As your toddler transitions from their cot to a bed, it may be time for their very first pillow. The exact time a pillow should be introduced will most likely vary between toddlers and should be decided at the parents' discretion. Your toddler will not be used to sleeping on a pillow, so it is important to make the correct choice so that they are as safe and comfortable as possible.
Like with adults, the right pillow can make a considerable difference in your toddler's sleep quality and quantity. There are several factors to consider when choosing the right pillow for your toddler, including, amongst others, the material quality, type of filling, firmness, and size.
(Important Facts, Studies, Advice, Considerations & FAQs In Conclusion)
|TODDLERS PILLOW||SIZE||SUGGESTED AGE USE||TRIAL & WARRANTY||PRICE|
|Keababies Ball Fiber||46cm x 33cm||2-5 Years||NA Nights|
|ClevaMama ClevaFoam||50cm x 30cm x 5.5cm||1-3 Years||NA Nights|
|Celeep Microfiber||44cm x 32cm x 9cm||NA||NA Nights|
|Panda Memory Foam||45cm x 25cm x 3cm||NA||30 Nights|
|Vitapur Microfiber||60cm x 40cm x 12cm||1+ Years||30 Nights|
|Silentnight Hollow fibre||57cm x 35cm||1+ Years||NA Nights|
1. Keababies Toddler Pillow
|• 100% natural cotton |
• GOTS certified
|• Toddlers with allergies|
• Those seeking an ergonomic design
• Ages 2-5 years
The Keababies Toddler Pillow is suitable for toddlers aged 2-5 years old and is ergonomically designed for the best comfort and optimal spinal support. This pillow measures 13 by 18 inches (33cm x 46cm). The softness and height are suitable for all types of sleepers, and it is made with 100% cotton and a soft and plushy ball fibre filling. This hypoallergenic pillow and cover are machine-washable. Manufacturers recommend air drying to keep it fluffy.
This KeaDreams pillow is also GOTS certified, meaning it uses organic materials while maintaining ecological and social standards. It is available in a variety of different prints and is a good size for travelling. Customers generally rate this product very highly, although some noted it was a little thicker than they had expected.
2. ClevaMama Toddler Pillow
|• Clevafoam filling|
• AirFlow technology
• Machine-washable cover
|• Ages 1-3 years|
• Those concerned about flat head syndrome
• Toddlers who sleep hot
The ClevaMama Toddler Pillow is suitable for toddlers up to 3-years old and measures 30cm x 50cm x 5.5cm. This pillow is uniquely designed with Clevafoam - consisting of an open cell structure and ventilation holes that facilitates breathability. In addition, the cover is made of AirFlow technology which further increases airflow and draws moisture away from your sleeping toddler. The foam has been engineered to keep the head and spine in optimal alignment and reduce flat head syndrome. The pillow has also been shown to relieve pressure from your toddler's head by 50% and increase support by 80%.
In addition, the foam is hypoallergenic, pH balanced and toxin and formaldehyde-free. The cover is easy to remove and machine-washable. This product comes highly rated by customers - worth mentioning, however, that this pillow comes delivered in a cardboard box without a plastic cover. The manufacturers have stated that their pillows are packed protectively in bulk and only taken out when ordered as they are trying to reduce their plastic usage.
3. Celeep Baby Toddler Pillow Set
|• 100% soft cotton cover|
• 7D Hollow Siliconized Microfibre filling
|• Kids, toddlers, and newborns|
• Those seeking a set of 2
• People wanting an affordable deal
The Celeep Baby Toddler Pillow set consists of 2 "chiropractor recommended" safe and cosy pillows. They are made of 100% soft cotton cover, with a 7D Hollow Siliconized Microfiber filling, which the manufacturers describe as being just the right amount of filling to cradle the head and neck correctly.
These Celeep pillows measure 13 by 18 inches (33cm x 46cm), and manufacturers describe them as suitable for newborns, toddlers, and kids. They are machine-washable on a cold cycle and gentle tumble dry. Customers seem mostly happy with their purchases, some comment that they are a good size for travelling.
4. Panda Toddler Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow
|• Bamboo fibre cover|
• 3rd generation memory foam
• Contour-curve design
|• Eco-conscious individuals|
• Allergy sufferers
• Those seeking a trial and guarantee
The Panda Toddler Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow features a contour-curve design that ensures that pressure is spread evenly across the back of your toddler's head for maximum comfort and a 3rd generation memory foam to support the neck and spine. In addition, the foam helps to spread pressure across the head and can help prevent flat head syndrome.
