We, as adults, need a suitable pillow to get sound sleep. You, as a parent, might think that your little one also needs a pillow to get a comfortable sleep. A perfect pillow helps a lot to maintain a good sleeping posture, and there’s no denying the fact. However, when it comes to babies, things are a bit different.
Doctors highly discourage to give babies a pillow to sleep on. Pillows can be dangerous for babies. But, you can, of course, give your baby a cute looking pillow after a certain period. And this is our today’s topic in the article.
Does Your Baby Need a Pillow?
Parents always give preference to their babies, no matter what. And one of the concerns of the first-time parents is whether they should give a pillow to their apple of eyes or not.
Well, the thing is, even if it seems to you that your baby needs a pillow; but it’s not how it seems. Babies are totally fine without pillow until 2 years.
If you can ensure a colorful crib and firm, tight-fitting flat mattress, your baby will have some good quality sleeping hours without any additional things. This is what the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises to the parents.
It’s recommended to lay babies on their backs to put into sleep.
So, your baby doesn’t need a pillow, crib bumpers, and even a blanket to get comfortable sleeping hours.
The Risk Associated with Giving Pillow to Babies
At first, you might wonder why is that my baby cannot get a pillow? What’s wrong with it? Well, this is because babies cannot properly control the movement of their head and neck during their initial months.
Just imagine if your baby’s nose or mouth gets covered with the pillow or any soft bedding material, what would be the consequences? As the baby is unable to move his head away, it will make him feel suffocated. If you aren’t present in the room, it may lead to an accident.
Now, let’s talk about some real scenarios. From the year 1992 to 2010, there were around 700 deaths of infants under 12 months because of the presence of pillows and cushions that made their sleeping environment suffocated for a long time.
Additionally, two-thirds of bassinet and infant crib deaths are associated with the suffocation issue caused by baby pillows.
On average, 32 infants die per year due to this pillow and blanket issue. The majority of the deaths occurred during their initial three months.
Adults and babies are totally different. You can remove the pillow that blocks your nose and mouth. But, this is something that your baby cannot do. Without a doubt, you don’t want your baby to get suffocated due to pillows or any other bedding materials.
So, the safest place for your baby is the crib. A crib with a firm and tight-fitting mattress meets CPSC’s strong federal safety standards.
Will My Baby Feel Uncomfortable Without a Pillow?It's normal for adults to feel uncomfortable to sleep without a pillow; but, that's not the case with babies. The funniest part is, your baby doesn't even feel the need of a pillow. He/she will be comfortable without it. Click To Tweet
However, when your baby’s shoulders get noticeably wider than the head, then the baby might feel a bit uncomfortable.
So, When Your Baby Can Use a Pillow?
If you are wondering what the right age for a baby to use a pillow is, well, the answer is when the baby is 2 or 3 years old. When you transfer the baby to a regular bed, only then introduce him/her with a toddler pillow. These pillows are soft, thin, and has enough firmness required for toddlers.
Can I Give a Blanket to My Baby?
There is no need to give your baby a blanket if you dress him/her with warm clothes. And the advice is not to provide any blanket to infants.
However, you can give your baby a piece of thin blanket after 1 year. Don’t give any thick blanket or quilt. But, be very much careful whether the blanket blocks the nose and mouth of the little one, and how he/she responds to the situation. It will be totally fine even if you decide not to give any blanket until the baby is 2.
Which Pillow to Get for a Toddler?
As stated earlier, you can give your baby a pillow after the second birthday. There are some basic guidelines to follow when it comes to looking for a toddler pillow. Here are some important things to check before getting a pillow for the toddler:
- Choose a flat and firm pillow. You can give a pillow similar to yours if the baby is older.
- Always use a pure cotton pillowcase or cover for a toddler pillow. Cotton material is soft and the most comfortable for babies.
- Stick to simple and basic pillows. There is no need of getting scented pillows. Such pillows are prone to allergies.
- Avoid micro bead filling pillows. This is because your baby can swallow the bead when the pillow rips or strips off. It can lead to complications like choking hazards.
- Don’t use feather pillows, even though these pillows very soft and comfortable. Feather pillows cause allergic reactions in babies.
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Is It Okay to Put Toys in Baby Crib/Bassinet/Play Yard?
As far as the sleeping environment is concerned, keep it as uncluttered as possible. Bare crib and bassinet are the safest to put your baby to sleep.
However, if you want to attach toys to the crib or bassinet, make sure to attach it to a single side. There shouldn’t be any toys that contain straps or cords; it could wrap around the neck.
Also, don’t hang toys to the protruding parts of the crib that the baby use for pulling himself up and down.
There shouldn’t be any large toys, decorative nursing pillows, comforters, and thick blankets in the crib, bassinet, and play yard. Give it a priority if your baby is 4 months or younger.
The crib itself can take care of your baby’s sleep. All you need to make sure that the mattress is a firm and tight-fitting one. Get a suitable pillow for your little one when he/she is at least 2 years old.