For children and adults, sleeping on a pillow is a common thing to do. But for babies, pillows are not always needed, especially for newborns!
Like any other baby item, many parents have prepared pillows for their newborns.
But be careful, do not rush to give a pillow for the baby, especially if its use is intended to perfect the shape of his head.
The reason is that using pillows for infants under two years old causes a risk of endangering their lives.
Keep reading to get a better idea..
Pillow and Sudden Death Syndrome in Infants
First thing first, a newborn does not need a pillow to sleep on. Using pillows for newborns or babies under two years old increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Why? Newborn babies cannot move the pillow away if it covers their tiny face while sleeping, blocking their breath!
Besides being associated with SIDS, there are other dangers of using pillows in infants; here are some of them:
- The pillow can lock the position of the baby’s head for a long time, which gives his soft head a specific shape that might be curved or uneven. Because the baby is still weak and cannot change his head’s position, the baby’s head area covered by the pillow will be prone to heat.
- The pillow can cause choking hazards. In case the contents of the pillow come out, even in small amounts, it can potentially get into the baby’s mouth or nose and make him choke.
- Babies choke on their own vomit. If you are using a U -shaped pillow, the baby will have difficulty turning his head to one side when he sneezes or vomits. This condition risks making the baby choke after vomiting on himself.
Related: Baby Sleep Guide (0-12 Months)
Don’t Rush For Using Baby Pillows
For your little one not to get SIDS, you shouldn’t give him a pillow while he sleeps.
A very small baby cannot do anything, so if a pillow covers his face, he will not help himself.
Parents can start using pillows for their babies after they turn two. So, Don’t Rush!
Besides avoiding the pillow, there are several things to consider when putting the baby to sleep; here are some of them:
- Lay your baby on his back and place him on a mattress that has a flat surface.
- Avoid giving the baby clothes and blankets that are too thick.
- Put the baby to sleep in a special baby bed. Babies are not advised to sleep with other people, either with older siblings or parents.
- Do not put objects in the crib, such as blankets, dolls, and toys.
- Do not put the baby to sleep on a water mattress, air mattress, or on the sofa.
- Do not swaddle the baby too hard. Give him some space so he can still move and breathe freely.
- Keep babies away from exposure to cigarette smoke.
In fact, babies under two years old do not need a pillow to make them comfortable or help their heads perfectly round.
Experts forbid the use of pillows in cribs because pillows can increase the risk of a baby suffocating.
This is because if their face is crushed or pressed against a pillow, their neck is not strong enough to turn their face.
In addition, babies are also considered more sensitive to allergens such as dust mites, dander, and other bedding materials that can increase allergic reactions.
A baby is considered safe to use a pillow if he already has reasonable control of the movement of his head and neck so that he can avoid it if the pillow covers his face.
Which is at around the age of 24 months and up..
If your baby is quite ready to sleep with a pillow, you should buy a new pillow to protect him from exposure to dust mites and germs that may have accumulated on the old pillow.
Above all, choose a small pillow that is also not too soft.
Written By: Dema JS
Founder of newbabysmell.com and a mother of two little kids. Dema had her MBA from St. John’s University- NYC in dual concentrations: Executive Management and Marketing Management.