June 11, 2013

Infant Carseat Neck Pillow

Ever have this problem?

I know that if I fell asleep in this position,
my poor neck would be a-hurtin' for sure!

We are going to be driving across Texas again in a few weeks. So to prevent my little man from getting a sore neck, I made him a special support pillow. 

Click HERE to print off the pattern.

First you will need to fold your fabric in half - make sure that the skinny part of the pattern is placed on the folded edge. When you cut it out and open it up it should look like two connected crab claws.

Cut (2) pieces for the back and front. I used plain cotton and minky fabric so it would be reversible for warm & cold weather.

TIP: You should be able to get both pieces out of a fat quarter

The triangle cuts will become darts. To sew the darts closed, fold and pin as show in the picture below.

When you have sewn all 4 darts, pin the back and front pieces together (pretty sides facing each other).

Either make or repurpose a pacifier tether and add it to your pillow like so. The tether should be sandwiched between the layers (with the velcro loop end inside). 

Stitch around the outside edge of the pillow (1/4 inch seam allowance) leaving a small opening in the back of the pillow large enough to fit two fingers in - you will need this for stuffing. If you are adding a pacifier tether, then make sure to double stitch over the end of the tether. Be careful not to get any other part of the tether caught in the stitching.

Turn the pillow right-side-out and begin stuffing with fiberfill. 
In order to be able to stitch up the back opening, you will need to overstuff the fat sides of the pillow and leave the back portion mostly empty. After you have stitched the opening, you can shift the stuffing around evenly.

TIP: The more stuffing the better - It will work best if it is quite stiff. Shifting the stuffing around after it has been stitched up will be difficult, but just work away at it while you are watching TV or something and you will figure it out ;)

You will use waaaaay more stuffing than you think you will need. This is about how much went into mine. 

This is what the finished product looks like!

...and the minky side!

Here is my son, modeling it for me.

He really doesn't use his pacifier anymore, so I will use the tether for his O-ball. He always drops his toys while I'm driving and can't retrieve them for him.

This pillow will give his head something to lean against when he falls asleep, even if his head falls forward.

I have seen some baby pillows that have magnets sewn into the large front parts so that they stay together. Maybe I will try that next time. 

This pillow should fit him for quite a while. I designed it to fit from 6-12 months. If you have a larger or smaller child, then you can always expand/shrink the pattern before you print it.


The carseat in these pictures is our "new" convertible carseat. A friend gave me a carseat that was in fantastic condition, but a bit faded from the El Paso sun. I decided to re-cover it, by taking apart the seams, basting a new layer of fabric to each piece, and sewing it back together (minus the piping). Here are the before/after shots. It was pretty difficult, especially since my sewing machine isn't very heavy duty. I broke 5 sewing machine needles and my best pair of fabric scissors on this project! So I guess I don't really recommend it to anyone else, and I probably wouldn't do it ever again. But I'm proud of how it turned out and I'm glad I persevered to the end!



CrazyCraftsman said...

That's so cute! I love the crab claws! Can you make me one? It would feel so great when I get tired when I'm driving! Wait...maybe I shouldn't be encouraging myself to sleep when I'm driving. Right? So that means I can't have one? No fair! Life stinks! Well, maybe you could make me one for when I'm a passenger...which...is like never! Ha! Well, anyways good job! I'm glad Liam enjoys his. Lucky pants. :)

Daisy Rogers said...

That's looks really so cute. I really love your share and would like to make some neck support pillow for my 2 year old kid.
Your tutorial is really so helpful for the mothers who love to make some home made material for their kids.
Hats off for your fantastic share!!

Ashley said...

Thank you so much for this tute. We're making the trip to see family 3 hours away, and just put our son in a new carseat. His little head flops over when he sleeps, much like your own, and I've been looking for a good tutorial with a really good pillow. I just finshed it up and it is perfect. Thanks again!

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

I am trying to find the links for the seatbelt travel pillow-- I'd like to make some of these.
Your links are no longer viable... could you direct me to the right page? I found this online some time back and even pinned it. But am not able to find the actual tutorial.
Thank you . Pat

Anonymous said...

Not safe! You've got it all wrong!

A baby that small needs to be rear facing (till at least age two, longer if possible). When rear facing, the straps need to be below the baby's shoulders. You've got them too high up!

Also, you've got the straps so loose your baby is likely to fly right out of the seat.

Adding accessories such as the one you are showing can be illegal in many states. Try installing the car seat at a more reclined angle.

I do see that this post is old, but hopefully you will see this and do better next time!

Annoyed said...

To Anonymous

You are very rude and presumptive! Many countries have different laws and recommendations- eg, in Victoria Australia, rear facing is only required up to 6 months. Sure, it may be safer for longer, but my child hates rear facing with a fiery, burning passion, so what is more dangerous? A distracted, stressed out driver, or front facing?

All I wanna say is, you are very being judgemental in your post and it's both uncalled for and superior. Please think before you post again.

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