29 answers

Is it ok to put a pillow in a crib for an older baby?

Is it ever OK to put a pillow in a crib for an older baby to sleep on? My little guy was walking at 8.5 months, so he's pretty advanced physically. He's now 11 months old and can stand up, roll over, tries to climb stairs(!), and can do just about everything. My husband thinks that he might be more comfortable and sleep better with a pillow in the crib, but I'm not so sure about that, especially since he likes to sleep on his stomach. I'm against it for now, but wanted to know what other moms thought.

What can I do next?

Summary

American Academy of Pediatrics says no pillow in crib for infant, due to Sudden Infant Death, so I would avoid a pillow in a crib until they're older.

So What Happened?™

I like the idea of putting a pillow under the sheet...but...after thinking about it, our little guy has been sleeping pretty well recently, and I can tell that he'd be the type to eventually use a pillow to make a crib escape attempt, so I'm going to be conservative here and hold off on the pillow until he graduates to a big boy bed. Thanks for all of your input.

Featured Answers

I see you have tons of responses. I didn't see anyone ask how he is sleeping. If he is sleeping well I would leave well enough alone. They really don't NEED a pillow at this age. Also keep in mind that he isn't missing anything because he's never had a pillow to begin with. I would say no unless he is having issues sleeping, and even then who's to say a pillow will help?

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter co-slept with me for 7 months and was using my pillows by that age, so I assumed she would be fine with a smaller one of her own. In her bed she had a pillow at 8 months old.
I was told that if they can roll over and push up into the "crawling" position, can take blankets on and off their head, and want a small pillow, there's no problem.
Hope that helps!

I've heard not until after a year or later and at that point, it should be a toddler pillow, not adult-sized. You can get them in the bedding dept. at TRU or BRU, probably other places as well. We waited until closer to 20 months, I think...he had started to puff his blanket into a sort of pillow and try to sleep on it.

More Answers

We didnt give our sons a pillow unitl he moved into his big boy bed. He was almost 3 by the time we gave him one. I dont think they really even care. Does he sleep in the same position for the whole night? You might find out that it will end up more on the floor than staying in his crib. Hope that helps you.

1 mom found this helpful

I see you have tons of responses. I didn't see anyone ask how he is sleeping. If he is sleeping well I would leave well enough alone. They really don't NEED a pillow at this age. Also keep in mind that he isn't missing anything because he's never had a pillow to begin with. I would say no unless he is having issues sleeping, and even then who's to say a pillow will help?

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter has been sleeping with her boppy pillow. She slept in the boppy pillow to take naps when she was born until about 6 mo. Then she moved into her crib. I didn't use it at first, but then she got a cold and I wanted her head elevated. I put it in there for her, and she has used it since (she is almost 2). It is hard enough that you don't have to worry about them sinking into it, and there are no loose pieces (like a pillow case) for them to choke on. I have a boppy cover over it, and I wash it once a week. She loves it and I felt safe with it in her crib. Only you and your hubby know what is right for your child. They do make special baby pillows. If you are super worried about suffocation, I have heard of people putting the pillow under the sheet, so there is just a soft bump and the child can't get under the pillow.

Good Luck!

Hi B.,
Wow - bet you're having fun keeping up with him! I believe the American Academy of Pediatrics says no pillow. I'd follow your mama's instinct to not use one for the time being. My son didn't use one until he went into a toddler bed at about 2 -2.5 yrs. Good luck!

no absolutely not.he will use it for climbing and drs will tell you that isnt good for his spine.unless you use it for proping his spine in some way.

I put my kids in a regular bed and gave them pillows at this age. If he is climbing, it is time to get him out of the crib, before he gets himself out. It only takes one try to climb out and then fall and bust his arm. My little sister did it at about 6 months. When they are able to move if uncomfortable they are fine for blankets and pillows. The risk for SIDS is turning out to be completely different that suffocation risks. If it seems that he would like a pillow, try one, get one thats flat, his little neck is not long enough for a fluffy one yet. Everyone has us mommys so scared becuase they don't want to be sued. No blankets, no pillows, no stuffed animals, no bumpers, we're not allowed to let them sleep on their tummies; its getting ridiculous, all the "rules." If your toddler is more comfortable with a blanket and pillow, give him a blanket and pillow. I'm sorry if I seem harsh, I just hate to see the fear and guilt rule over commonsense.

I think the AAP recommends no blankets etc. until 1 year. We didn't give my son a pillow until around 2. I think at 11 months they still move around quite a bit when they sleep. I think he is probably comfortable enough without it. My daughter is 18 month and she sleeps with two blankets but no pillow. She moves around too much to even stay on a pillow. My son is now 3 1/2 and pretty much stays in one place, so he uses a pillow.

I think a pillow is completely safe! Sounds like your son is physically advanced enough to avoid suffocation. A few weeks ago I put a pillow in my daughters crib - 15 months old. She has a full sized pillow and it fills up the width of the crib. I put it in there to elevate her head when she had a cold. She's been sleeping much better since we gave her the pillow.

I was always terrified of SIDS, and I guess I'd rather be safe than sorry. My girls got pillows when they moved to a big girl bed...around 2.

