When Can Baby Use a Pillow

Pillows help us maintain the right posture while we sleep. As your baby grows, the urge to place a tiny pillow below their head heightens. While this may come from a place of love, it can be harmful to babies of certain ages.

Babies below the age of one do not need pillows. The flat surface of their little bed is comfortable enough for them. However, they will need a pillow at some point. This article sheds light on the stages in which a baby may or may not need a pillow along with the kind of pillows that should be used.


At What Age Do Kids Need a Pillow?

The general rule is no pillows till the age of one. Others believe age two is more appropriate. There are lots of reasons for this, and it’s all in the baby’s best interest. Many findings prove that babies below the age of one face a high risk of infant mortality if they use pillows.  This is because the pillow puts them in the wrong posture and the effect of this is stronger when they sleep.

It is best to only introduce a pillow after a thorough check and consultation with your doctor. Also, you must try to select the best pillow, keeping in mind that an adult comfy pillow may not give your baby the same level of comfort. Seek recommendations from pillow vendors and other parents before making a choice.

The major requirement is consulting a doctor and waiting till your baby is older than two years of age.

Related: Possible Reasons Why Your Baby Does Not Need a Pillow


When Is It Safe For Your Baby To Use A Pillow

Every child is different, hence would have peculiar needs and requirements.

Pillows have been discouraged for babies younger than one, because they tend to play around with them and sometimes suffocate themselves. This kills the actual intent for placing the pillows in their crib. The sizes of their beds are also very small and it’s only comfortable when extras are removed. The pillow may block air spaces or put your child in a dangerous position that could cause serious harm.

It is safe to use a pillow when the chances of suffocation have declined. This coincides with the age of one or two, and the period where the baby is moved to a bigger bed. The space on the bigger bed and their newly acquired strength gives them the freedom they need, thus reducing the chances of something going wrong.

The pillow becomes a means to help your toddler get more peaceful sleep when the risk of bed accidents is low.

Some parents feel introducing the pillow before the age of one cannot be that bad. Their reason is, it prevents the ‘flat head syndrome’ in babies. Many parents are often overconfident in the face of risks that can occur giving the excuse of being there to supervise the baby as (s)he sleeps. This is quite impossible since the baby cannot be supervised round the clock.

Also, only a doctor can recommend what should be used to avoid flat head syndrome. Parents should not diagnose conditions based on half-baked information. So long as a method poses risk, it should be avoided completely. Therefore, parents should leave introducing pillows till the doctors say they can.


When Can a Baby Use a Pillow?

Some parents like to take extra care, and it’s not a bad thing. Whatever safeguards your child’s life guarantees peace for you too.

Based on the general recommendation, it appears that using a pillow after that age cannot be harmful. But, this is not always the case.

Even after the age of two, some children can still suffer from body aches due to poor sleeping posture caused by the pillows. Hence, parents should see their baby’s doctors before giving one.

Then, the kind of pillows available to you also decides when your baby starts to use one. Baby pillows are special, soft and to their size. If such pillows are not available, avoid giving your child a pillow till they are way older.

A baby can use a pillow after the age of one if a doctor consents to it or after the age of two. Where baby pillows are not within your reach, wait until your toddler is a little older.

Also Read: Signs Your Baby Will Soon Walk And How to Encourage Him


5 Reasons Your infant Doesn’t Need a Pillow

Pillows pose a great threat to babies. Something intended to enhance their comfort while sleeping could end up killing them. Below are five reasons your baby should not use a pillow.


1. The Risk Of Suffocation

Placing a pillow on your baby’s head increases the risk of suffocation. They could push the pillow around in their little crib thereby blocking possible airways.

As infants start to grow, they tend to move everything within their reach into their mouths. In the process of doing this, they can end up covering their faces and smothering themselves to death.


2. Allergy

It might be hard to pinpoint everything your baby is sensitive to at the moment. This makes it impossible to avoid such substances.

Various kinds of materials are used in filling pillows. Some companies use feathers, others use foam, some a combination of both. Many babies have had reactions with pillows filled with natural feathers. These reactions could spring into something more serious, disrupting your baby’s health.

It’s best to avoid pillows completely till your baby has grown older. If you feel you cannot wait that long, get your baby a pillow filled with foams.


3. Risk of Discomfort

A pillow that shows a significant dent when you lean onto it, is no good. It makes the baby uncomfortable while sleeping. As your baby rests its head, it softens and softens till it becomes super flat disturbing your baby’s sleep in the process.

An easy way to avoid this is to test pillows before buying them. Press them lightly and see how it rebounds after each push. If it does not return to its original shape after pressing onto it, do not buy it. Rather go for the one that can withstand the weight placed on it.


