I don’t know about you, but I personally love a good pillow (or two) to help me sleep at night. I hate sleeping flat, I find it very uncomfortable, and don’t get a good night’s sleep.
If you are like me, you may think you are denying your baby a better rest by not providing a pillow. Nevertheless, should you be giving baby a pillow?
No, you shouldn’t.
If your little one is below two years, do not provide a pillow in his or her crib. However, since it is normal for grown-ups to sleep with pillows, you might think your baby needs a pillow just like you or I do. However, you need to understand that babies do not need most of the things we use. Therefore, you must be careful when introducing new items to your baby.
What are safety concerns when baby has a pillow?
Many mothers believe babies will enjoy sleeping with a pillow. But it is essential to note that a baby’s neck is weak and soft. This means it has not developed the muscles needed to control the head. Hence, if the baby is sleeping on a pillow, there are various risks. Below are some of the reasons why an infant does not need a pillow.
- It can lead to suffocation – if you think resting on a pillow will help your baby, you are wrong. This is because your infant’s head can sink into the pillow leading to suffocation. Also, a pillow can press the baby’s nostrils restricting the airflow.
- It can hurt the neck – pillows are not good for the babies. This is because they are very soft. Hence, they can strain the neck of the little one while sleeping.
- It can lead to over-heating – most pillows are made of polyester and not cotton. This can increase the heat under the head leading to overheating. And excess heat or sweat can lead to various conditions such as hyperthermia.
- Pillows can increase the danger of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
- If a pillow is filled with foam, which can quickly come out, this can lead to choking.
To ensure your baby is safe, make sure he or she sleeps on his/her back and not on their chest. Do not let the head of the baby stay in one position, and avoid introducing pillows before 2 years of age.
Are babies comfortable sleeping without pillows?
You might be wondering if your little angel is comfortable sleeping without a pillow. But the good news is that babies are very happy to lie in their crib without a pillow. Hence, you can be assured that your baby is comfortable.
However, ensure that the crib is supportive and soft. Even though you have slept with a pillow for a long time; you might think the baby sleeping without one is uncomfortable.
Will the absence of a pillow give my baby a flat head?
Some parents believe that babies sleeping on a firm mattress can get a flat head syndrome. Although firm mattresses are not suitable for babies, the risk is minimal. If you are afraid of the flat head syndrome, you can consult an expert. My baby slept perfectly on a mattress and didn’t get a flat head.
What about special baby pillows?
If babies cannot sleep with pillows, what about the special baby pillows that are usually sold online? The special infant pillows claim to be able to address the suffocation risks. The sellers also explain that the pillows are can be used by children under 2-years. But since your baby is safe and comfortable sleeping without a pillow, then why would you risk it?
When can the baby have a pillow?
From two years, your baby is well-developed to sleep with a pillow. He or she can be able to avoid the possibility of suffocation or any other safety risk. But ensure you select a pillow that is reasonably flat. Also, ensure you check the size, content, and comfort. When introducing a pillow to your toddler, start when he or she is taking a nap. This will help you monitor how well they take to it, and to ensure everything is okay. Once you notice your child can sleep well on the pillow, you can introduce it during the bedtime.
If you are looking for the right pillow for your toddler, consider the Little One’s Pillow which is available from Amazon. This beautiful pillow is toddler-size, fully washable and organic, so just perfect for a first pillow. It is hand-crafted in the US, and is chemical free, you won’t be disappointed with this pillow.