The removable cover is composed of 40% bamboo fibre and 60% polyester, with a toddler-friendly zip. It is soft, breathable, naturally antibacterial, and hypoallergenic. In addition, there is a strong and breathable mesh fabric around the memory foam to ensure that it stays intact, also protecting against dust and dirt.
This pillow measures 25cm x 45cm x 3cm and has a medium-firm feel. This Panda Toddler Memory Foam pillow promises to be eco and socially friendly and manufacturers offer customers a 30-night trial as well as a 10-year guarantee.
5. Vitapur Adjustable Toddler Pillow
|• Cotton and bamboo cover|
• OEKO-TEX certified
• 2-year warranty
|• Toddlers over 12 months|
• Those seeking adjustable height
• People who prefer a sleep trial
The Vitapur Toddler Pillow measures 40cm x 60cm x 12cm and is suitable for toddlers over 12 months old. The cover is made of hypoallergenic unbleached cotton and bamboo fibres, and there is a microfibre filling. The entire pillow can be washed and the cover removed if need be.
Height and firmness can be easily adjusted by adding or removing filling through the side zipper, which may be useful as your toddler grows and their needs change. In addition, it comes in a practical and reusable transport bag and is OEKO-TEX certified against harmful substances.
The manufacturers offer a 30-night sleep trial and a 2-year warranty on this product. Reviews are generally very good for this pillow, and customers comment on its comfort and softness. It's worth mentioning that some customers find it's a bit big for a young toddler.
6. Silentnight Safe Nights Cot Bed Pillow
|• Antibacterial hollow fibre|
• OEK-TEX certified
• Machine-washable cover
|• Toddlers over 12 months|
• Individuals on a tight budget
• Those who prefer to buy British
The Silentnight Safe Nights Anti-Allergy Cot Bed Pillow measures 57cm x 35cm and is a good budget-buy if your toddler is aged 12 months and older.
The cover is made of breathable poly-cotton (20% cotton 80% polyester) and is machine-washable. Silentnight note that the cover is standard sized at the usual cot bed pillow size of 60cm x 40cm. This pillow is filled with soft, antibacterial, anti-allergy hollow fibre.The Silentnight Safe Cot Bed Pillow has been produced in OEKO-TEX certified factories, meaning their product is free from harmful chemicals. In addition, manufacturers note that it is designed to retain its shape for up to 50 washes.
This brand is made in the UK and offers a 2-year warranty. Customer reviews are mostly positive, with customers commenting on the softness of the pillow.
Toddler's Pillow: When You Should Get One
There are many safety precautions one needs to take when you have a baby sleeping in a crib. Sudden infant death syndrome✓ (SIDS) has been shown✓ to claim the lives of 196 babies every year in the UK; however, removing toys, pillows, and blankets can significantly reduce this risk✓.
A child’s needs will change as they grow older, and when your toddler moves out of their cot to a bed, they can safely use pillows and other bedding. This being said, a toddler’s needs may vary, and ultimately it is up to the parent to decide the best time to introduce a pillow into their sleep setup. The correct time for one toddler may not be the correct time for another.
If your toddler is battling to get comfortable in their bed, complain of any pain in the morning, or are frequently sleeping with their head on a rolled-up blanket or stuffed animals, these may be signs that it may be time for the introduction of a pillow.
Good to note!
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend✓ letting a toddler under the age of 2 years use a pillow.
Toddler’s Pillow Considerations
A toddler’s pillow will be your child’s very first pillow, so, understandably, you want to be extra careful about making the right decision. The pillow should have just the right amount of fill so that the head, neck and spine are at an optimal angle. In addition, material quality, type of filling, firmness, and size are important factors to consider when making your decision.
- Materials: A toddler’s skin is more sensitive and may be more prone to itchiness and allergic reactions✓. Therefore, parents often look for a hypoallergenic pillow to minimise the amount of dust, bacteria or mould that could accumulate in the pillow over time. Bamboo pillows and wool pillows might be good options as they are known for their hypoallergenic and antibacterial qualities.
- Filling: The quantity of filling is important because you want to ensure that your toddler's head and neck are correctly aligned with the spine. A pillow that is either too high or too low will result in incorrect alignment and possible neck strain. The type and quality of filling are equally as important, and options range from natural materials like cotton and fibre to synthetic, like memory foam and hollow fibre. Many fillings like buckwheat or hemp may seem good eco-friendly options, but for toddlers, perhaps not due to the potential choking hazard if the pillow tears. Goose down and other natural feather pillows are possible allergy triggers, so it might be best to avoid them at this early stage. The filling is also important as it will determine if and how easily the pillow can be washed.
