The Best Pillows for Toddlers

Updated April 17, 2017

To ensure the safety of your toddler and to prevent any chance of suffocation, it is important to know the facts about sleep safety. These facts include items such as the sheets you use, the blankets and the pillows. Know when it is appropriate to begin using pillows as well as the appropriate sizes, designs and other specifications before you put your toddler to bed with the wrong pillow.

The Right Time

Pillows are not actually necessary until a child's shoulders become wider than his head. However, if you do wish to use a pillow for you toddler, it shouldn't be until he is 2 or 3 years old, and sleeping in a normal bed. Ideally, a child shouldn't require a pillow for comfort's sake until around age 5 or 6.

The Right Pillow

A toddler-specific pillow is smaller than the average adult pillow, measuring approximately 12-by-16-inches. Also, pillowcases are available for these smaller pillows. A toddler should sleep with a flat and firm pillow. As the child gets older, she can choose what type of pillow is most comfortable for her.

The Wrong Pillow

Avoid pillows that are too thick or fluffy, as it is easier for the toddler to bury his face into. Also, avoid U-shaped pillows. These are designed to help infants sit, and are not appropriate for sleeping pillows. Most important is that you don't put too many possible hazards in bed with the child. If he has a pillow, don't give him multiple blankets, lose fitting sheets or stuffed animals at the same time.

Periodic Use

Pillows can be beneficial for toddlers. For toddlers who suffer from chronic ear infections, the pillow can help ease the pain caused by laying flat. They can also soothe a toddler who wants something to "cozy" up to when she goes to bed. This can help with the transition from crib to bed; it gives her something to hold onto and feel more secure in her new surroundings.

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About the Author

Lindsey Salloway started writing professionally in 2005. She has worked for various publications including the "Calgary Sun," "Calgary Journal" and "Penticton Western News." She also completed major journalism projects for various organizations such as the Foothills Country Hospice. Salloway holds a Bachelor of Communications in journalism from Mount Royal University.