…and ate. It was normal back then for him to take upwards of 40 minutes to nurse. My arm ached, and I shoved a baby blanket under it to add some support – but do you know how small summer-weight baby blankets are? It was in that moment that I “invented” a travel breastfeeding pillow.
When I got home, I told Big B about my great idea. The next morning – no, I’m not exaggerating, the next morning! – an e-mail from Sweetspot arrived, touting the features and benefits of, you guessed it, a travel breastfeeding pillow. It even self-inflated. Knowing that I’d be breastfeeding for at least the next year, having absolutely no hang-ups about nursing in public and feeling The K Man gaining weight by the hour, I decided to order the GR8X Inflatable Nursing Pillow.
I carried it everywhere for the first five months of my baby’s life, until he decided that nursing anywhere but in my bed was uncool. Fairly compact and stylish, you simply remove the pillow from its (matching) storage bag and it’s supposed to self-inflate – more on that later. When you’re done, you just release the valve and roll it back up to push the air out, then put it right back into the bag. Use it in restaurants, poolside, on an airplane or at the beach and let your little one latch as long as s/he needs to without thinking, guiltily, C’mon kid – hurry up!
While I didn’t use my at-home nursing pillow very much with Miss Q, I definitely sported the GR8X travel version in her first few months of life, before she could stay upright long enough to nurse in a baby carrier.
Maybe I got a lemon, but mine never self-inflated – I always had to blow it up manually. But it took less than 30 seconds and very little effort and the result was always so worthwhile that I didn’t complain (well, not much…). Its size also prevented it from going into my SkipHop diaper bag (yes, yes – another review pending), so if you travel a lot by public transit the extra bulk would be super-annoying.
The other downside? After a thorough Google search, this product is nowhere to be found. Bummer. Tell me, is there something new and better on the market?
3.5/5 (this would receive full marks if the self-inflate function worked properly)