my daughter always has a problem sleeping in the car. she has a really hard time relaxing enough to get tired and then when she does fall asleep, she falls forward – so uncomfortable looking! i saw this cool idea where you make a long pillow with straps to attach to the seat belt, then the child hugs/leans on it. its so easy – takes about an hour, maybe less.
the reason this pillow is different than others i saw is because it has a washable pillow case. my daughter eats in the car and it just generally dirty so this was the one for me!
i had one cute side and the other side fleece – maybe the fleece side should have been where she puts her face?
i made two: one for my daughter (3 years old) and one for my niece (8 years old).
see the pictures below of my niece and my daughter. unfortunately, the pillow didn’t work very well for my niece. she put it on but when she leaned against it, the seat belt just pulled out – there was no support. she could use it by leaning against the wall of the car though. maybe an old child who is not in a car seat just needs a regular pillow.
it worked so much better for my daughter who is in a car seat. she can just lean her pillow against the side of the car seat.
if you look at the picture below, the top strap isn’t actually on. it worked better to have it between her head and the car seat so we weren’t able to fasten the top strap. maybe you should only make two straps? also, if the seat belt locks, i think it would work amazingly!
interested in making one? you can use Jenn’s instructions or my slightly different tutorial below – different dimensions.
1. start with a regular pillowcase and cut it (long-way) into 4 inch x 24 inch rectangles – depending on how many pillows you want to make.
tip: if you’re only making one, use one where 2 sides are already sewn together!
2. turn it inside out and sew the other long side, leaving one short side open.
3. now stuff that baby with foam (the pillow, not the child)! this is the longest part of the project. take jenn’s hint and use cardboard and a spoon to help shove it all in.
here’s my daughter whipping it back and forth to get it all to the bottom – love this picture!
4. after it’s stuffed as full as you can get it, sew up the top! if you want – this can be the end. if this is all you want to do, sew on the straps before you the 1st step. when you get here, use a slip stitch like jenn suggests. i didn’t use a slip stitch because it will be covered by the pillowcase.
5. start on the pillow case. i made mine 5 inches x 25 inches. and had a 1/4 inch seam allowance. next time i might make the length 26 inches because i didn’t have much room for the velcro to close the pillowcase.
sew the two pieces together on one side.
6. cut and sew the straps. 6 inches by 5 inches. fold them in half (fronts together), sew 2 sides, turn them right side out, fold in the open end, sew shut, then sew on the velcro. make sure you sew one on the front and one on the back so they will close! then sew the straps onto the backside of the pillowcase.
tip: sew the sticky side of the velcro so it won’t touch the fleece when opened.
7. turn in the unfinished short side and sew.
8. sew on the velcro so the case will close. i had to use half a piece of velcro because the case wasn’t much longer than the pillow. put the pillow inside the case to see how much velcro you can use.
8. put front sides together and sew up the long side.
tip: clasp your straps closed so they aren’t in the way!
voila! put the pillow inside and be done!
want to just buy it for $25? go here! i don’t think you get the cool pillowcase feature though!