As your baby grows up, there will come a time when the baby will require a pillow to remain comfortable throughout the night. Toddler pillows are also known as infant pillows and have been designed to ensure that your kids have a comfortable nights’ sleep.
This comprehensive guide is geared to providing you detailed information about toddler pillows.
Why your toddler should not be given a regular pillow
If you have not heard about toddler pillows before, then you must be startled to think what’s wrong with the regular pillows for the toddlers?
A regular pillow is designed to provide support and comfort to an adult’s head and neck. A toddler has a bodily proportion that is different from that of an adult. A regular pillow tends to put that extra degree of pressure on the neck and shoulders of a toddler. If this stress continues, it could result in sleepless nights or a poor posture at worst.
Toddler pillows are designed accurately in accordance with the bodily proportions of your kids. They ensure that you get a comfortable sleep and offers ample support to the growing body of the toddler.
When to starting using the toddler pillow
There is no unanimous verdict as to when a toddler should be made to start using a toddler pillow. Most of the experts are of the view that as soon as you transfer your little baby from the crib to the bed, you should start using the pillow for your kid and that will be around 18 to 24 months of age.
The parents tend to differ in opinion in this regard. A number of parents will contest that they introduced pillows to their kids well before this age and without any negative consequences. They are of the view that babies tend to have different behaviors and developing patterns. So, there is no universal right time to introduce a toddler pillow to your baby.
We also believe that as a parent, it is your decision when you actually want to introduce a pillow to your baby. If you take a close look at your baby’s behavior, you may observe that he is ready to make that plunge to using a pillow for sleeping. Some of the clues that can be noticed for a toddler’s behavior are as follows:
- The kid is unable to sleep without the head being supported
- The toddler may go through sleepless nights due to discomfort
- The baby may start resting his head on the blanket or stuffed toy
- The child may start laying his head on the couch or in your bed
Another indicator to notice is the orientation of your baby’s shoulders since once they are wider than his head, the baby would be more comfortable while sleeping on the pillow rather than on a flat mattress.
Comfort is the ultimate goal behind giving your baby a pillow to sleep on. If your baby is sleeping without any signs of discomfort even without a pillow, you may as well wait to notice the aforementioned signs and continue with the similar sleeping routine until then.
Choosing the best pillow for your toddler
If you are looking to find the best pillow for your baby, here are a few things that you might take into consideration:
Know about your baby’s allergies
Presuming that your toddler is allergic to wool, it is obvious that you will not purchase a wool pillow for him since it is likely to exacerbate the allergy only. By being cognizant of the allergies of your bundle of joy, you can choose an appropriate pillow for your kid.
A large number of toddler pillows offer a satisfaction guarantee. While some offer a guarantee as low as three months there are other who offer a satisfaction guarantee of up to three years. A guarantee tends to vary from one manufacturer to another but generally covers torn seams, loss of shape or poor quality.
A longer guarantee probably shows the confidence in a brand’s product by its manufacturer. The top three toddler pillows mentioned below have different guarantee tenures.
Firm vs Soft
Comfort and support both have their own significance and should be given ample importance. If you press down on a pillow and it does not rebound to get back to its original shape, then it is too soft and is not safe for your baby since it can cause a suffocation risk for your baby.
On the contrary, if you press down too hard on a pillow and it does not budge, then it is too hard to provide comfort. Most of the toddler pillows are designed to offer maximum support, but the firmness factor should also be taken into account while choosing the best toddler pillow.
The outer covering of the toddler pillow is generally made up of cotton. Cotton can be regular or organic. Organic cotton is void of the toxic bleaches and dyes that are imparted during the manufacturing process. It goes without saying that your baby should not be made to sleep in these industrial materials which can be harmful to his health. Organic toddler pillows are generally marked by the manufacturer. However, if you are not able to figure out if a pillow is organic or not, then it is most appropriate to assume it to be a regular pillow.
Some of the common toddler pillow cover materials include:
- Cotton polyester blend
- Synthetic fiber
If you have ever come across purchasing new bedding, then you might also be acquainted with the terminology “thread count”. It is the number of threads per square inch of a fabric. A pillow with a higher thread count will be silkier and more long lasting. Toddler pillows with a higher thread count are less scratchy and more comfortable in contrast to pillows with a lower thread count.
Pillow fill material
It is the material that is enclosed underneath the pillow case and provides support to the kid’s head. There are numerous materials that can be stuffed in a toddler’s pillow. Some of the most commonly used material include:
- Foam or memory foam
- Synthetic fill
These pillows are used commonly since they allow for the immediate cleaning of the pillow. Ensure that the pillow fill does not create a lot of noise as it moves around in the pillow. Materials such as buckwheat and other synthetic fills tend to make a lot of noise as your kid shifts his head in the other direction. This crinkling kind of noise may wake your baby up which is certainly not what you would hope for from your toddler pillow.
