As you may know, experts recommend not introducing baby pillows or similar items to your child’s crib until your child is about two years of age. But that doesn’t mean your child isn’t allowed to have pillows. Children can still be on pillows when attended by an adult and there are numerous child-friendly, infant-specific pillows that are designed to be used in this way. Some pillows can even treat minor issues such as emerging flat head syndrome.
Here’s a list of the most popular pillows for infants and toddlers for 2021, depending on what you need a pillow for and your child’s developmental age. As with adults, pillows can make your child feel much more comfortable. But even more importantly, these pillows can also improve your child’s health and safety. Many of these pillows are designed to support your child’s neck, improve your child’s mobility, and otherwise help in physical development.
1. Pillows for Flat-Head Syndrome
Flat head syndrome, also known as plagiocephaly, occurs when a baby’s head begins to develop flat spots to the back or to the side. This can occur if your baby isn’t moving enough while sleeping. A baby flat head pillow is designed to alleviate some pressure on the child’s skull before the skull begins to harden. The Lil Cuddlers Baby Flat Head Pillow can be used with or without a baby helmet to help reduce the risk of flat head.
The Lil Cuddlers Baby Flat Head Pillow is made of soft, comfortable foam that’s designed to reduce or eliminate mild cases of plagiocephaly. If the flat head syndrome becomes worse, a little one may instead need to wear a helmet. (How long do babies wear helmets for flat head? It can be months, and usually 23 hours a day.) With Lil Cuddlers, you can take the pillow anywhere, along with its included pillowcase to keep it clean and safe.
And Lil Cuddlers doesn’t need to just be used for babies who have already started to show signs of plagiocephaly. It may be better to use this pillow immediately to avoid any issues with flat head syndrome at all. While flat head syndrome is not always damaging to a child long-term, it has been linked to developmental delays, such as delays with motor skills or verbal communication.
2. Creative Comfort With the Baby Yoda Pillow
If you want your child to already start celebrating Star Wars, consider something creative and cute such as the Baby Yoda Pillow. When can babies sleep with pillows and blankets? Blankets can start as early as 12 months but pillows should wait for 24 months, so this pillow should be used for a toddler rather than an infant. So, if your child is under toddler age, you might not want to place this pillow in your crib just yet.
When to give a baby a pillow in the crib, though, smaller, rounder pillows such as this Baby Yoda Pillow can be a safe bet. A cross between a toy and a comfort item (and surprisingly soothing to look at), the Baby Yoda Pillow is small to reduce the chances that a child could potentially suffocate with it. The greatest danger to pillows is that a child can be covered by the pillow and not have the strength or motor skills necessary to move it.
That being said, your baby can safely and comfortably use pillows under your supervision. So, you can consider purchasing this charming pillow to place in a car seat or play seat while you watch. Much like mobiles, having bright colors and fun characters on pillows can inspire your child’s thought processes and make them more likely to engage with their surroundings.
3. Safety with the U-Shaped Baby Pillow
Those who are concerned about both flat head syndrome and general safety might want to consider purchasing a U-Shaped Baby Pillow. There are many types of U-Shaped Baby Pillow out there, but they can significantly reduce the risk of flat head syndrome by keeping a baby propped up even when in a car seat. And because they are U-Shaped rather than the traditional, flat shape of a pillow, they have a much lower risk of potential complications like SIDS.
A U-Shaped pillow is generally used when sitting up rather than lying down, so you might still want to purchase a Lil Cuddlers for when resting. But U-Shaped pillows are versatile and can be used in a lot of situations to support a child’s neck. A baby’s neck is still growing stronger and, of course, a baby’s head is heavy; weakness in a baby’s neck muscles is often what causes flat head syndrome, because the baby doesn’t move their head around enough.
Infants still shouldn’t be left unattended in a crib with a U-Shaped Baby Pillow because they can get snagged in it or it could be in a strange position for them that doesn’t allow them to freely breathe. But it can be an excellent option for travel.
4. Sit Right With the Baby Pillow Seat
A baby pillow seat provides support to a child. Some of them are designed purely for sitting, which can help a child build supportive muscles. Others, like the one linked here, have a detachable “tummy time” area that can help babies remain comfortable during the day. These pillow seats are great for infants who are just learning to move around and crawl, and they can be comfortable ways for a baby to remain supervised and upright.
Since the baby pillow seat helps the child remain upright, it can reduce flat head syndrome that could be occurring in the crib. But this pillow should not be allowed in a crib. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend that any soft objects be in the crib until 12 months of age and pillows particularly shouldn’t be in the crib until 2 years of age.