4. Shortened Sleep Time

Your baby’s crib was created to its size. As he or she grows older, the crib starts to appear small. Putting in a pillow or blankets to support their posture does not always play out well at this point. The extra stuff ends up being a potential adversary for the little space available.

Babies over the age of one sometimes throw these extra materials outside their cribs. This often cuts away from their sleep time. It’s not uncommon to have babies waking up in tears and throwing stuff around

The parents too are not saved from the ordeal this brings. Every time the child wakes up, the parent has to wake up too. The act of throwing things outside of the crib can make the room disorganized. The parents are forced to rearrange the whole setup each time the baby acts this way.

Avoiding this situation has proven to be better for everyone. Your baby would not have to wake up to throw things around nor would you have to clear up the place after them. It’s more efficient to wait till your baby can sleep conveniently on a bigger bed.


5. Disturbed Sleep

Babies are little humans so when we try to imagine what will be comfortable for them, this should be given enough consideration.

Some babies sleep comfortably with a pillow the moment they start sleeping outside their crib. Others do not.

Studies on the sleeping pattern of humans have shown that children are more likely to toss around while sleeping compared with humans. This means that the tiny pillow below your child’s head is almost irrelevant and they often would not wake up the same way they slept.

Some babies in the process of turning around stay in a bad posture for some time before moving again. Bad posture causes fatigue. This is what makes some babies super tired even after a long night of sleep.

Also, most babies between the ages of 2 and 4 enjoy sleeping without pillows. The flat nature of the bigger bed is similar to their crib. It’s easier to kick and turn without some pillow that tries to obstruct their movement.

So, how do you know your child is not ready to use a pillow? Ask them. The first night after getting the pillow, place it at their head and ask them if it enhances comfort. If it doesn’t, remove it. Although, most toddlers would not know if the pillow makes sleep sweeter. Monitor how they toss around while sleeping. If it looks like it makes them uncomfortable, take it away.

Recommended: When Your Baby’s Behavior Is Out Of Control? Here is What to Do


Can a Baby Sleep on Pillow Supervised?

Due to the dangers that come with babies sleeping with pillows, it’s best to supervise their movement when they sleep. So, yes, a baby can sleep on a pillow with supervision. As you monitor your baby’s movement, it would be easy to conclude if you should be leaving or removing the pillow.

When infants sleep on elevated surfaces, they face a high risk of rolling over, getting stuck, and dying. This also happens to babies that have learned to roll over. It may be that they can now roll sideways but their muscles are not yet strong enough to support more complex movements.

In such a situation, the baby rolls and sleeps on his or her stomach, facing downwards. They could have their face covered with the pillow or the mattress of their crib and this leads to suffocation.

It is very important to watch your baby sleep after introducing a pillow. This does not mean babies below the age of one should be sleeping with it. The aspect of supervising them sleep comes in when the parent chooses to introduce the pillow early, like immediately they turn one.


How Many Pillows Should a Child Use or Have?

Adults tend to have two to three pillows on their beds. So, it’s normal to wonder if your child would want this too.

Children, unlike adults, should not be sleeping with many pillows. The moment the baby crosses the age of two, one pillow can be given to the child. This is more than enough. It gives your child all the comfort they can get in their sleep.

Basically, a child can have as many pillows as they want, provided the parents can make them available. But only one should be used at a time.


Best Pillow For Your Baby

When purchasing a pillow, all you would wish for is to get the very best for your baby. While you go shopping around looking for your child’s favorite color, there are other things to as well look out for.

The material or texture of the pillow should not be overlooked. Pillows wrapped in cotton materials are more comfortable and reliable. When you use these kind of pillows, you barely have to worry about the kind of chemicals used in preparation.

Another thing is what the pillow is filled with. The filling of an adult pillow should not be the same as that of a baby pillow. Pillows filled with feathers are comfortable but children with allergies can react to this. Foams are the best fillings for baby pillows, so lookout for a one made with foams.

The pillow you select should be firm. It should be able to serve as the cushion it’s meant to be without unnecessarily softening. Very soft pillows can disturb your baby’s sleep and affect their posture.

Lastly, the pillow’s size should match your baby’s head. An oversized pillow compromises the intent behind buying one. Some people recommend measuring the circumference of your baby’s head to get the diameter. Then adding about ten inches so that when your baby rests on it, there is enough space to the left and right.

There are so many amazing products in the market. Pillow vendors can put you through when it comes to the pros and cons of each brand. The most important thing is getting a pillow that matches the above-listed qualities.