Babies should not use pillows. So what age can children start using a pillow? Most experts recommend that children/toddlers can safely start using pillows from the age of about 18 to 24 months, around the same age as they are ready to move from a cot into a toddler size bed.
The NHS advises ‘Don't use pillows or duvets with babies under the age of one, as they can suffocate if their face gets smothered. They won't be able to push the duvet away.’
If your child is sleeping well without a pillow, then they probably don’t need one.
Make sure the pillow is smaller than an adult size pillow - a regular pillow could strain your child’s neck and shoulders. The size that you get on an aeroplane is about right, approximately 30 x 45cm and not more than 5cm high.
A toddler pillow should be firm - If the pillow is too soft it could be a suffocation risk. Press down on the pillow, if it doesn’t regain its shape then it’s too soft and may be unsafe.
Check that the pillow is machine washable - there are bound to be numerous occasions when it’s necessary to quickly wash your child’s pillow! You don’t want to have to dry clean or replace their pillow on a regular basis!