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Snuggle up with a baby pillow

What kinds of baby pillows are available?

Baby pillows come in basic, but most often, cute colours and/or shapes or with cute imagery like animals, the moon, or other characters printed on them. They have stuffing to make them fluff up and are usually quite firm. Depending on the age (more on this below), the pillow might be intended for a toddler to sleep with or be used for another purpose.

Another kind of "baby" pillow is a pillow designed to help pregnant moms get to sleep while dealing with the discomfort of their growing belly. You can find full body pillows that curve to the body, regardless of what position mom is sleeping in. It effectively functions as three pillows in one, providing support throughout the night, no matter which way you might toss and turn.

When should you use a baby pillow?

A pillow designed for pregnancy can be used at any point during the pregnancy, and even provide comfort in the months after giving birth. A standard, small baby pillow can be used at any point after the baby is born, as long as it isn't while sleeping in a crib.

There isn't an official recommendation from the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) in terms of a specific age a child should use a pillow. But when it comes to sleeping, their safe sleep guidelines indicate that a baby should not have anything in their cribs but a tightly fitted sheet up to the age of 12 months. The reason is due to the risk of SIDs. Some medical experts even advise against using a pillow in a toddler's crib between 12-24 months due to the worry of potential suffocation. Keep in mind that babies don't need pillows to sleep anyway. But if you want one for a child to sleep with, the best time is when the toddler is about to transition to a big kid bed.

With that said, baby pillows aren't just designed to use in a crib while the baby is sleeping. They are useful for other purposes, such as taking daytime naps (with the parent present and awake), fun play, to provide back support on a glider (for the parents), or to place in the crib (when baby isn't in it) or in another area of the nursery for decorative purposes.

What should you look for in a baby pillow?

Regardless of how the pillow will be used, there are a few things you should look for when choosing a baby pillow. Find one in a fun, nursery-friendly finish and/or fun shape or with a cute design that will be appealing to the baby.

A baby pillow should be relatively small, flat, and firm to support a toddler's neck and spine should they be dozing off using one. It should be fully machine-washable so you can keep it clean and free of allergens, as well as hypoallergenic, especially for babies with sensitive skin.