It turns out that the principles of choice are very different because children have different anatomy.
I have studied hundreds of reviews from moms and dads, consulted with professional orthopedic doctors. In the article, I will give seven key tips to help find a safe and comfortable pillow for the child to keep his sleep and spine healthy.
Don’t accustom your child to the pillow too early
Up to 1.5-2 years of age, the baby does not need a pillow: newborns have body proportions different from adults. They don’t need support for a long neck. It is more convenient and more useful for young children to sleep without a pillow.
Toddlers this sleeping accessory can seriously harm: it will prevent the cervical department from properly forming or even blocking access to oxygen if the baby likes to sleep on the stomach.
There are exceptions to the rule – special doctor’s testimony. For example, the pathology of the cervical spine, or when the baby sleeps only on one side. In this case, doctors recommend using children’s orthopedic pillows in the form of a ring. They fix the head in different positions but do not deform the skull, as the tissues and bones are still too soft.
You can just put a small roller or even a folded sheet so that the child’s head was slightly turned to the side.
It is important: in the first months of life, the baby should sleep on his side – this is the safest posture to not choke at the moment of re-ingest. To fix this position during sleep, you can put in a crib small pillows in the form of a roller.
Check the thickness of the pillow.
Children have a large head, short neck, and narrow shoulders, so the first pillow should be much thinner than their adult counterparts.
There is a simple rule: for children under 3 years to choose pillows not higher than 2-3 centimeters, children from 3 to 5 years – no higher than 5-6 cm, children of primary school age – not higher than 10 cm. If the child sleeps on the back or stomach, the pillow’s height should be less than 2-3 cm. That is the baby who likes to spread the “asterisk” until 3 years old does not need a pillow.
After buying a pillow, it is worth watching the child while sleeping. If his head slides from the pillow top mattress, you need to replace the pillow with a lower one. If the child, on the contrary, puts his hands under the head – the pillow is too low.
The width and length of the pillow have no determining value – the main thing is that it was not too large or small for the base of the cot, lay flat, and without bends. The most common sizes are 25×40 cm and 40×60 cm.
Choose a rectangular pillow.
The shape of most baby pillows is the same as that of adults – a square or a rectangle. I advise you to choose a rectangle – this will limit the child’s attempts to climb on a pillow with shoulders: they should always stay on the mattress.
There are also exotic forms of pillows like “butterfly.” It was created for fans to sleep on the stomach, who put their hand under the pillow. This form is prevalent in orthopedic products with memory foam filler – with “memory effect.” This material adjusts to the head and does not allow the hand to flow.
The pillow in the crib should be one, regardless of the age of the child. As much as I would like to make the child’s sleep even more convenient, additional pillows will only lead to discomfort, and harmful posture with the head raised too high.
Carefully examine the composition of the fabric.
The pillowcase must be made of 100% cotton. The material should pass the air so that the child does not sweat during sleep. Better than the rest in this regard, cotton fabrics are not very dense weaving: baz, percale, satin.
Some manufacturers treat the fabric of the case with a remedy against dust mites, parasites that often cause allergies. It is better not to save on this option – the treated pillow will not become a refuge of live life. Information about this is on the product label.
Choose hypoallergenic filler
The best among hypoallergenic fillers for the first pillows are considered artificial latex and silk. It is better to give up wool for up to 3-4 years, and before buying, you need to make sure that the child is not allergic to it.
A comfortable alternative to latex and wool for children over 3-4 years of age – a material with a “memory effect” that adjusts to the curves of the body, leaves no dents on the face and helps to quickly fall asleep if the child long tosses and can not find a comfortable posture.
Give up fluff and feathers.
Favorite grandmothers often offer old feather and down pillows for grandchildren and granddaughters. I advise you to refuse such gifts politely. Not even because they are too soft and inconvenient: in such a pillow, most likely, there were dust mites, insects, and various microorganisms, even if no one slept on it and it was stored in a closet. The child is not allowed to be in the neighborhood.
If parents still want a down pillow, there is an alternative – artificial swan fluff. This synthetic microfibre is popular in Europe and feels like fluff, but it does not start microorganisms. The life of the filler is many times longer than that of natural “fillings.”
Don’t forget about orthopedic pillows.
Pediatricians prohibit sleeping on orthopedic pillows for adult newborns and children under 4 years of age – this can negatively affect the health of the fragile spine and musculoskeletal system in general. The orthopedic pillow properly supports the already formed cervical department.
If the budget allows, they can be purchased by children 4-5 years old and older. Children’s orthopedic pillows are usually equipped with an “ergonomic wave.” They are designed with a child’s anatomy to keep the head in a healthy position, remove excess load from the spine and further relax the neck muscles.
Before buying any orthopedic accessory, you need to consult an orthopedic doctor – only he will be able to tell what height of rollers a particular child needs for healthy sleep.
How to properly care for a child’s pillow
You can not sleep on a damp pillow or put a child on a pillow with wet hair – in a humid environment; filler wears out faster; it multiplies microorganisms: wet pillow – the risk of hypothermia and colds.
Signs that it’s time to change the pillow:
Any bad smell that doesn’t erode;
Loss of more than 20% of the original volume and height;
The color of the fabric or filler has changed to the lumen.
“There were black dots in the pillow- perhaps insects, such as dust mites, were bred there;
The filler inside was knocked.
To wash children’s pillows or take them to dry cleaning should be more often than to adults. On average – once every 1-2 months. It is necessary at least once every 2 weeks to ventilate the pillows on a flat surface.
Pillows are needed from natural fabrics – they will improve the air exchange inside the pillow and prolong its life. I advise you to shake the baby’s pillow every morning – so it will keep the shape longer.
You can store pillows in a dry, well-ventilated place, and better – in a vacuum bag. Incorrect storage is the main reason that the pillow becomes unusable.