If your baby is allergic from dust, dirt, microorganisms, mould etc., then hypoallergenic pillows come to your rescue since they help mitigate allergic reactions. Most of the organic toddler pillows are hypoallergenic. If your pillow is not organic, then it will be clearly marked whether it is hypoallergenic or not.
Toddlers are always ready to create a mess. The pillow is likely to get dirty because of the sticky fingers or the drool that might pour over from the toddler’s mouth while he is fast asleep at night. You are definitely going to need to get the pillow washed.
Toddler pillows come in two types in terms of being washable:
- Machine washable: You just have to throw your pillow into the washing machine and it will come out clean
- Pillow case: The pillow comes with a removable cover that protects the pillow from inside. The cover is machine washable while the inner contents of the pillow are not.
Best toddler pillows
Let us now share with you the top toddler pillows that are available on the market and what are their benefits:
Best all round toddler pillow
Supportive toddler pillow
Brand: A Little Pillow Company
- Organic cotton
- Made in USA
The reason that this pillow is placed right at the top is that it is affordable and offers numerous advantages. It is a great product that comes with excellent customer support. It is a tremendous pillow for your toddler.
If you are not impressed by the quality of a pillow, then you will definitely be attracted by the customer service of the company. The manufacturers ensure that you are satisfied with their product. If your toddler pillow is not up to your satisfaction, you can get it returned within three months along with a complete refund. It is deals such as these that make American companies great. This toddler pillow has been made in the USA.
It comes with a hypoallergenic fill that washes with great ease and is enclosed in a guaranteed organic coating cover. None of us would like our pillows to be encapsulated with chemicals. This toddler pillow has not been treated with chemicals at any stage during the manufacturing process.
This toddler pillow is thin as well as quite supportive as it allows your bundle of joy to sleep in the position he prefers be it tummy, back or side.
The pillow is easy to clean as you can throw it into your washing machine with reckless ease and a simple fluff after washing will make your pillow as good as new.
This is a pillow that will not force you to spend an arm and a leg and also guarantees the best for you. The pillow is soft, breathable and long lasting. The pillow is available at an affordable price.
According to one of the loyal customers, the customer service offered by the company is simply marvelous. She is of the view that they offer the best service in town and make the client feel valued.
Best premium toddler pillow
Organic cover toddler pillow
Brand: Calla Creative
- 3 year guarantee
- Made in USA
This is the most valued item when it comes to elite quality toddler pillows. This is one of the most expensive pillows out there but the features that it brings with it, makes it one of the best out there.
Each of the pillows manufactured by Calla Creative are handcrafted and go through a rigorous quality testing process. The company offers a three year guarantee for the pillows as they claim that the pillow will not lose bounce and will sustain rigorous washing. If you are someone who is in love with quality products that are long lasting and reliable, this is the one for you.
The pillow boasts a cotton sateen surface; thereby offering a comfortable and soft feel. Even if your toddler happens to wake up at night due to noise, the soft touch of the pillow ensures that the baby goes back into a deep and calm slumber.
However, the toddler pillow is slightly expensive and may even detract customers. If you are looking for a toddler pillow boasting similar characteristics, then the organic toddler pillow by HKH Family is an ideal choice. I have used it personally and it has given me pretty good results. It is hypoallergenic and made with cotton home grown in the US.
Most popular toddler pillow
Hypoallergenic Toddler Pillow
Brand: Little Speedy Head
- Three months guarantee
- 200 thread count
- Made in USA
The company offers a three months money back guarantee on the toddler pillow while the polyester fill in the pillow boasts a thread count of 200.
This pillow is another one of those that is made from the cotton home grown in the US and has been engineered to provide ample support to your toddler’s neck irrespective of the sleeping style.
Keep in mind that if your baby has sensitive skin, then you may have to get a pillow case for this pillow since there have been reports of a scratchy surface about this pillow.
Best medically supported toddler pillow
Chiropractor Recommended Toddler Pillow
Brand: Dreamtown Kids
- Provides prevention against neck kinks
- Pillow case included
- Made in USA
This is the only toddler pillow on our coveted list that has been made in the USA and has also been recommended by chiropractors. It comes with lesser filling as opposed to other pillows in an attempt to prevent neck kinks in toddlers.
The toddler pillow comes bundled with a free pillow case which ensures that the pillow fits snug in the case and also saves you some money up your sleeves.
The company offers a six month satisfaction guarantee for the pillow which means that if the pillow is found defective or you are not satisfied with its performance and quality, you will get a refund or replacement as per your desire.
