The consensus of the pediatric community indicates that a pillow is generally not safe for newborns unless they are monitored. Employing a baby pillow to support or provide comfort for newborns’ heads may increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Data compiled by the National Institute of Health concludes that 38.7 of every 100,000 babies die from SIDS.
Parents and caregivers concerned about conditions such as baby flat head are typically advised to monitor children who are supported by a baby pillow while awake or napping. This includes products such as nursing pillows as well as seemingly firm small house cushions. Although loved ones may instinctively wish to make newborns as comfortable as possible, few children this age possess the physical strength or prowess to maneuver away from an awkward situation. Should newborns inadvertently put themselves in a face-down position, they may not necessarily pivot away on their own accord.
A baby pillow remains an effective way to make young ones feel cozy and safe under a parent’s watchful eye. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until a child reaches 2 years old before allowing a pillow and blanket to be present while they sleep independently. Parents should also consider a child’s ability to roll over when introducing a pillow or blanket at 2 years old. A baby pillow provides comfort for newborns, but vigilant monitoring remains necessary.