When To Give Toddler A Pillow And What To Expect

Before I gave birth to my first-born child, I shopped for stuff that I believed would make my baby comfortable and safe - crib, car seat, stroller, milk bottles, swaddle blanket, etc. Name it, and I purchased almost everything.

And because I couldn’t contain my excitement, I bought more baby items, including four pillows, one for the head, one for the legs, and one for the left and right side to make sure my baby would have a good sleep.


I thought I was doing great at being an overprotective mom until a friend of mine who happens to be a pediatrician, called my attention when she saw the bunch of pillows surrounding my baby. She told me that pillows are only for toddlers. I was shocked upon hearing it, and the words ignited my inquisitive nature.

I kept asking her questions, and one of those I asked was when to give toddler a pillow. This article showcases the bits of information I learned from her.

When Can You Give Toddler A Pillow


The straightforward answer to the question when to give toddler a pillow is this: Pillows should only be given to toddlers age two and up. Why? That’s because from two years old, your child can already move from his crib to bed.

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At this age, your toddler will have already possessed the ability to avoid suffocation hazards, and will likewise be put on his cutest grin for you to give him a pillow. They will begin noticing everyone in your household sleeping with a soft pillow.

The worse possible thing that can happen is him throwing a tantrum if he cannot have his way. Moreover, giving a pillow to your child can be a great bonding time with them, and you can even influence him to view his pillow as his time for a nap.

No Pillows for Babies! Here Are Five Reasons Why

 As first-time moms, we usually think our babies deserve a pillow to give them a comfortable sleep. What we don’t realize is by giving them a pillow, we are putting our babies’ safety at risks.

Pillows May Cause Suffocation

If you think by giving pillows your baby can have a good sleep, then, you are completely wrong. Babies have delicate heads that may sink when the pillow is too soft. As the head sinks, the potential for suffocation is also increased. In addition, the baby’s delicate nostrils may get covered by the pillow and limit the flow of air when the baby moves his head from side to side.

Pillows May Trigger Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Other than suffocation, pillows may also increase the potential occurrence of sudden infant death syndrome in many ways. Stuffed pillows with thermocol beads or sponge could result in choking. Wehn beads come out loosely; your baby might swallow them. Traditionally, a horseshoe pillow was also designed to support the baby’s head. But later, it was found that a horseshoe pillow could limit the infant’s movement.

Pillows Can Cause Overheating

Fancy pillows with attractive linings are made of fabric or polyester. These kinds of pillows could trigger the head underneath the head and result to fluctuations in the body temperature. When pillow covers trigger excessive heat and sweat, this can result to hyperthermia which is a life-threatening condition.

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Pillows Can Lead To a Sprain in the Neck

Baby pillows are mostly fluffy and this could sprain the baby’s neck while having a long sleep.

Baby Pillows Can Trigger The Flat Head Syndrome

When a baby sleeps on a soft pillow for a long time, this could result in flat head syndrome because of constant pressure. As mothers, we always receive on proper positioning of our babies to prevent any SIDS incident. If we put a pillow underneath his head, this can give rise to structural deformities.

The Misconception Behind Babies Needing A Pillow

The truth is, babies do not need a pillow. We often think they might need a pillow because we have been used to sleeping comfortably with a pillow. Moreover, each time we see a bed, we tend to associate it with pillows. It is tough not to consider our ideas of comfort for our baby, but we also need to be aware that babies and adults have different wants and needs.

Safety Concerns

So, you might think that because you have a great sleep with a pillow, your baby will enjoy the same. But the suffocation hazard lurks all the time if you give them a pillow. Babies are not used to having their head held up while sleeping.

When they roll around and the pillow covers their head, they do not have the motor skills to get the pillow off. Hence, suffocation happens. Simply put, get rid of pillows from your baby’s crib. Your baby does not need it.

Do Babies Feel Comfortable Without A Pillow?


If you are wondering whether your baby can sleep without a pillow, the answer is yes. Many of us snuggle with a pillow or support our back by putting pillows between the knees. With our baby in the crib, not giving them pillows can make us feel like we are not giving them the comfort they need.

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But no need to worry. Your baby is perfectly fine, particularly if the crib’s mattress is soft. The truth is, without a pillow, your baby is more in tune with his surroundings with an aligned backbone and an appropriately supported head.

Alternatives to Pillows

When your baby is fussy and refuses to sleep while on his back, provide them with they same kind of elevation they would obtain from a pillow by positioning a towel or a pillow underneath the crib’s mattress. This may help them feel comfortable and will not be something they can roll over or put their head onto.

Meanwhile, here is a video on how to position your baby for sleep.


Giving a pillow for babies or infants to have a comfortable sleep is not advisable. The best time to give toddler a pillow is when he reaches two years old when he has developed his motor skills, and when he already can move from crib to bed.

Don’t feel guilty if your baby doesn’t have a pillow. In fact, you should give yourself a pat on the shoulders for prioritizing your baby’s safety.

So, when did you give your child a pillow? Share your story with us.


https://www.babycenter.com/404_when-can-my-child-sleep-with-a-pillow_7533.bc https://alphamom.com/parenting/baby/when-should-my-toddler-sleep-with-a-pillow/ http://www.thehealthsite.com/parenting/baby-care-2/5-reasons-your-infant-doesnt-need-a-pillow/

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