If you’re a new parent, you might be wondering when it’s appropriate to give your baby a pillow. Research shows that babies should not have pillows until they are at least six months old. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that while there is no research-based evidence on the benefits or harms of using pillows, giving them to infants will increase the risk for suffocation and other sleep-related causes of infant death. If you want to get ahead of this age limit, just use an extra blanket instead!

When can you give a baby a pillow?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best time to give a baby a pillow will vary depending on the individual child. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you decide when is the right time to introduce a pillow into your baby’s sleep routine.

Age: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies should not sleep with a pillow until they are at least one year old. This is because a young baby’s head and neck are still relatively unstable, and they are more likely to suffocate if they sleep with a pillow.

Position: Once your baby is old enough to sleep on their back, you can consider offering them a pillow. However, there is no need to give your baby two pillows if they are sharing the crib with another infant; one pillow will be sufficient.

Size: Parents should not offer pillows that are bigger than the baby’s head. If the pillow is too big or bulky, it can be a suffocation hazard.

Safety measures: If your baby uses a pillow, they should be in an environment where the sleep surface is firm. The crib should also have safety devices to prevent falls and entrapments. Pillows should never be placed under the crib sheet, nor should they be used as support for railings. Besides baby pillow, you can get started with the difference between rocker and bouncer.

Types of Baby pillow

Here are some types of pillows you might want to get for your infant:

Water Pillow

These pillows are filled with water and hence they provide good support for the baby’s head. These pillows help in proper air circulation and, therefore, they can be used during hot seasons too.

Cervical Pillow

As the name suggests, these pillows are designed to support the baby’s cervical spine. Hence, it is good for babies with plagiocephaly (a condition where the baby’s head is not symmetrical).

Memory Foam Pillow

These pillows are made of memory foam which molds according to the shape of the baby’s head. Hence, it provides a snug fit and good support to the baby’s head and neck.

Microbead Pillow

These pillows are filled with tiny beads which mold according to the shape of the baby’s head. This type of pillow is not recommended for babies below six months old as their heads are still unstable.

Body pillow

Body pillows are the best choice for infants under six months. It is quite large in size, which provides ample support to the baby’s head and neck.

Sleeping pillow

Sleeping pillows are designed for infants who are at least three months old. It provides good support to the baby’s head and neck, thus preventing the baby from rolling over on their side or stomach during sleep.

Support pillow

Support pillows are meant for babies who are above six months old. It is good for infants who roll from their back to their stomach or vice versa during sleep.

Decorative cushion

Decorative cushions can be used for infants who are at least three months old. It should not be used as a toy or should never be placed in a crib. The cushion may slip and fall when a baby tries to take it out of the crib, which puts the baby’s life in danger.

Is a pillow good for a baby?

A pillow is definitely good for the baby. It provides good support to the head and neck, preventing it from rolling sideways or forward during sleep.

Pillows are generally safe for babies as long as they are used properly. Do not give your infant a pillow until he/she turns one year old because their head and neck are not strong enough to hold a pillow.

Do not place pillows under the crib sheet or use them as support for railings in the crib. Also, do not use decorative cushions or toys in the baby’s bed.

How to choose a baby pillow?

When choosing a baby pillow, make sure that it is not too big or bulky. The pillow should mold to the shape of the baby’s head and should not be bigger than their head. The pillow should also be firm so that the baby does not sink into it.

The type of pillow you choose for your baby depends on their age.  For infants below six months, a body pillow is the best choice. It should be large enough to support the baby’s head and neck. For babies who are above six months old, a sleeping pillow or a support pillow is ideal. These pillows provide good support to the baby’s head and neck and prevent them from rolling over during sleep. Decorative cushions and water pillows are not suitable for infants. Water pillows should be avoided during hot seasons as well.

For babies who sleep in a sitting or semi-sitting position, a water pillow is the best choice. It helps in proper air circulation and prevents suffocation and heat injuries caused due to sweat accumulation.

How to use a baby pillow?

Put the pillow in your child’s crib only when they are at least one year old. This is because their head and neck muscles are not strong enough to hold a pillow. Babies younger than one year should not be given pillows as it can lead to several health problems, including suffocation, sweating, and heat injuries.

Pillows should be placed at the back of the baby’s head and not at the front. The pillow should also be removed when the baby turns one year old.

Do not use pillows for infants who sleep in a sitting or semi-sitting position. These pillows can cause suffocation and heat injuries.

Conclusion

If you’re still not sure whether it’s time to give your baby a pillow, consult your pediatrician for more advice. You can also ask other parents what type of pillow their child is using and when they started using it. There is no one right answer, but following the AAP’s guidelines will help to ensure that your baby’s sleep environment is as safe as possible. If you want to know more, go through the Pro baby guide.