As a responsible parent it’s only natural to ask questions regarding your toddler’s safety and well-being. Besides as a parent you want to know you’re doing the best job you can of bringing up your little one. Finding answers to some of your concerns can be difficult, but with the correct research you can almost always find peace of mind.
So, the big question…when to give a toddler a pillow?
We’ve all heard the benefits of toddler pillows, otherwise known as infant pillows, they can be an absolute god send to a toddlers sleeping regime. In fact I’ve used toddler pillows with all of my children and they served as a great help. They provide your toddler with full body support for an excellent night’s sleep, which as a parent I know how important that can be. Ultimately, there was a time when we all got used to sleeping with a pillow, but when was this time?
This question may sound easy to answer, but it’s not. Experts generally agree that toddlers under the age of 2 shouldn’t be given pillows at all. However many parents disagree. Whatever you decide, it’s important that your toddler’s safety is always at the forefront of your mind. When to give your toddler a pillow can be an incredibly difficult decision to make, but here’s some advice:
The Question of Age
The biggest issue are those surrounding the question of safety for example obvious hazards such as suffocation, that’s why the majority of pediatric sleep experts often do not recommend pillows to children under 2 years of age. Therefore it’s better to wait until you have introduced your toddler to a bed, although if you still want to provide your toddler with a pillow when they are still in a crib, a common pillow used are the small ones around the same size as an airline pillow. This ensures they are small enough to provide support and comfort, but not large enough to become a hazard to your child.
However not all paediatricians are so ridged with this recommendation. For example some experts may advise the use of a toddler pillow if your toddler is bad sleeper, or happens to be suffering from an ear infection, cold or some type of allergy. I know myself how important a toddler pillow was in these difficult scenarios. Whatever your situation, if your unsure always make sure to consult an expert.
Finding the Balance
The fact is that there are numerous warnings about what’s right and wrong for your toddler, for example should you let them sleep on their stomach? Is too much twisting and turning a bad thing? It’s a difficult predicament to be in and ultimately you’ve got to find the right balance between your common sense and being overly paranoid.
Ultimately it’s always good to exercise caution
When to give a toddler a pillow? If you do decide that your toddler is at the right age to use a pillow, make sure you follow these recommendations:
It’s important you choose a firm pillow which are a much safer option for your child. Also ensure you stay away from pillows with possibly irritating filler materials such as feathers, not only are these way too soft for a toddler pillow, but they are commonly a trigger of allergies.
A good test to carry out on pillows you’re thinking of buying is to apply pressure to the pillow and see how fast it regains its original shape. If the pillow takes too long to regain it’s shape it may be too firm for your toddler to sleep with. On the other hand if it barley moves it may be too soft for your toddler and possible be a hazard.
The best material for a toddler pillow is 100% cotton filling, this is incredibly comfortable and natural, ensuring your toddler isn’t breathing in any harmful toxins. Another option is 100% polyester non-allergenic Polyfill to avoid possible allergic reactions.
Don’t use a pillow which is too big for your toddler, it should be large enough to provide your toddler with the required support for a good night’s sleep but not too big. If you find yourself asking “when can my baby sleep with a pillow?” then it may not be the right time, this is especially true if your baby is still in a crib where they can be a suffocation hazard.
When can babies have pillows? Look for signs that your baby/toddler could benefit from a pillow, they may be using other items in the crib to rest their head, for example stuffed toys.
And there you have it, deciding when to give a toddler a pillow is no easy task by any means. With a little common sense and a little caution, knowing when the right time to use a toddler pillow doesn’t have to be a headache.