When to Give a Baby a Pillow: Is It Dangerous?
When is the right time to give a baby a pillow? Could infants be in danger if they’re given a pillow, or will they sleep better and avoid flat head?
As your baby ages, there will come a time when you need to start adjusting the way they sleep. Not only will they sleep longer (and hopefully through the night!), but you also need to start adding bedding until you have a fully functional bedroom.
But that introduces a question: When to give a baby a pillow. When is it actually safe to introduce this type of bedding?
At what age is it safe for a baby to have a pillow?
A child’s sleep routine grows over time, from sleeping in a crib to having their very own bed. When to give a baby a pillow may vary depending on your child’s development, but it’s important to understand there’s a risk. That’s why there’s a market for a toddler pillow but not an infant pillow. Until a child is of around 18 months of age, there’s a major concern with bedding material in their bed.
A family should be aware that blankets in the bed or pillows in the bed can have a suffocation risk until your child is large enough and mobile enough to move them.
Does a baby need a pillow?
It’s not just that a little one can be endangered by bedding, it’s also that they don’t usually need them. While caregivers may feel bad that a child can’t use a pillow or pillowcase, they’re generally perfectly content. A baby will be able to sleep without a pillow and without risk. Pillows can introduce sudden infant death. Health information doesn’t quite know what causes SIDS yet, but suffocation can definitely be a factor.
What type of pillow should a baby use?
Infants shouldn’t sleep with a pillow, they’re content without it. But a toddler may start to sleep with a pillow and may need some bedding. There are special pillows that reduce risk for those who want to use a pillow. These pillows are flat and will not travel; they are unlikely to get over your child’s head and potentially suffocate them. But they can still make the bed al title more comfortable for your growing child.
Can a baby sleep with a pillow unattended?
A baby under the age of 18 months shouldn’t be left with a pillow unattended because that could mean death. It’s possible for a baby who is under supervision to be content with a pillow or blanket, but they need to be watched the entire time in order to make sure they aren’t in danger. A caregiver may want to search for a specific baby pillow. There are some that fit neatly over the baby’s neck in a chair, for instance, or even come with toys for the baby to manipulate. All bedding should always be marked with the appropriate age.
What does the American Academy of Pediatrics say about pillows?
The American Academy of Pediatrics is quite conservative with bedding. They believe children shouldn’t sleep with a pillow or other bedding until the age of 2. So, while you might see an advertisement for an infant pillow, you shouldn’t pick it up; there’s just too much risk. When children sleep, they’re at significant suffocation risk, because the pillows or the blankets can get over their head. Children under the age of 2 may not wake up when this happens or may not be strong enough to get the pillows or blankets off of them.
Can pillows contribute to SIDS?
No one really knows hat causes sudden infant death syndrome in babies, but it does happen when babies are put to sleep. It’s very possible that pillows could contribute to things that are classed as SIDS because the baby may suffocate in their sleep. A toddler in a toddler bed may be allowed to have pillows unattended but an infant should never.
Can a pillow go in a crib?
Many parents use crib bumpers, which are little pillows that go on the back, front, and side of a crib. The idea is that these increase comfort and safety for a little one, preventing them from banging into the sides of the crib. In fact, these types of pillows are very dangerous. Pillows shouldn’t go into cribs unless it’s a toddler crib and the child is two years or older. Otherwise, your son or daughter could be exposed to a risk of suffocation in their sleep.
Are crib bumpers safe with pillows?
In fact, most experts believe that crib bumpers just aren’t safe at all. Crib bumpers are basically pillows and if they fall down, they may fall over your child and lead to a suffocation hazard. Even in a toddler bed, they can be dangerous. It’s best to have limited bedding in the crib if at all, the only thing that really should be in most cribs is the mattress itself.
How often should a pillow be washed?
Because a pillow touches the face and neck, you should wash it on a daily level when you do introduce it to your toddler. When you introduce a pillow you will likely also introduce other soft bedding. While adults may wash their sheets every other day, toddlers are more likely to get theirs messy, and more likely to benefit from cleanliness.
Are babies safe with other types of bedding?
Before two years of age (the toddler phase), children should not have any type of bedding. Whether it’s at the head or footer of a crib, it can be dangerous. No bumpers should be used according to most pediatricians, and blankets are also dangerous. The less you have in the crib with your child, the safer they will be.
How do you introduce a pillow?
So, infants shouldn’t have pillows or blankets. But it’s a fact that a toddler will eventually be introduced to blankets and pillows. Blankets and pillows can be introduced a little earlier under supervision. If you have animals, watch out for allergies that could arise if the blankets or pillows touch any allergens. Bumpers shouldn’t be used still. Over time, your toddler can graduate to using blankets and pillows through the night.
Do pediatricians recommend a pillow?
Pediatricians don’t recommend blankets or pillows, or bumpers on the back and sides of the crib, until a child is at least two years old. Experts believe there are simply too many risks. But that doesn’t mean that your child can avoid pillows; eventually they will need to be introduced, that’s just a fact. Still, parents shouldn’t rush to introduce them out of comfort.
Will babies get a flat head without a pillow?
Safe sleep demands that babies sleep on their back without a pillow. But what about flat heads? Flat heads may indeed be more common because of these safety measures, but there are ways to adjust to this as well. As long as your baby shifts frequently when sleeping, they should be able to avoid this. You can also get a helmet if they start to have a flattened head.
What time is the right time for a pillow?
You should introduce a pillow to a toddler of about two years of age, starting with nap times and then extending to sleep throughout the night. You should monitor your child heavily when introducing pillows and blankets for any risk of potential suffocation. It is deemed that children will eventually be safe with pillows at about two years of age.
As adults, we can hardly imagine sleeping without our pillows and blankets. And it can be tempting to give babies something to comfort them especially if they can’t sleep or are crying. But the truth is that this could be very dangerous before your child’s second birthday. The information we have indicates that sleeping with pillows, blankets, or even safety bumpers could potentially cause SIDS or other suffocation-related issues. These are all easily avoided by ensuring that your child’s crib is as empty as possible until it’s safe to start filling it up.
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.