Sitting upright with the baby pillow seat, however, can keep children engaged during playtime and help them develop important core muscles that will benefit their development in the future. And, it also helps that it comes in a convertible fashion so that it can be used multiple times throughout the day. Because of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, babies shouldn’t be left unattended in these pillow chairs, however. A baby could topple over or be crushed under the pillows if they aren’t being watched consistently.
5. Breastfeeding Pillows
Breastfeeding pillows may not go in the crib but they can still offer a lot of comfort. A nursing pillow essentially fulfills two roles. One, it positions the baby correctly. Two, it keeps both baby and mother comfortable. Breastfeeding can go on for a long time and multiple times a day. Nursing pillows can help the mother get a little bit of rest while nursing as she doesn’t need to fully support the child, while also helping the baby latch on by naturally positioning the child a little closer.
Like other pillows, breastfeeding pillows shouldn’t be used with unattended children. Children should never be laid down on the pillow to take a nap or to go to sleep. While they are curved, breastfeeding pillows tend to be quite large, so they can potentially be a risk for an infant or young child with poor motor skills and poor mobility.
Otherwise, breastfeeding pillows can be a great boon to mothers who need some support while they feed. They usually come with washable slipcovers so they can remain clean, and they can be used with multiple styles of breastfeeding. Additionally, these pillows can be used by both mom and dad when feeding from the bottle, as the benefits of properly positioning the child still exist whether breastfeeding or bottle-feeding or both. This pillow should never be included in a crib, as not only could a child be buried under it, but they could get trapped between the pillow and the crib’s sides.
6. Travel Right With Car Seat Baby Pillows
Car seat baby pillows are designed specifically for a car seat, though most U-shaped baby pillows can be used in car seats, too. For long car rides, this can help your baby not only sleep better and be more comfortable, but also give additional support to their head and neck.
It should be noted that the Lil Cuddlers Flat Head Pillow can also double as a car seat pillow, which is part of what makes it so versatile and fantastic. Using a car seat baby pillow can reduce the chances of flat head syndrome in your little one, as well as making sure that your child’s neck remains supported throughout travel.
When a baby is in a car seat consistently, they can hold their head in the same position. Over time, this can lead to flat spots emerging. A U-shaped pillow holds your child’s head in a comfortable position with soft padding, which reduces the chances that their skull could become flattened.
You should be careful and cautious when getting a car seat baby pillow, as it needs to be able to fasten in tightly to the car seat. Otherwise, if it becomes loose, it could pose a risk to your child. You should check in on your child periodically when in a car seat and you should only use a car seat for travel, rather than keeping the child in the car seat for longer periods of time. Proper car seats tuck your child in very snuggly and developing children do need time to move around and develop their muscles.
7. Relax with the Baby Pillow Lounger
What is a baby pillow lounger? These are essentially a mobile crib. They are small pillows that you can place your baby in the center of so they can get some rest wherever the action is, such as in the living room when you’re watching shows, or the office when you’re working. A properly made baby pillow lounger shouldn’t present suffocation risk because, like a crib, it should be rigid without any moving parts. The little one won’t be able to pull pillows down, for instance, because the padding is part of the lounger itself.
But that doesn’t mean it’s without danger. If a baby does manage to flip the lounger over, they could be trapped under it; this is a reason why they should still be used under supervision. A baby pillow lounger also isn’t a replacement for a crib, because babies can very easily crawl over the sides of a lounger and get into mischief.
An advantage to using a baby pillow lounger from time to time is that there’s less of a chance that a baby will develop flat head syndrome if they take their naps in one, because the entirety is padded and designed to support a little more movement. While the hard mattress of a crib is much safer for a baby, it’s also what can promote flat head syndrome. Having your child sleep in a variety of different locations can also help alleviate the symptoms of flat head syndrome, as can buying items such as Lil Cuddlers.
Every baby is unique. Depending on your baby and your lifestyle, you might need different types of pillows. If you’re on the go and want to give your baby a comfortable way to rest and relax, Lil Cuddlers can be taken with you wherever you go, as well as used at home and in a crib; it’s an excellent and versatile all-around solution. But if you’re looking for something for anything from breastfeeding to tummy-time, there’s likely another type of pillow solution for you.
Regardless, it’s important to note that it isn’t advised to have pillows in a crib until a child is 24 months of age. While you can introduce blankets a little earlier, you should hold off on having any pillows unsupervised. Instead, you can use specially designed baby pillows for different occasions until your child is old enough that they are past the risk of SIDS.
Disclaimer: The content on this site is for informational or educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any condition, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals. Always consult with your medical professional for diagnose and treatment recommendations before making a decision.