When Can My Baby Start Using a Pillow?

By Misty on in Baby Sleep Help Baby Sleep Products Safety and Comfort with 2 Comments

When Can My Baby Start Using a Pillow?
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As parents we often think that because we are more comfortable sleeping with a pillow that maybe our little ones would be too. Truth be told, some babies may not want a pillow and sleep quite pleasantly without baby pillows.

But at some point you probably will ask, at what age can my baby use a pillow?

The answer to that question is truly an individual call. It is up to you and the behavior of your baby to determine. Baby sleep is a very unique situation. Some develop regular sleep routines rather easily, while others struggle through the first few years to find any regular regimen or schedule.

Most doctors and pediatric advisors will tell you not to introduce baby pillows until the age of two. This is often the age when your little one is ready to move out of their crib and into a “big kid bed” so it may simply feel natural to introduce a pillow to their sleep times.

This is also the time, somewhere around the ages of 18 to 24 months, when the risk of sudden infant death (SIDS) is diminishing so you won’t need to be so cautious of the suffocation risk.

Some babies will give you signs that they are ready for baby pillows or maybe because they are growing we should call them toddler pillows. You may notice that at nap time your baby is pulling up their favorite stuffed animals to lie on. If so, nap time is the ideal period to keep a watchful eye and monitor their sleeping.

Just as you think about their sleeping with blankets and stuffed animals, it is important to provide your baby with the right kind of pillows. When you do feel the time is right for baby pillows here are some options to consider:

  • The style of baby pillow
  • The size of the baby pillow
  • The content of baby pillow

The style of baby pillows should be firm, comfortable, and supportive, never soft and cuddly. You can test the pillow to see how soft or firm it is by pushing in the center. If your hand makes no indentation it is too firm. If the indentation is too large or moves easily, the pillow is too soft.

The size of the baby pillow should be similar to that of an airline pillow. Do not be tempted to introduce a full size pillow to them as it is far too large and usually far too cushy soft. Baby pillows measuring about 12 inches by 16 inches are perfect for their size.

The content of the baby pillow is important for allergy concerns, head and upper body support, and durability. The best pillows are 100% polyester and non-allergenic as they are both firm and don’t emit odors.

Another good choice is 100% cotton baby pillows as they are typically flatter and firmer which is ideal for safe sleep times. Always avoid feather pillows as they are far too soft and can significantly increase the onset of allergies.

These are two of our favorite baby/toddler pillow choices.

Toddler PillowClevamama ClevaFoam Toddler Pillow

We recommend this pillow because it’s like a memory foam pillow with tiny holes which makes it’s breathable. Plus it’s just the right firmness to help your sweet baby sleep soundly.

“A Little Pillow Company” – The Original Hypoallergenic Toddler Pillow

This super pillow is filled with premium cluster fiber and has a 100% cotton fabric casing, both sure winners to protect from allergies. Plus it’s cute, the perfect softness, and washable!

When you are contemplating what age your baby should be to use a pillow let them help you with that decision. Often they will give you signs so you can introduce baby pillows to them at nap time so that you can both sleep comfortably at night.

Remember to keep in mind the style, size, and content of the pillows. Keep it simple – flat, firm, and hypoallergenic so that your sweet baby remains healthy, happy, and rested.

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  1. Bonnie Gean

    January 12, 2015 at 10:42 pm · Reply

    I don't recall when I introduced a pillow to my little one, but it was probably at a time when she started grabbing the pillows off the sofa to nap on the floor. That's how I determined she wanted a pillow of her own. :) Wonderful help here for the parents that are still deciding when the best time is to introduce a pillow to the little one.

  2. K. Lee Banks

    January 13, 2015 at 12:51 am · Reply

    Interesting topic and question! I really don't recall when my children started using pillows. I'll have to ask my daughter, who now has 2 y.o. and 4 m.o. daughters, if/when they started using pillows.

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