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 little one? What kind of pillow do you give your baby? 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 completely, for babies one year of age and younger. They also recommend never placing a baby on a pillow to sleep and never add pillows to the crib, either. As many know, this is to reduce the risk of SIDS. Here are other ways to reduce the risk of SIDS too.
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” adult pillow supports our neck in such a way that our bodies can fully relax at night.
But, children are smaller and the wrong pillow when they are too young can be a bad idea. Not only is it dangerous because of the increase in the risk of SIDS as I mentioned above, but a baby placed on a pillow baby can roll off if it doesn’t have side support. If baby is old enough to move around, the pillow might move on top of baby, making it a suffocation danger as well. In addition, if your baby has a pillow in a crib, and is pulling up to standing, he can use the pillow to stand on and possibly as a launchpad out of the crib. No one wants that!
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. There’s no need to add a pillow! 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. You can buy toddler pillows like this organic cotton one or a completely adjustable memory foam pillow. They also have these cool blanket and pillow sets, great for sleeping away from home.
Baby Nursing Pillows
These are quite different pillows, made for parents! Using a pillow while nursing (or even just while holding baby) 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 allow more freedom of your hands too. When mine were little, I used to read to one and nurse the other while using a nursing pillow.
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.