Parents are concerned about the comfort of their baby, they want him to feel as comfortable as possible in his crib so that he can sleep soundly. However, you should know that anything that is too soft on the bed represents a choking hazard for the little one and increases the risk of sudden infant death.
Newborns have poor head and neck control, so they will not be able to move their heads to breathe if a pillow or soft stuffed animal covers their nose or mouth. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that the baby sleeps on a firm mattress and that pillows, crib bumpers and duvets be avoided.
The truth is that during the first years of life it is not necessary to worry about the pillow. Until your shoulders grow much wider than your head, you won’t feel uncomfortable sleeping without a pillow.
At what age can they begin to sleep with a pillow?
The pillow is usually not necessary until babies move from crib to bed. After twelve months, the risk of suffocation is considerably reduced, but if the little one is still sleeping in the crib, it is advisable to remove all soft objects that can cause suffocation.
Specialists recommend introducing the pillow after 2 or 3 years. When you change your child to his new bed, he can have his first pillow as the risk of suffocation is practically zero.
How should a pillow for children be?
When your child is ready to use a pillow, you should choose one that is as low as possible. In childcare stores you can find pillows specifically designed for young children. These are flat, small and firm pillows, since soft pillows that are too high increase the risk of suffocation.
In fact, buying feather or down pillows is not recommended because the child’s head could sink into it. In addition, the pointed ends of the feathers could end up going through the pillow until they reach the child’s face, causing scratches.
- Firmness of the pillow. To assess the firmness of the pillow, you just have to put a little pressure on it and see how quickly it returns to shape. If the pillow sags quickly under minimal pressure, it is not safe because it is too soft. If it takes a couple of minutes to regain its shape, it could be uncomfortable as it is too firm for a child.
- Pillow size. A standard pillow for a young child measures 30X40 centimeters and its thickness will range from 5 to 7 centimeters. If you can not find a small pillow, you can choose a normal size, but making sure it is not too high as it would be uncomfortable for the child.
- Pillow material. Pillows made of 100% non-allergenic polyester are a good option as synthetic fiber does not usually produce odor or allergic reactions. They are also more durable compared to those that are made with natural fibers. Another alternative is to buy a pillow with hypoallergenic foam, known as postural pillows, as these help align the neck and spine, facilitating a healthier posture when sleeping.