Do Babies Need Pillows?


Pillows for Babies below 12 Months old

In Short, Your new born doesn’t need a pillow but keeping a soft piece of cotton 4-5 layered is a good idea to avoid the flat head and to let baby rest the head as he can’t hold the neck.
We generally prefer using soft pillow for comfort and a good sleep. But, in the case of babies, they don’t need any pillow, at least for the first two years. Babies can still have a great sleep without a pillow.

2 Phases of Caring for Baby’s Neck

1. Newborn Till the Age they Start Holding the Neck

Use a soft cotton cloth 4-5 layered to avoid flat head to hold the neck in place.

2. Once the Baby is able to Control the Neck Movement

Which is about 5 months old and can be different also. (As early as 3 months): Don’t use pillow till age 2 yrs or till you think the toddler really needs the pillow.

Risk of Using Adults pillow for babies below 2 years


Babies have little head which may probably sink in the soft pillow leading to suffocation. Moreover, they don’t have neck control to avoid suffocation by changing their neck’s position. It’s a very dangerous situation and even fatal sometimes. Babies need a firm surface for sleeping to avoid the suffocation hazards. Also, babies have small nostrils that may get pressed while sleeping on a pillow.

Heat Generation

The fabric of the pillows matters a lot when it’s about your baby’s naps. Nowadays, the pillows come in various attractive designs and fancy cover made of fabrics like polyester that are not skin-friendly for babies. Cotton doesn’t generate heat below the baby’s head but the fabrics like Polyester can generate excess heat and sweat leading to a condition called Hyperthermia.


SIDS is the most dangerous hazard related to baby’s sleeping. Some traditional pillows limit baby’s movements while the modern sponge or other soft pillows can choke a baby as there is a probability of the material coming off the pillow due to movement or pressure. The results can be fatal.

Head and Neck Issues

The soft pillows can create a pressure on either side of the head or distort the proportion of the head leading to Flat Head Syndrome. Also, there are chances of neck sprain due to sleeping on soft pillows for a long time.

When to Start Pillow For A Baby?

Babies below 2 years should not be allowed to sleep on a pillow. Even children up to 3 years don’t need pillows. When you shift your baby to a normal bed from his special bed at the age of 2-3 years, you can introduce a special pillow to him. At this age, he can change his movements and control his neck if he feels like suffocating while sleeping. These special pillows for toddlers are usually firm and thinner in comparison to baby’s soft pillows. The risk of SIDS and other hazards are also minimal at this age.

All About Using Baby Special U Shaped Baby Pillow:

A horseshoe or U-shaped baby pillow is considered safer than traditional or modern baby pillows. But, the shape of the pillow itself arise a lot of questions when you use it for a baby who can hold the neck and may rest it on one of cheek. The reason to use this pillow to hold a newborns head straight and stop from falling on cheeks. A U-shaped pillow can fix baby’s neck movement for hours and cause neck sprain or flat head syndrome. Even if he feels like spilling or vomiting, he won’t be able to do it if his head is place in the middle of the pillow. Due to this, choking may happen. For such case you can elevate the bed.

Read : Mustard pillow for baby

Creating a safe sleeping environment for your baby is very necessary. You can’t always keep your eyes open and eliminate the possible hazards for your baby. It’s better to avoid the risk that may cause hazard when you are not around or sleeping. Using firm mattress for baby’s sleeping is recommended till he turns 2.

Newborn Shopping List


About Author


An IT professional, a mom of two, Sapana had belly-only pregnancies in her life & has lost 15Kg weight twice. Along with fitness, Sapana is an expert in Indian names & has helped scores of Indian parents to shortlist suitable baby names by virtue of her years of expertise in Sanskrit origin names & logical approach towards cultures & trends during the name research. Drop a comment to get help from her.


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