In this post, I’ll talk about baby sleep pillows. When should you give a pillow to your baby? When can you give a pillow to your baby? What kind of pillow do you give your baby? What type of pillows can help with co-sleeping? What type of pillows can help with nursing?
When can you give your baby a pillow to sleep on?
The NICHHD recommends that you avoid pillows for babies under one year of age. They recommend never to place baby on a pillow to sleep or add pillows to the crib, either. This is to reduce the risk of SIDS. Here are other ways to reduce the risk of SIDS.
When should you give your baby a pillow to sleep?
There is no rule about needing to give your baby a pillow to sleep on. Yes, it’s more comfortable for us, adults, to sleep on a pillow. After all, it is one of our sleep associations. And, because we are bigger, a proper pillow supports our neck in such a way that our bodies can fully relax at night. Buy the wrong pillow and you can wake up with a cramped neck.
But, children are smaller and the wrong pillow when they are too young can be a bad idea. Not only can it increase the SIDS risk as I mentioned above, but baby can roll off if it doesn’t have side support. If baby is old enough to move around and the pillow is too large, the pillow might move on top of baby, making it dangerous for him. In addition, if your baby is pulling up, he can use the pillow as a launchpad out of the crib. No one wants that! He might be climbing out soon enough on his own. No need to give him props.
Therefore, I recommend avoiding a pillow for your baby until she is well into being a toddler over 2 years old. And, if she is content not to use a pillow at all, don’t even worry about it. My eldest son didn’t care to sleep on a pillow until he was close to 2 1/2 and then we gave him a very flat pillow.
What kind of pillow can you give your baby for sleep?
If you are going to give your baby or toddler a pillow to sleep on, make sure it’s small and flat such that it will be better for her neck support. They make small pillows just for babies. Here are just a few:
- For babies who need to be at an incline (e.g. those with reflux), you can try this wedge pillow. It safely keeps baby at an incline.
- For help positioning younger babies on their back (also guards against SIDS), I used the Close & Secure Sleeper, but for something more inexpensive, you can try a Head-N-Back Sleep Positioner. These positioners also help with co-sleeping.
- You can buy toddler pillows like Bobble Roos’ Toddler Blanket pillows or sets that come with a pillow. They also have these cool travel neck pillows, now.
Baby Nursing Pillows
Using a pillow while nursing is a life-saver! It saves your wrist with support and makes it so much easier in those early days. When baby is older and can support his own head, it helps to have your hands free, especially if you have a toddler. I used to read to one and nurse the other.
I used a Boppy for both of my children, but I saw this Leachco Cuddle-U Nursing Pillow and thought it looked really cool and the reviews were really good! I have also heard good things about the My Brest Friend Pillow.