My youngest (14 months old) has had a pillow in her crib for about a month. She had a cold and it helped to elevate her head so she could sleep better. My other children had a pillow in the crib starting around 12-13 months, too.

And to comment on what other people have said... SIDS has NOTHING to do with a pillow. The only thing to worry about with a pillow is suffocation - very different from SIDS - and using it to climb up and out of the crib. (none of my kids ever attempted it)

My kids were in big boy beds with blankets and pillows by 17 months. He might not be ready quite yet, but in a few months it shouldn't be a big deal.

I'd wait till he's old enough to move to a toddler bed, especially since he sleeps on his tummy. Too many risks! I'm sure he's sleeping very well and quite comfortably without a pillow at his age. Listen to your inner "mommy" voice. It was given to us for a reason, to protect our families, especially our babies.

We haven't given our daugher (14 mo.) one yet. She seems quite content to use her Eeyore doll or arms as a pillow.

In addition to worrying about the risk of SIDS, the pillow might lead to having to worry about him climbing out of his crib when he's fighting having to go to sleep.

Does your son seem uncomfortable sleeping? If he doesn't there doesn't seem a need to "fix" anything.

Many people follow the rule of thumb: "when he asks for a pillow, give him a pillow."

Being old school my children had what we called "baby" pillows in their cribs from the day they came home from the hospital. We actually bought them from the Jewel Tea man they were sample size pillows which were about 1/3 the size of a normal pillow and we made the cases for them. We never put the babies heads on the pillows until they were older or crawled up and put their heads on them by themselves. I am a stomach sleeper and use a pillow.

i am going through the same thing with my daughter who turns 2 tomorrow. she has a 3 year old brother who has a pillow in his toddler bed, but she doesnt have one yet. not sure why i havent given her one, just didnt feel right?!?! let me know what you decide and hopefully you can sway my opinion one way or the other!! i will hold off and see how the others respond. thanks!! best of luck!!

I don't think you should yet,but you could ask the doctor's office what they think.

You know what B., if he's not asking for a pillow he probably doesn't need one. So why give him one. He will ask for one eventually. Our 2 year old daughter has a pillow and baby doll with her in bed.

The other reason you may not want to put a pillow in his bed, is that he may be able to stend on it and climb or fall out of bed.

I don't know what the "rule" is for this, but I gave both my girls toddler-sized pillows when they were about one year old and had no problems. Sounds like your little guy is pretty active, so I would think he's ready to sleep safely with a pillow.

Call and ask your pediatrician what the guidelines are. I would be too worried at that age, maybe you can give him a soft blankie or something that would help. Although I also thought my girls would be more comfortable with a pillow, got pillows in their bed right after their second birthday, and I felt way more comfortable waiting.

My daughter didn't get one until she was two but we gave one to my son when he was around 13 months because he was trying to sleep with his head on his blanket every night and I was worried he would get tangled up in it if he rolled over. Its an adult sized pillow but very flat and kind of firm. He loves it and sleeps really well with it. He generally sleeps on his back though and doesn't move around much, but with a stomach sleeper, I think I'm with you, I think I would hold off for a while.

I wouldn't if he sleeps fien now leave it alone and give him apillow when he transitions to a big boy bed!

Hi B.! Ya know, I'm sure there are plenty of moms out there who would be nervous to put a pillow in the crib, but I've done it with all three of my kids. My daughter (who just turned one a couple weeks ago) has used a pillow for about six or seven months. I have a pillow case with a zipper on it (Martha Stewart from K-Mart), so she can't get tangled in it. It's been great! It's a flatter pillow, not a brand new, big, fluffy one. She sleeps on it all the time. Sometimes she's at the other end of the bed with her feet on the pillow, but she always starts out on it. At times she sleeps on her belly, but they are older and can lift up if they get their nose buried in the pillow.

Give it a shot! It's helped Kaelyn sleep! Good luck!

B.
I am a mom of 5 and none of them got a pillow until they were in a big bed. I think it's safer
M.

I don't think I gave my older 3 boys a pillow until they were in a toddler bed. My youngest son will be 2 in December and I was just thinking of maybe giving him a pillow in his crib. If I do, it will be the flattest pillow I can find. Nothing fluffy or feather stuffed.

I waited until my daughter was almost 2 to put a pillow in her crib, but wished would have done it sooner. She is sleeping so much better now, and it helps her not flop all over her crib. She is a much more stationary sleeper now. I would give it a shot, maybe for nap time, to see how he does. Goodluck!

My daughter co-slept with me for 7 months and was using my pillows by that age, so I assumed she would be fine with a smaller one of her own. In her bed she had a pillow at 8 months old.
I was told that if they can roll over and push up into the "crawling" position, can take blankets on and off their head, and want a small pillow, there's no problem.
Hope that helps!

I've heard not until after a year or later and at that point, it should be a toddler pillow, not adult-sized. You can get them in the bedding dept. at TRU or BRU, probably other places as well. We waited until closer to 20 months, I think...he had started to puff his blanket into a sort of pillow and try to sleep on it.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.