- Certifications: Material safety is a big concern when it comes to toddlers as they are more vulnerable to certain toxins, and it is for this reason that parents often choose organic materials. Certifications like CertiPUR and OEKO-TEX ensure that the pillow material and fill are free of certain potentially harmful chemicals, heavy metals, and other substances. In addition, a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification ensures that certain environmental as well as social criteria have been met along the entire supply chain.
Interesting to know...
The recommended amount of sleep✓ a child should get between 1 and 2-years old is 11-14 hours, and a child between 3 and 5-years-old is 1-13 hours.
- Firmness: The amount of support of your toddler’s pillow will be determined by firmness. It’s good to bear in mind that your toddler is not used to much cushioning as they have previously only slept on a flat surface. One that is too firm may force the neck and head upwards, and one that is too soft may not offer enough support for a growing head and spine. A slightly firmer pillow that retains its shape and loft (height) is usually more suitable for toddlers.
- Size: Toddler’s pillows are smaller in size compared to adult standard-sized pillows. On average, most toddler pillows are between 30cm x 45cm (13 by 18 inches). A pillow that is too large may be dangerous and lead to them getting stuck or even suffocation. Smaller pillows also make them more space-efficient for smaller beds and travel-friendly.
- Adjustability: Your toddlers' needs and preferences will change as they grow, and a pillow with an adjustable loft may come in handy. Some pillows are designed with a zipper so that you can add or remove filling to their desired height. This may be very advantageous as your toddler grows and will inevitably require some additional comfort and support.
- Care: A pillow that can be easily washed or has a removable cover that can be washed is a huge bonus for busy parents. Always be sure to check the washing instructions to maximise your pillow's lifespan.
- Price: As with most bedding, the price will reflect the quality of materials used and the construction. Pillows composed of organic materials are sometimes more expensive than their synthetic counterparts. The cheaper options may also sometimes have a shorter lifespan than the more expensive ones. However, it’s worth mentioning that a toddler’s pillow will only be used for a limited time, which may guide you in your decision as to how much you want to spend.
Preparing Your Toddler For Their “Big Bed”
A browse online will give you a plethora of information, tips, and advice on getting your toddler ready to sleep in their own bed. It’s, of course, a big step - for them and you. And, like so much else, what works for one child may very well not work for another. Nevertheless, we came across a few, perhaps and hopefully, less obvious tips that may help you out.
Nightlights can be a source of comfort for toddlers in their new beds and useful for parents to check on them without turning on a bright light in the room. If you choose to have a nightlight, it’s best to use a red, pink, or amber light as they have the least amount of blue. Blue, green, or white lights should be avoided. Light✓ is one of the most critical factors for regulating our circadian rhythms✓. Blue light suppresses the release of melatonin✓ (the "sleep hormone") which helps prepare our body for sleep. Exposure to blue light may not be a problem during the day, but at night may make it difficult to sleep.
As much as you’d like to be constantly peeking into your toddler’s room, it may be a good idea just to let them be. Exploring their new space and freedom is necessary, and they should be left to figure things out on their own a bit. This is, of course, only advisable if the room has been child-proofed. In addition, a video monitor of some kind is a great idea - your eyes in the room without any interference, unless need be. The chances are they will miss out on a bit of sleep, but they will sleep eventually. It could be well worth your patience.
It’s not unusual hearing how parents dread bedtime for their stubborn 2-year old. The separation anxiety and fear of missing out, amongst other things, can result in stalling techniques and endless struggle before bedtime. It’s often suggested that giving them control over a few small decisions like what pyjamas they want to wear or what book they’d like to read could minimise and distract from these power struggles, and lead to a less stressful bedtime.
Good Food Choices
The amino acid called tryptophan plays a role in creating the neurotransmitter, serotonin. And, serotonin, in turn, helps facilitate the production of melatonin✓ (mentioned above). Therefore, including tryptophan-rich foods✓ into your toddlers' last meal of the day may promote peaceful sleep. Good sources of tryptophan include nuts, poultry (especially turkey and chicken), fish (cod, tuna, mackerel, and salmon), bananas, dairy products, green leafy vegetables, kidney beans, tuna, seeds, oats, and eggs. Combining these foods with carbohydrates has been shown to boost the effects of tryptophan✓.
Frequently Asked Questions
When to give a toddler a pillow?
If your toddler is battling to get comfortable in their bed, complain of any pain in the morning, or are frequently sleeping with their head on a rolled-up blanket or stuffed animals, it may be time for the introduction of a pillow.
What age can a toddler use a pillow?
When your toddler moves out of their cot to a bed, they can safely use pillows and other bedding; however, there is no exact age or time when they should start using a pillow, and it can vary between toddlers.
Where to buy toddler pillows?
Toddler pillows are widely available, and many major brands have their products listed on Amazon.