Choosing a Baby Pillow: What and When to Buy?

baby pillow. baby bedding pillow

Buying a baby pillow is one of the most controversial issues in young families. As a rule, there are no problems with blankets or sheets. But the choice of a pillow may make inexperienced parents feel lost. If you feel the same, read on to find out some useful information about the issue.

Do I Need a Pillow for a Child Under One Year Old?

Young parents should know: the majority of doctors state that infants do not need a baby pillow. What’s more, infants up to one year old do not express any particular desire to sleep on pillows. In addition to the danger of suffocation, doctors warn about the risks for the formation of the spine in an infant. In a small child, the head is much larger in proportions than in an adult. So, sleeping without a pillow doesn’t cause an overstrain of the cervical spine in the baby. Regardless of the position in a dream, the child’s head and neck will lie correctly.

A flannel sheet folded 4 times will be enough for children under 1 year old. It will provide a slight tilt of the body and the absorption of moisture (if the baby is sweating or regurgitating).

There are as well exceptions to this rule. These are pillows designed specifically for newborns and babies up to the year:

 Inclined pillow

It facilitates breathing and provides protection when regurgitating in children under one year. The angle of inclination of such a pillow should be no more than 30 degrees. You can provide a similar effect simply by raising mattress a little at the head of the crib. If you use an inclined pillow, keep in mind that it should be located not only under the head but also the upper body of the child.

baby pillow. inclined pillow

 Anatomic (orthopedic) pillow for children from birth to 2 years

Typically, the use of such a pillow is associated with the recommendations of a pediatrician and orthopedist. Special deepening and small sides help to fix the head in the desired position. Doctors recommend using an anatomical pillow for torticollis, displacement of the cervical vertebrae, or for the prevention of skull deformity in the presence of a “favorite” head position in a child.

 Pillow for protection against suffocation

This modern invention will be useful for parents who are concerned about the danger of the baby strangling with bedding. This pillow is made of porous polyurethane foam that lets in air and is enclosed in a cotton cover. The pillow design is safe for the baby’s spine and is usually labeled “0+”.

 Pillow for lateral support of the newborn

As you know, the position on the side is the safest for children under one year. A pillow consisting of two blocks fastened together will help to keep even the most active and restless babies in this position.

baby pillow. side pillow

Does a Child Need a Pillow After a Year?

Does a one year old child need a pillow? Here the opinions of experts diverge. Some talk about the need for pillows after a year, others advise to do without it as long as possible. Where is the truth?

The thing is that it is not necessary to run for a pillow as soon as the baby is one year old. Many orthopedists do not recommend the use of a pillow for up to one and a half, or even up to two years. And of course, you do not need to insist on the child using the pillow if he slides off or throws it away in a dream, and, perhaps, simply does not accept the new accessory completely. Pillow for a child of 1 year has the right to exist, but it must be thin, almost flat, elastic, and at the same time not too hard.

When Does a Baby Need a Pillow?

Many people are interested in the question: from what age does a child need a pillow? As we have already mentioned, there is no unequivocal answer of specialists to this question. Focus on your child. If he does not want to sleep on a pillow when he is 1 year old, set it aside until the baby is “mature”. Some children, on the other hand, try to make a pillow from a sheet or blanket to sleep like mom and dad. Take advantage of the moment and get a pillow, but be sure to choose a correct and suitable one.

Standard baby pillow can be offered to a child at 2 years of age. Before this age, the main bends of the spine are formed. By two years the baby will need the support of the cervical region.

baby pillow. a baby on the pillow

If we talk about ordinary, adult pillows, they can be used no earlier than the age of a child of 7-8 years.

Does the Child Need an Orthopedic Pillow?

Parents are often concerned about choosing the right pillow for the child, but do not know what criteria to focus on. For babies, an orthopedic pillow, if recommended by a doctor, is the best option, but do older children need them?

In this case, the concept of “orthopedic” is not a marketing trick. A good pillow, made according to the requirements of orthopedic surgeons and using quality materials, will be an excellent choice for your child. Orthopedic pillows are also good for adults, because at any age they contribute to the prevention of back problems. However, before buying, it is still advisable to consult with a specialist (in the case of a children’s pillow, this is a pediatrician or orthopedist).

What Kind of Pillow Does a Child Need?

The choice is up to parents. But in order not to get lost in a huge range of modern manufacturers, we note what you need to pay attention to when buying a baby pillow:


The fabric of the pillow cover should be made of cotton or linen.

The materials used as filler are usually divided into natural and synthetic. The advantage of natural fillers is good breathability and environmental friendliness, but some of them can cause allergies. Synthetic fillers are good for their durability, but they can also cause excessive sweating.

baby pillow. a sleeping baby


This is an important feature for both the smallest babies, who can roll over and bury their nose in the pillow, and for older children, because a pillow with good breathability will allow the head to “breathe.”


A traditional pillow should restore its shape after pressing. The softness and looseness of the pillow is the reason why it shouldn’t be bought for a child.

 Material safety

Safety and environmental friendliness are important criteria for choosing a baby pillow. Moreover, these characteristics should be taken into account for the fabric cover, and for the filler. You should not opt for the cheapest pillow, as harmful dyes can be used in their production.

If your baby is prone to allergies, choose pillows from hypoallergenic materials.

5 Size and shape

The traditional baby pillow, pillow cases for which are included in the standard bedding set, has a size of 40/60 cm. Orthopedic pillows have other sizes, usually somewhat smaller than the standard ones.

baby pillow. sleeping baby

Keep in mind that the child doesn’t need too big, adult pillow. It will simply be uncomfortable for the baby to sleep on it. During sleep, only the head should be on the pillow, but not the shoulders. Otherwise, the whole point of supporting the cervical spine with the pillow is lost.

As for the shape, the pillow should be rectangular. Beautiful decorative pillows in the form of animals, hearts and letters is an interesting option for decorating a nursery, but not suitable for sleeping.

6 Seam quality

The line should be fairly frequent, and the stitches with which the seams are made should be strong.

7 The presence of zipper

The zipper will facilitate the care of the pillow, allowing you to wash only the cover if necessary. In addition, with the help of a zipper you can control the number and condition of the pillow filler.

8 Possibility of washing

The pillow, like other items of bed linen, should be periodically washed and withstand it, keeping its size and shape.

To sum it all, it should be noted that choosing a pillow for a child is a very serious matter, since it contributes to the correct position of the head in a dream, and, consequently, prevents cerebral circulation disorders. On a good pillow, the baby will have safe and sound sleep. We all know: children grow up in a dream, and therefore ensuring a healthy sleep for a child is a very important duty.

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