Are Pillows Safe For Babies?

by Dylan Bowen May 12, 2022 3 min read

Are pillows safe for babies?

Pillows are not secure for babies. You should refrain from using a pillow under your baby’s head when laying your baby down to rest, as it can increase the risk of sudden death during infancy. Healthcare professionals suggest that parents wait to introduce their baby to a pillow until they're over the age of two years old. At this age, the toddler is no longer resting in a cot, and they can fully move without help.

For a child between 4 and 12 months old particularly, additional items like a pillow on their bed can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. To sleep, place your baby on a firm mattress without pillows, like a Moses basket.

It can also be unsafe to let your child fall asleep on nursing pillows. If you leave your child to fall fast asleep on a breastfeeding pillow, they may turn over onto their tummy and turn their heads on the pillow which may cause suffocation. Also, if your baby leans against the pillow, their head will fall forward. Their airway can get blocked, thus risking their survival.

Older children may be at risk of cot accidents. Your toddler may use a pillow as a step to climb up the crib. They can suddenly fall and suffer a severe injury. So, it is important to be precautious when it comes to your child, to prevent harm to their health and wellbeing.

What to do if you're concerned about flat head syndrome?

Flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly) can be triggered by a baby resting on their backs, and over time, their heads may flatten on one side.

You can help alleviate this situation at home by tipping your baby’s head to the opposite side while they’re sleeping and persuading them to look in both directions during the day.

More severe cases of flat head syndrome may require treatment with a physical therapist, who will examine your baby’s range of movement and practice exercises to get them to expand their movement.

Here are some other ways to cure flat head syndrome in your baby:

Change your baby's head position while they rest. While your baby is sleeping, try changing their head’s position in many ways such as left to right or right to left.

If your baby is turning around at night, place them on the head's rounded side touching the mattress. Don't use wedge pillows to maintain their body in one position, as this will cause them to be uncomfortable.

Hold your child as often as possible. Reduce the time your baby spends on their back. When you pick up your baby often, this will lessen pressure on their head.

Change your baby's cot position. Always position your baby in the right way, to help turn the head to the side that has not flattened.

Have some belly time. Allow your baby to spend some time lying on their tummy while they are awake. Sing or talk to your baby or hold up fun toys to catch their attention and promote head movement.

What are the diverse types of baby pillows?

Here are some of the diverse types of baby pillows you might see when looking in the market.

  • Baby flat head pillow
  • Anti-roll pillow
  • Baby reflux pillow

Anti-Flat Head Pillow

One common pillow is the baby flat head pillow, intended to help prevent your baby from developing a flat head. What happens is the pressure on your baby’s head when they continually lie in the same way can lead to a flat head.

On the same note, flat head syndrome usually solves itself as your baby grows older. These pillows are designed to relieve or reduce flat head.

Anti-Roll Pillow

An anti-roll pillow is occasionally used as a support or positioning pillow. A baby anti-roll pillow is created so that you can place your child’s head on one side or the other side of the pillow and keep them in position so that they don’t roll or get twisted with pillows and blankets while they sleep.

Baby Reflux Pillow

Baby pillows for resting also include reflux pillows. These pillows are intended to help fight reflux in babies. They usually provide a means for tilting your baby so that they are lying at a slight slope.

When an adult has refluxed, a professional may recommend them to sleep on their stomach, but this isn’t the case for a baby. Therefore, this pillow has been designed for when a baby has reflux, they can sleep on this for a solution.

Dylan Bowen
Dylan Bowen


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