I am considering giving my 15 month old a pillow to sleep on

Claire - posted on 02/03/2010 ( 46 moms have responded )

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I am considering giving my 15 month old a pillow to sleep on. I am not sure if this is appropriate given her age. Anyone got some advice? She is very nasal and struggles to breathe sometimes when she is flat and I thought it might help, however she does still move about the cot a lot and I am worried about it being a suffocation hazard.

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Synamon - posted on 03/29/2011

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Hi Claire, I started off my daughter with a pillow in the bed around a year old, but I worried about the suffacation hazard as well. My fix on that is to put the pillow under the fitted sheet.Use a standard size pillow (choose a flat firm kind) and not the baby/toddler pillow,It fits the full length(side to side) of the crib and if they move around a lot they will still have the pillow under them. It will help prop their head up but with out the worry of her getting caught under-neith it. Then as they get closer to two then that can be your call if you are ready to place it freely in their crib/toddler bed. In general once a child is able to roll over from back to tummy and vice versa and lift their heads up, the risk of SIDS is reduced dramaticlly, and drop lower as they get older due to that skill. The highest risk of SIDS is when they are really young because most babies don't have the natural body relfex yet to breath through the mouth once thier nose is covered, that is one reason doctors think that SIDS happen, and they don't like a baby to sleep on their stomach because they don't have the strengh to lift their neck/head up or to the side to breath therfore that is why they suffocate. My daughter is almost 3 now and sleeps in a toddler bed (which I started around 20mos of age) and with a pillow, small balnket and a few stuffed lovies. And just a hint for when you decide to graduate your lil one to the toddler bed mine didn't have the side rails so my fix on that is to take a blanket roll it length wise and place it under the fitted sheet, it created a soft bumper to keep her contained in the bed w/o rolling out! Good luck and I hope it helped.

Brianna - posted on 02/09/2010

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Mine sleeps with a pillow. I slip it under the crib sheet, so he can't move it. He loves it and it helps with congestion.

Michelle - posted on 02/12/2010

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You have to go with your gut on this one. My 15 mo has had a pillow for quite a while now. She had terrible acid reflux and it was the only way we could get her to sleep (on her belly). With my first child, we followed all the rules, "back" to sleep, no pillows, no blankets (used sleeper sacks as long as possible), no toys in crib, etc. With this one, the doctor actually told us to stop using sleeper sacks around 4-5 months old because it restricted her movement and she couldn't get the gas out. When my older child was a baby, if you had told me that I'd put a baby to sleep on her tummy and on a pillow, I would have thought you were crazy. But every child is different. At this age, babies are capable of moving about, so I wouldn't be too worried about suffocation. If you do decide to try a pillow, I would recommend one that is not too plush and one that fits the entire width of the crib so that she won't fall between the edge of the pillow and the crib rail. One other idea -- you could raise the head of her mattress a bit to see if that is helpful. We used to do that with our older one when she had a cold. Good luck.

Joanne - posted on 02/10/2010

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Hi,
Have you tried a wedge? My little one had terrible reflux & hated lying flat so we placed a wedge under her mattress to raise it up a bit & this really helped. You can buy wedges in baby shops or try rolled up towels. This way at least you will be able to rest assured that she won't suffercate herself.
Also,for my older one ,who for some reason just wanted a pillow,I put two cloth nappies into a pillow slip so it looked like a really flat plilow & this did the trick for her.
Hope this all helps & good luck :)

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46 Comments

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Jenni - posted on 02/26/2010

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I gave my daughter a pillow at 13 months. She loves it and bed time has become very easy. She has a lot of head colds and it has helped her to sleep.

Michelle - posted on 02/24/2010

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my daughter has her own pillows she is 15 months old and in a toddler bed. i went to kmart and brought her a toddler pillow, they are only half the size of a adult pillow and now she carnt sleep with out it

Kirsten - posted on 02/13/2010

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She should be stronge enough now to life her head if anything happens.
she might sleep a little better if she is on a pillow.
just start off with a small one.

[deleted account]

My daughter has had a pillow for about 2 months now. It definitely has helped her when she has had a cold. Just make sure it's not too soft and you should be fine!

Laurie - posted on 02/11/2010

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my son sleeps on a pretty flat adult pillow. he just loves it, snuggles right down and sleeps on it all night.

Renee - posted on 02/10/2010

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maybe raise one end of the mattress, my15 month old has had a pillow since 9 months as he was used to sleeping with us when he got sick. iput a baby pillow at the top of the cot and a flat adult one below that one sothe pillows won''t move, he loves it and he also moves around all night. whatever u feel comfortable with

Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2010

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My husband has made it a tradition to give the kids a pillow on their first bithday. We haven't had any problems.

