Preparing and decorating your child’s bedroom is a fun process that many new parents look forward to. While a big part of decorating is choosing colors for the crib, your baby’s bedding needs are a lot simpler than yours. In fact, your baby doesn’t even need a pillow in the earliest years of his or her life.
Do newborn babies need a pillow?
As a new parent, you are likely concerned about your baby’s comfort. However, any soft bedding material in the infant’s sleep area is a suffocation hazard. Newborns have very little head and neck control, and they will not be able to move their head to breathe if pillows or other soft bedding covers their noses and mouths.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to use a firm sleep surface, and to avoid pillows, crib bumpers, and blankets. The AAP also advises parents and caregivers that it is important to lay babies on their backs to sleep.
When can my child use a pillow?
If you are wondering at what age should a child use a pillow, the answer is at around 2 to 3 years old. When you transition your toddler to a normal bed, you can choose to introduce a toddler pillow, which is usually thin and firm. Even after the newborn stage your infant could turn face down into the pillow or less likely, put their head under it. So even though your child has slightly more mobility after passing the newborn stage, it is important to wait until they are 2-3 years old to introduce other bedding.
Will my baby be uncomfortable without a pillow?
In the first few years of your child’s life, you don’t need to be concerned that your baby is uncomfortable without a pillow. You may not like sleeping without your pillow, but they won’t feel uncomfortable without one until their shoulders are wider than their heads. In fact, a pillow still isn’t even necessary once they graduate from a crib to a bed, they just may prefer to make the sleeping arrangements in their new bed look similar to yours.
What bedding should I use until my toddler is old enough for a pillow?
When decorating your infant’s crib, all you really need is a fitted crib sheet on a firm mattress. The day will come soon enough when your child’s bed will be filled with blankets, pillows and stuffed animals. Until your child is ready for additional bedding, focus on creating a safe and clear environment for your baby to rest. Visit the crib and sleep safety guide for more info.