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When Can Your Toddler Sleep With a Pillow?

by Wendy Sharp
When Can Your Toddler Sleep With a Pillow


You’ve reached the exciting stage of parenting when you can finally start thinking about potty training, introducing solid foods, and outfitting your toddler with their very own pillow.

But wait—when exactly is the right time to introduce a pillow into your toddler’s sleep routine?

Let’s take a look at the facts.

It’s generally recommended that children under two years old do not use pillows while they sleep.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies sleep on firm mattresses with no soft bedding, including pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals.

These items could potentially cause suffocation or increase the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Once your child is two or older, you can begin introducing soft bedding like small pillows into their sleep routine.

If you give in to their begging for a pillow before age two, just be sure it’s appropriately sized and made from breathable fabrics like cotton or bamboo.

Also keep in mind that kids tend to move around more as they sleep than adults do; this increased movement can actually make a pillow more dangerous for young children than for adults.

So if you are going to introduce a pillow before age two, don’t leave it tucked under their neck or head where it could easily be pushed up against their face while they move around in their sleep.

When purchasing a toddler pillow, size matters!

Generally speaking, toddler-sized pillows measure anywhere between 12-14 inches long by 8-10 inches wide—just big enough to provide comfort without being bulky enough to get in the way during movement-filled slumber sessions.

Also opt for an adjustable fill option so that you can remove some of the stuffing should your little one find it too plush and become uncomfortable throughout the night.


Ultimately, when your toddler is ready for a full-sized pillow depends on both them and you as parents.

If your child is displaying signs of interest in having one—like asking for “the big kid pillow” or trying to steal theirs siblings—you might want to consider introducing them once they turn two years old.

If you need a little help finding the perfect pillow for your toddler, we can make it easier for you!

We’ve scoured the market to compile a list of the best toddler pillows that are comfortable, supportive, and hypoallergenic.

All you have to do is click on the button below and you’ll be taken straight to our recommended picks.

Why wait? Take advantage of this helpful list today and take one more thing off your to-do list.

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