Baby Pillow: When Is It Safe To Use One?
Little Yawn Collective - Nov 10, 2021
Have you noticed your child using the sofa pillows when they watch TV/lay with siblings? Maybe their cherished teddy bear is now under their head when you wake them up?
Not only are they probably imitating other people they see using a pillow, but it may also be more comfortable for their little neck and head. It may be time to consider incorporating a pillow in your child’s sleep space.
Until you had your sweet little one, you probably never thought of all the questions you now have about every product your child comes into contact with. We will go into what to consider when choosing the safest pillow for your child.
Let’s have some pillow talk about toddler pillows!
When Can I Start Allowing My Child To Use a Pillow?
As you prepared for your little one’s arrival, you probably devoted hours in research to find the perfect crib mattress and bedframe. You already know that sleep is important, as we spend a third of our lives asleep!
Choosing a pillow is just as crucial for your little one for their safety and comfort.
Since your child has been sleeping on a crib mattress, they may be used to sleeping on a flat surface. As you have always kept a watchful eye on your child, take note of what they do in their crib or other sleeping surfaces.
Do they put anything under the head for comfort? Do you notice them tossing and turning when they sleep? If so, this is a key indicator they are ready for a pillow.
Pillows would be included in this as well, so timing is essential when bringing a soft object into your child’s sleep space.
Research shows that many children around the age of eighteen months are ready for a pillow. Consider moving your child to a toddler bed at this time as well, especially if they have started to stand or try to climb out of their crib.
Choosing the Pillow
There are some important criteria to think about when choosing a pillow for your toddler. Let’s go into more detail about the things you should look for when selecting a pillow.
Grabbing a pillow off of your own bed is not the best option for your child for their first pillow. Your own pillows may be too big and soft and can be somewhat overwhelming for little heads.
They may also be too tall to offer any type of substantial support for your child’s neck and head. Also think about traveling with this pillow. Will it be easy to take the pillow to their childcare? Will it be easy to place in the car? You’ll want something specially designed for a toddler in mind.
As you know, toddler’s can be more susceptible to lotions, detergents, and fabrics because their skin is sensitive. Their pillow is also another consideration to consider when researching the materials it is made out of.
Look for pillows made of hypoallergenic materials and pillows that can be washed or cleaned easily. Some toddler pillows do come without zippers for safety reasons, as we know our children can become quite curious!
If a pillow doesn’t come with a zipper, can you spot and clean it easily? You’ll want to be able to keep your child’s pillow clean of any allergens that may accumulate. You’ll also want material with high breathability in case your child were to lay on the pillow face down. Test them out!
You’ll also want to consider the same for the materials the pillow is filled with. Are the materials natural or synthetic? Some parents will want to steer away from natural materials, like feathers, due to any allergies that may occur.
Think about the climate in your area. Will this be a pillow that will retain a lot of heat? If you live in a warmer climate, you would not want to choose a pillow that is too hot as your baby may become overheated and sweaty while sleeping.
Is the pillow a foam pillow or filled with loose, soft material? If the pillow does have loose material, could your child access it by opening the zipper? Do you want to control how much fill is in the pillow as your child grows and needs more support?
Does the pillow offer enough support for their head and neck to be aligned? Children’s neck muscles are still weak, so you will want to offer mild support to align their spines. You’re looking for a pillow that is not too hard, but not too soft!
Like many of your child’s items, pillows designed for toddlers have also been tested and certified. Research and look for certifications that indicate that your child’s pillow does not contain any toxic materials.
If your child is still in a crib, another safety concern is that the pillow may get trapped between the crib’s rungs. Also, if your baby is a Houdini, they can use the pillow to give themselves a boost out of their crib!
Did you ever think you would have this many questions to ask about pillows? It’s impressive how detail-oriented we can become whenever it comes to the products that we choose for our children.
How To Introduce a Pillow
Now that you’ve done all of your research, you know the best pillow to purchase for your child! There are multiple price points that toddler pillows are offered at. The biggest concerns would be the size, material, and how soft or hard the pillow is. Don’t break the bank looking for a pillow, but choose something that presents the safest options for your child.
The next part is bringing the pillow into their sleeping space. Allow your child to be active in this process by including your child in picking out sheets and the pillowcase they would like to cover the mattress and pillow, as well as any blankets you may use (if transitioning to a toddler bed).
If your child has a beloved item, they carry it with them, involve it in the process. You may want to have more than one pillow on hand if any accidents were to happen.
A quick switch would ensure your child isn’t missing out on any comfort if accidents or sickness occur. It’s also ideal to have more than one pillow, so you don’t have to carry it from daycare to the car and back into your home.
As your child is getting accustomed to this new addition to their bedtime routine, an effortless way to help build strong sleep associations is through smell.
Here at Little Yawn Collective, our products are centered around using scent to relax and comfort your little buddy for bedtime. Your bedtime routine should be a consistent, comforting end to you and your baby’s day. No matter if you use a pillow or not, your baby just wants to be comforted and cozy by their parents at the end of the day.
With your child’s new pillow, using a pillow/linen spray can be beneficial in creating an environment that helps your child wind down and prepare for bedtime.
Our Relaxing Pillow & Linen Spray contains organic lavender, cedarwood, and sandalwood with cold-pressed bergamot, and jasmine to foster a restful environment. Our NaturalSnooze fragrance helps with falling asleep and staying asleep by creating a soothing sleep environment.
With all the discussion about hypoallergenic pillows and materials that won’t harm your baby’s sensitive skin, also know that our products are safe and natural! A win-win for you and your little buddy!
When your child starts exhibiting the need for a pillow, rest assured that you now have all the information handy to make the best and safest choice for your child.
Whether your baby is ready for a pillow or not, you are your child’s best decision-maker for what is best for them. We know things can be challenging, and we know parents want real-life solutions.
As always, we are here to make sleep a little easier by making you more confident about bedtime choices.