When can a Toddler Sleep with a Pillow?

Updated at: Sep 12, 2011
When can a Toddler Sleep with a Pillow?

Newborn Care- It is important to focus on safe sleeping habits for toddlers. This article talks about right type of pillow and right type of pillow for toddlers.

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Newborn CareWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Sep 12, 2011

Pillow seems to be an indispensable object for adults while sleeping. However, parents, especially new ones, wonder does my infant need a pillow to sleep? What is the right age for children to start sleeping on a pillow? Here is some advice on when can a toddler sleep with a pillow.



Babies and toddlers are at risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and suffocation. Hence a lot of attention is focused on safe sleep habits for them. According to experts pillows and stuffed animals should be avoided for infants and toddlers. Many sleep experts advice that a pillow should not be put in a child’s bed, who is less than 2 years of age.


Right time for the Pillow


It is advisable to start using a pillow for your toddler once he moves out of the crib to the bed. If you start using a pillow while he is still sleeping in the crib, it is preferable to use a small firm pillow.


Right type of pillow


Use of a small, firm pillow is recommended for toddlers. Avoid a feather pillow for a toddler, as these are really soft and put the child at risk of suffocation if his head sinks into it while he's sleeping. In addition these pillows can set off allergies.




Decide if your child really needs a pillow to sleep. If your toddler sleeps well without a pillow you can wait until he is older. You may use a pillow to elevate your toddler’s head if he has a cold or any other nasal problem that can lead to a blocked nose. Some toddlers sleep may sleep better with a pillow. So if your child does not sleep well at night you can let him sleep with a pillow; it may improve his sleep. Furthermore, if your child resists sleeping in his room, a special pillow that he likes can provide emotional comfort for him.


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