Sue - posted on 02/10/2010

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my littleone has had a pillow in his cot since he was 13mths old they can have one from 12 mths, ive found that he sleeps a lot better and longer since hes had the pillow

Breanne - posted on 02/10/2010

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I've used a pillow with my son since probably 10 months old. He hates sleeping fully on his back and likes being elevated. Mind you I co-sleep and can monitor himand mke sure he doesn't cover his face, but at 15 mnts they can uncover themselves .

Amy - posted on 02/10/2010

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My son is 15 and a half months. Both of my boys (I also have a 3 yr old) are stomach sleepers and dont really take well to pillows. I fold up a nice soft blanket and put it at the head of the bed/crib and that seems to work well for them. Just a suggestion if you dont think your daughter is ready for a pillow.

Diane - posted on 02/10/2010

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My mother bought our 16 month old son the Pet Pillow for Christmas and he loves it ;) I think it's about the right age.

Melanie - posted on 02/10/2010

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i have given tatum a pillow from bout 6 months...... yu do get the pillows with the holes in for breathing!!!

Liz - posted on 02/09/2010

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Claire, my daughter who is also fifteen months old has been sleeping on her pillow since about 8 months old before that it was her boppy due to her congestions. She was premie so shes always had issues with her breathing, and she loves it. She wiggles around SOOO much though that when i go check on her her feet are on the pillow haha so i think its safe. Babies can roll over now, so i think thats the biggest issue when they are little since they cant roll over

Briana - posted on 02/09/2010

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I have a memory foam wedge I slide under the crib mattress to ease breathing and do an incline. I made him a little tiny almost flat pillow to sleep/snuggle with at night...

Kara - posted on 02/09/2010

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Both my kids slept on a small travel pillow at about 12 months. My cousin made them each one for their first b-days by tying fleece (like a tie blanket) around a small firm travel pillow. We didn't give our daughter a full bed-size pillow until recently (she's 3) and she moved to a twin bed because they are just too big for a crib or toddler bed.

Amanda - posted on 02/09/2010

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My 16 month old has had a pillow since she was 10 months. She has bad allergies and gets very congested. She slept in her swing until then cuz i was affraid of givving her a pillow. But she is fine and now that is the only was she will sleep. Every baby is different. If you feel your child would benefit from a pillow then I would listen to your instincts. I know it helped my daughter alot! Poor thing would get so congested when she laid flat on the floor to the point she couldnt breath through her nose! :(

Kimberly - posted on 02/09/2010

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if they can get onto their stomachs, they can change position just fine and suffocation shouldn't be a concern. my son loves sleeping with his pillow because this was the only way i could transition him back into his crib because "mommy sleeps with a pillow" ... if it wprries you just go in and check on your child while they are sleeping. eventually you ill both adjust.

Amber - posted on 02/09/2010

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my daughter is 16 months and she prefers to not sleep with a pillow. When she is sick ,like she is now, i do prop her up on a pillow to help her breathe better and i think that it helps her. During the night she does roll off of it though. I think its ok for a 15 month old to sleep with a pillow because they have more control over their necks allowing them to turn the faces away from the pillows than they do when they are littler.

[deleted account]

I put a pillow in my son's crib last week when he was sick and he LOVES it. No issues over here...he doesn't bury his face in it or anything.

User - posted on 02/09/2010

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hi ther i just got my little boy a pillow and he loves it he moves about in his cot alot but now he just sleeps at the top cuddled ip to his pillow he loves it xxxxx

Tabatha - posted on 02/08/2010

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My daughter sleeps on a boppy also. She will not fall asleep without it. I think the big thing about no pillow is if your child could not reposition themself if their nose/mouth were in the pillow and could not breath. At this age most can.

Vanessa - posted on 02/08/2010

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I'd say that a firm pillow would be okay. However, if you still worry about it being a suffocation hazard I'd read that placing books or a folded blanket under the mattress is a good alternative because it doesn't create that much of an incline but still works (I've done both). Works just as well, although my son is such a wild sleeper he winds up at the other end of bed anyway.

User - posted on 02/08/2010

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my daughter has had a pillow (along with other things) in her crib every night since before she was one. she does fine with it. @ 15 months, it's probably okay, but if you are nervous, talk to you doctor or just don't do it.

[deleted account]

My daughter has a very bad cold at the moment and so I gave her a pillow. I put her head and shoulders on it. It does help with breathing. She doesn't stay on it all night, but it hasn't caused ny problems.

Best wishes!

Brenda - posted on 02/07/2010

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My son has slept with a pillow from 4 months it helped him to stay in one spot and didn't move around much. He won't sleep without it now at 15 months. He also breathes alot easier with his head lifted alittle and snuggles by putting either arms around the pillow for comfort!

Marvella - posted on 02/07/2010

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I got my pillows from target...I forget the brand but they are the extra firm...I had them for two months and thats what my son is sleeping on!!

