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When Can A Baby Sleep With A Pillow? [With Paediatricians Recommendations]

You are looking for the answer to when a baby can sleep with a pillow because you heard some bad information about it. Well, that’s true if the age of the baby is below 2 years old, a pillow can be a reason of SIDS. Because your baby can place the pillow on her nose mistakenly during the sleep in his crib. That may lead to breathlessness and choke hazard for the baby.

Some parents mistakenly buy the furry and feathery pillow for their babies. They think it will ensure more comfort for the baby. But they are wrong. These pillows may lead to allergies for the baby as well. Allergies also lead to breathing problem.

The Truth about Baby Pillow

When Can A Baby Sleep With A Pillow
No loose items nearby your infant!

Most pediatricians and child care expert believe that a pillow is very much dangerous for the baby. Before introducing a pillow to the baby, your baby does not know the difference between sleeping on a pillow and sleeping on a flat surface (the bed).

So, if you introduce a pillow for the first time and you notice your baby is not comfortable or starts crying, immediately remove the pillow. As I said above, under no circumstances, do not let your baby use the pillow if he/she is still in his/her crib or the age of your baby is not over 2.

Yes, you can give a pillow only when your baby is at least 2 years old. I have included some tips to select the right pillow for your baby aging over 2.

  1. Prefer Small & Flat Pillow: When you decide to buy the pillow, always prefer to buy a small pillow. The pillow should be moderately soft. Avoid too soft pillow. When the baby is awake, keep the pillow out of the bassinet. Even when your baby is sleeping on the pillow, keep an eye on him when possible. Keep the pillow always clean and dry.
  2. Check Whether The Baby Is Ready: When your baby really needs a pillow, he/she will show some signs. He may try to place his head on the blanket or try to use your pillow. That indicates your baby is ready to use one. But if your baby doesn’t like the pillow, remove it, please.
  3. No Furry Pillows At All: Furry & feathery pillows may hurt your baby and be the reason for the allergic reaction to the baby. Very soft pillow even may lead to suffocation of the baby as well.
  4. Press It and Check It: You need to be skeptical before buying a pillow for the baby. Take your time. The pillow should be filled with polyester fiber. These are great as the support for the baby’s head. Use your finger and press the pillow. If it does not regain its previous shape, the pillow is too soft. If it takes too short time to regain, it is very hard. A medium soft small pillow is better.
  5. Go For Soft Pillow Cover: Soft cotton made pillow cover is great for the skin of the baby. Remember, the skin of your baby is very gentle and the wrong pillow cover may be the reason of rash. So, you need to make sure the cover is very gentle for the skin of your baby and regularly wash the pillow cover.
  6. Fluff The Pillow Daily: It’s all about keeping the pillow clean always. Daily shake and fluff the pillow. There will be dust and lots of bacteria. So you need to shake them off. Place the pillow in the sun so that fresh air can pass through the pillow. It will make the pillow smell-free and moisture-free. At a regular interval, wash the pillow as well and let it sun dry.
  7. Lightweight Pillow Is Preferable: For the sake of the safety reason of your baby, buy only the lightweight pillow. Place the pillow under his head only when the baby is sleeping. Remove the pillow when he is awake.

Why Should You Care?

Pediatricians and childcare experts have put great emphasis on the safe sleeping environment for the baby. Let me tell you why. sleeping baby on the pillowA recent study done by the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) found that around half of the entire Americans do not follow the safe sleeping environment for their babies aging less than 1.

The result is lots of crib death. Those deaths were preventable. Listen, the brain and the body of the baby are not strong enough to wake them from a dangerous sleeping position. The pillow may somehow be placed on the face of your baby, but the muscle of your baby is not strong enough to remove it from the face. This is why pediatricians expressed deep concerns using the pillow for baby aging less than 2.

The position of CPSC On Pillow

The staffs of the U.S. CPSC have shown that between 1992 to 2010, around 700 infant deaths happened due to placing pillows or blankets in or near the sleeping environment of the baby. Each year, around ½ of this crib death and ¾ of the bassinet deaths reported to the CPSC due to suffocation caused by the pillow, thick quilts, and so on. Even if you have the safest bassinet, you can make it dangerous for the baby placing a pillow inside it.

Summing Up

As per many childcare experts, your baby doesn’t need a pillow if he is under the age of 2. You have seen it already that many crib bedding sets come with a pillow. You should never use that pillow until your baby moves from the crib to a bed. A pillow for the infant can be a suffocation issue.

Many parents think that a pillow can make the sleeping comfortable for the baby. But the reality is your baby is doing just fine without it. For child age over 2 years, you can buy a small pillow with a hard and flat surface. Just like the pillows you have seen in the airlines. Just make sure the pillow is not too soft or can set off allergies for the baby.