Do you Need a Pillow for your Crib?

There is much debate over when you should introduce a pillow to your child’s crib, or whether you shouldn’t at all.

Thankfully, there is some hard and fast advice on this, and that is basically that no, you don’t need a pillow for your child’s crib until they are around 18-24 months old, which basically falls in line with the time when they will make the transition from crib, into a full bed.

From 18 months, when you begin to introduce a pillow, you need to bear in mind that a regular pillow simply won’t do the job.



Because a regular pillow is designed with an adult in mind, and therefore it is made according to the average proportions of an adult’s head and shoulders. If you choose a regular pillow then you are not offering the correct amount of support for your child, and in the future this could result in poor posture, or poor sleeping at the very best. For this reason, you need to invest in a special toddler pillow, also known as an infant pillow.

Is 18-24 months a hard and fast rule?

Generally speaking, yes, however as a parent it is ultimately your decision as to the exact age you make the transition. Every child develops at different rates, so you need to take cues from your child as to whether they are ready for a pillow to be introduced.

A few pointers may be:

  • Inability to sleep without the head being propped up
  • Being restless at night, all down to being uncomfortable
  • You notice that they are trying to lay their head on a blanket or stuffed toy whilst lying down
  • When their shoulders are wider than their head

These are all general pointers that your child is ready for a toddler pillow to be introduced into their crib, or their bed, if you are making the full transition.

What to take into account when you purchase a toddler pillow

Obviously you need to think about any allergies your child may have, and in that case it may be a good idea to purchase a hypoallergenic material pillow. On top of this, you need to look at cost, because even though you will find some lower budget choices, it’s important to weigh up whether they are false economy or not; you need something which will last. Getting the right balance between comfort for your child, and support for their neck and head is also vitally important. Checking out reviews before you buy is always a good idea, as well as going in person to the store, rather than buying online.

This toddler pillow is a great choice.

So, in answer to the question, do you need to introduce a pillow to your child’s crib? Not until they are at least 18 months old, and after that you need to put some serious thought and testing into which infant pillow you purchase and use for the special bundle of joy in your life.

You can read more about this topic on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

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