In this MomJunction article, we answer the questions about when babies can sleep with a pillow, when you can give them a blanket and place stuffed toys in their bed. Posted by Rohit Garoo. MomJunction is your friend, philosopher, and guide – all rolled into one. We are a place to stop for a while and hang out with likeminded people, a place to learn and to teach. Photo by Tara Raye on Unsplash
Can you place a pillow or blanket inside the baby’s stroller or car seat?
A baby’s bed usually consists of a soft rug or mattress within a crib. Parents wonder if they can throw a pillow, a blanket, and perhaps some cute stuffed toys in there for decorative or even practical purposes.
But does the baby need the extra bedding? Is it safe to put extra items in the baby’s bed?
When Can Babies Sleep With A Pillow?
Babies can sleep with a pillow only after they are 1.5 years or 18 months old. However, it is best to wait until they turn two years old before giving them a pillow.
Never provide a pillow for a younger baby or infant unless explicitly stated by a doctor.
When thinking about pillows, parents also wonder about using blankets or placing stuffed toys around the baby.
Can You Place Blanket And Soft Toy In The Baby’s Crib?
No. You should not place a blanket or soft toy inside the baby’s crib. The baby should sleep on a flat and bare soft mattress, without any additional items on it or in the crib.
You can introduce a blanket to the baby around the same time you introduce the pillow, which is at 1.5 or 2 years. You can even consider adding soft toys to the crib around the same time, although you may avoid it for longer.
What Are The Risks Of Placing Pillows, Blankets, And Soft Toys In An Infant’s Crib?
Pillows, blankets, and stuffed toys can pose a choking hazard to an infant. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission of the US, pillows have been linked to nearly 700 infant deaths between 1992 and 2010. Almost two-thirds of these deaths were caused by suffocation due to a pillow.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also states that pillows, blankets, and stuffed toys can increase the chances of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), where the baby dies suddenly during sleep, due to suffocation.
So, it is best to wait until your baby turns two years old when they have better motor skills and can push away a pillow that accidentally gets on their face. Older babies or toddlers can wriggle themselves out of the blanket if it makes them uncomfortable.
What If Your Baby Feels Cold And Needs A Blanket?
Experts state that if you are concerned that the baby may get cold on a chilly winter night, then dress him/her accordingly in warm clothes. Place a heater in the room, away from the baby’s crib to bring the temperature to a comfortable level. No matter what the season, your baby should not sleep with a blanket or a comforter until the age of two years.
Should You Choose A Special Pillow For The Baby?
Yes. Once your baby is old enough, buy a pillow that is specially made for their age. The same rule applies for a blanket and a comforter. A standard adult-size blanket is too large for a baby and must not be used instead of a baby-size blanket, which is made for infants of a specific age group.
Can You Place A Pillow Or Blanket Inside The Baby’s Stroller Or Car Seat?
No. There should be no pillows, blankets, or comforters in your baby’s stroller or car seat. You can place a stuffed toy dangling from a string, away from the baby’s face, if you think necessary. Pillows and blankets are choking hazards anywhere and can put your baby at risk if you do not pay attention.
Pillows, blankets, and stuffed toys are standard items in a child’s room. But they should not be a part of the infant’s bedding until they are safe for them. Buy warm clothes instead of soft toys or blankets for infants or younger babies, so that they can stay warm and safe when they sleep in the crib.