Christine - posted on 02/07/2010

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I was looking up info on this but couldn't find any! My son sleeps on his stuffed animals in his crib every night so I figured a pillow would be okay. What kind of pillow does everyone use? I tried to find little ones but can't find them anywhere. HELP!

Marvella - posted on 02/07/2010

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Yes give her the pillow...my son had breathing issues too until my grandma told me to give him a pillow to sleep on...it was one of my pillows that was already broken into so its not too thick and high its perfect!!

Rashida - posted on 02/06/2010

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my daughter is 15 months n she sleep on a pillow since she was about 9 months she sleep better with the pillow it depends on the child i think.

Cierra - posted on 02/06/2010

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my kids have slept on these big pillow sized stuffed animals since they were born pretty much because of chronic congestion. if you're worried, talk to you pediatrician about it but i think most kids can safely sleep on a pillow at 15 months...

Yvonne - posted on 02/06/2010

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My 16 month old daughter sleeps with a pillow & the bed raised as she suffered with reflux when younger & is always very sniffly, so being slightly raised helps her breathe easier at night. We use an all-in-one duvet / pillowcase / cot sheet set made by Grobag - its quite expensive for what it is unfortunately - but it means she cant move the pillow or get underneath it. The pillow she has is very thin & light anyway, so even if it wasnt fixed in place, I doubt she'd suffocate as she's old enough & active enough to move it herself.

Katie - posted on 02/05/2010

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When my daughter was sick and having nasal problems I stuck a flat pillow under her mattress so it had the same effect without the issue of the pillow itself.

Christina - posted on 02/05/2010

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My daughter falls asleep on a small, soft, pink, overstuffed throw pillow. I didn't want to put a whole fluffy pillow in the crib because of the suffocation hazard but I deemed this small baby sized throw safe. I cheat and put my daughter in bed w/ me sometimes so I know she understands about pillows so for me it's no big deal. I'd say trust your instincts maybe finding the right pillow will make the difference.

Helen - posted on 02/05/2010

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I understand the concern, doctors always say never do it. But my daughter, having been born 3 months, when she was able to sleep in her own crib her bed was at an incline and when she finally came home she couldnt sleep flat on her bed without having problems. so we padded the bed with blanket and layed a pillow in there to give her that same incline she had in the hospital. Now she absolutely loves her pillow. Its just a flat pillow but now at 15 months of age, she moves around her crib so much at night, she rarely stays on the pillow. so its just one of those things, if you know how your child sleeps and maybe the first couple nights, get up a few times and just check to see if everythings ok and being the parent, you are more than capable of deciding what you think would be nice for your child. Good luck!

Birgit - posted on 02/05/2010

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If you are worried about a pillow, they do sell inclines for sleeping at Babies R Us. They are positioners that you put under your child so they sleep on an incline but you don't have to worry about the suffocation hazard. I would be worried about putting my son on a pillow. I don't know though. The inclines are a foam material and covered in fabric. If you have seen those positioners they sell in the stores to prevent babies from rolling, well they are of a similar makeup. Babies R Us by the baby monitors.

Kym - posted on 02/05/2010

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Alex had bad reflux when he was younger he has been sleeping with a pillow since 6months and we have had no problems a friend of mine placed her daughters pillow under the bottom sheet. good luck

Shirita - posted on 02/04/2010

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Its ok to let your toddler sleep on a pillow all my kids been sleeping on pillows since about 6 months old!!! It all depends on your child

Mag - posted on 02/04/2010

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my 15mth old born the same day has had a pillow since 7mths as he has severe reflux and tummy troubles he never sleeps more than 2 hours straight..the upright position has helped tremendously and was recommended by peadiatrician and his speech therapist..good luck with what ever u decide claire...::)

Claire - posted on 02/03/2010

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Our kids have both slept on pillows for quite a while. I think my 2 year old girl was about 9 months (she could walk already) when she got her pillow. Our 15 month old son has had a pillow almost since birth because of GURD. If you're concerned, get one of those more structured foam pillows that will let her rest her head, but it won't shape to her face if she rolls under it.

Krystal - posted on 02/03/2010

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My son has slept on a Boppy pillow since he was born. He would fall asleep while nursing and now this is the only way he will sleep. It is not recommended that you use a pillow, but at 15 months they are not very likely to suffocate on it, as they can roll over.

Melissa - posted on 02/03/2010

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I would check with your pediatrician. I have also considered it as well especially during a cold but didn't do it because it made me too nervous. Maybe try to elevate her crib mattress a little bit. I tried this but it didn't work out for us because they are so active before they fall asleep that they would never stay in the position i laid them down in. I was thinking of putting a really firm pillow under their crib sheet so it wouldn't move around. still no garantee that they won't end up somewhere else. Good luck

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