Pillow for the baby: when is it needed, what kind of pillow should you buy and how to properly care for it? Five key tips for choosing safe and comfortable pillows for spinal health and restful sleep.
First, there is a time for everything.
Russian scientists have found that 40% of young parents violate the basic rule of children’s sleep and use pillows! A pillow for a newborn and a baby is not needed, and this is the most important thing to remember. At least up to a year and a half, and preferably up to two, you need to restrain yourself and not buy pillows for your child.
Children have different body proportions than adults: the head is much larger and the neck is weaker. Supporting the neck in the form of a pillow for the baby will only hurt: the cervical region will not form properly and will bend. And in some cases, the pillow will interfere with the child’s breathing until breathing stops.
The only exception is if there are medical indications. With pathologies of the cervical region, uneven tone, the doctor may recommend a children’s orthopedic pillow in the form of a crescent or a ring. But only for fixing the head!
No matter how much you want to decorate the children’s bed with a pillow or put something soft under the delicate head (one of the parents’ fears about the fontanel is that it must be protected with pillows), postpone this purchase for up to two years in the name of the child’s health!
Choosing the first pillow for the baby: thickness
Babies have larger heads than adults, shorter necks, and narrower shoulders. Therefore, the first pillow for the baby is not the same as “adults”. It is much thinner, and rightly so.
Up to three years, the thickness of the pillow should be no more than three cm.
From three to five years — no more than five cm.
From five to seven years — up to 10 cm.
Well, if a baby up to three years old sleeps on his stomach or back, then a pillow is not needed at all.
How many pillows should there be?
There should be only one pillow in the baby’s bed — all the rest can cause breathing problems in children under three years old, and then cause pathologies of the spinal column due to improper sleeping posture.
In addition, experts advise rectangular pillows, such that only the head and not the shoulders of the child fit on them.
Study the composition
The pillow cover for the baby should be made of natural cotton, and not very dense. Choose options from coarse calico, percale, satin. It is good if the cover is treated with dust mites (this is indicated on the label).
The filler should be hypoallergenic: give up fluff and feathers (dust mites often start in them), wool up to 4–5 years (may be allergic). The best options are fillers made of silk, artificial latex, artificial fluff or materials with memory effect (from 3–4 years).
Orthopedic baby pillows (wavy or in the form of rollers) without a doctor’s prescription can only be used from the age of four. And it is better to consult a doctor before buying.
Take good care of your baby’s pillow!
Do not put the child to bed if the hair is wet after bathing — this increases the humidity of the filler, microorganisms begin to multiply in it. Dry the pillows regularly, if the child sweats often, purchase an additional replacement cover.
If the pillow began to smell, became thinner than when purchased, the color of the filler changed, black dots, lumps, bumps appeared — it needs to be replaced.
Baby pillows need to be washed or dry-cleaned at least once every two months. It is necessary to ventilate every week on a flat surface.