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How to Introduce a Pillow to Your Toddler

Parenting can be a tricky thing, especially for first-time parents. It can also be hard to navigate the right and wrong way to parent when everyone is putting in their opinions on how you should be raising your infant. But, seriously, if wondering if your toddler should sleep with a pillow then continue reading because this article is for you.


If your infant is under the age of two, then it’s detrimental that you don’t allow them to sleep with a pillow.  The AAP is clear that your baby’s crib should be clear until after 12 months of age.

Why is this? Starting your infant with using a pillow at too early of age runs the risk of suffocation.

“Very often you hear stories about parents who put their infants down to sleep with their favorite blanket, a stuffed animal, or even a pillow, and then the infant passes away due to being suffocated. To avoid a tragedy such as this, you must keep your infant’s crib as bare as possible,” says Jenna Adams, a health writer at Draftbeyond.

Your baby will be OK with nothing in the crib.  Promise.  Don’t take a risk by adding a pillow under the age of two.

Are Pillows Really Necessary?

If you have a toddler older than 1 year old, sure – you can introduce a pillow. But to be completely honest, even older children don’t need pillows.

Too soft of a pillow can strain your child’s neck, and too thick pillows can mess with the position of your spine. But allowing your older children to sleep without a pillow gives their back a chance to extend.

However, if you feel as though your child absolutely needs a pillow, start them with a pillow once they’ve transitioned from a crib and to a bed.  

Introducing A Pillow to Your Toddler

When the time comes to introduce your infant child to a pillow, it should be a small, firm pillow.

You want to avoid pillows such as a feather pillow. This is because feather pillows are known to be soft, and can trigger allergies in your infant, causing them to smother.

Attributes of a Toddler Pillow Include:

  • Size:  Typically 14×19, not a full-size pillow you use
  • Feel:  A bit firmer (just like a crib mattress)
  • Bonus:  Organic Materials

**Check out the best selling toddler pillows on Amazon

Safety Should Be Your Main Concern

Parents know their infants better than anyone else knows them. Maybe your sister introduced her infant to pillows when they were only 2 years old. “That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to introduce your infant to a pillow at the same age.

No two children are ever the same when it comes to developing. Your main priority should be ensuring your infant is safe at all times, and if that means starting them with a pillow at the age of 5, that’s okay,” explains Darryl Casey, parenting blogger at LastMinuteWriting and Writinity.

Final Verdict

So, should you put your infant to bed with a pillow?

If your infant is finally out of their crib, and into a bed, you should be in the clear zone to put your infant down with a pillow. But remember, the pillow will need to be soft, but firm to avoid allergies and suffocation.

Trust your gut, keep your babies safe, and just enjoy the time in this moment. Don’t be so quick to rush your infants to grow so quickly, that time will be here before you know it.

Ashley Halsey is a professional writer at and who has been involved in many projects throughout the country. Mother of two children, she enjoys traveling, reading and attending business training courses.

Susie Parker

Susie Parker is founder of Sleep Baby Love and a Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant through the Family Sleep Institute. When Susie's not ridding the world of sleepless families, she loves spending time with her two girls that have given her a ton of real world sleep experience head on.

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