Disadvantage: The Dreamtown Kids Toddler Pillow boasts a low thread count which implies that it is not the softest pillows you will come across.
Best Memory Foam Toddler Pillow
Memory Foam Toddler Pillow
- Protects the head
- Posture correcting
- Flat style
The filling boasted by the Clevamama Toddler Pillow is a single block of memory foam that provides ample support to your toddler’s head and also ensures conformity to shape. It offers a personalized sleeping pillow to your kid that is designed to support his sleeping posture and style.
The use of foam as the filling ingredient means that the pillow is slightly thinner in contrast to other stuffed pillows. However, it still provides ample support to the toddler’s head.
When you get it for the first time, it may give off a plastic kind of fragrance that should be aired out. There is no mention on the product about being hypoallergenic.
Cutest Toddler Pillow
Animal themed toddler pillow
Brand: Angel Dear
- Removable cover
- Machine washable
- Can be used as a toy
The final entry into our list of best toddler pillows is the Angel Dear Toddler Pillow that is available in 20 different animal styles and will definitely cheer your little one up.
Owing to its fun shape, the toddler may want to use this pillow as a toy. The pillow’s cover can also be detached with the help of a Velcro. You can get it cleaned by simply throwing it down into the washing machine.
Disadvantage: The Velcro can scratch the toddler so you have to be careful about it. Moreover, there is no mention about the product being hypoallergenic or not.
The Velcro opening did cause some trouble so you may have to sew the opening shut since it can scratch your baby’s face with ease.
Do toddler pillows need a pillow case?
It is time to discuss the pillow cases. There are numerous pillows out there that are machine washable. However, majority of parents still prefer to use pillow cases which are also known as nursery pillowcases.
Here are some of the advantages that can be reaped from a pillow case:
- Pillow cases tend to dry up faster in comparison with pillows
- A pillow with a separate pillow case means that your toddler can sleep on it immediately as he feels sleepy and will not have to wait for the pillow or pillow case to be washed
- The additional layer can serve as a barrier to odors from creeping into the pillow
- If the pillow’s surface is scratchy, you may as well use a soft touch pillow case to provide comfort and support to your toddler when he is asleep
Now that you have decided that you want to purchase a pillow case, you need to keep the following things in mind when purchasing a pillow case:
- Organic cotton
- High thread count
- Machine washable
- Nicelt fits pillow
These are pretty much the same characteristics that you would also be looking when purchasing a pillow for your toddler.
Toddler pillows are available in a wide array of sizes and shapes. So, when you purchase a pillow case, you need to ensure that it matches the shape and size of your toddler pillow. A pillow case of a size smaller than your toddler pillow will not fit on it while a larger one will flap around the sides and hence irritate your kid.
Toddler pillow case
- Premium cotton
- 400 thread count
- Can be cleaned easily
- Light in weight
- Made in USA
You need to carry out regular maintenance of your toddler pillow to ensure that it remains clean and hygienic for your kid. Here are some of the ways that you can adopt to keep the pillow clean and hygienic for the toddler:
What if the toddler pillow is too thick?
It is always frustrating to come across a toddler pillow that turns out to be too thick for your baby to sleep calmly on. If a thick toddler pillow is excessively used, it can cause neck ache in your toddler. However, this does not mean that you have to trash your thick toddler pillow. You may use the following simple tricks to render the thick toddler pillow a soft and nice pillow that offers supreme comfort to your toddler:
- With the help of a pair of small scissors, undo the stitching along the vertical side of the thick pillow
- Remove a small amount of filling in the pillow and figure out if the pillow is in accordance with your toddler’s requirement
- Remove as much stuffing as you want until you reach the required degree of thickness
- Sew the pillow from the vertical side again to start using the pillow
This is all basic stuff! If you are averse to sewing, then you can contact your local tailor to get the deed done.
Washing the toddler pillow
It is essential that you notice the label attached to a pillow closely when buying it. You should follow the inscribed instructions in order to ensure that the pillow lasts long.
Generally, the instructions are on the line of using a mild, liquid detergent in place of powder since it can leave residue on the toddler pillow and you would not like your baby to breathing in the washing powder. Run the pillow a couple of times through the rinse cycle without detergent to make sure that no residual cleaning agent is left behind.
You may use the dryer at low heat or fresh air to get the pillow dried up. If you use high heat with the dryer, it may cause the inner filling to clump up together.
When to replace your pillow
If your toddler pillow does not come with a manufacturer’s guarantee, then you will have to get it replaced before your toddler has grown too old for it.
Here are some of the indicators that you may notice to determine if it is time to get the pillow replaced:
- The stuffing clumps together
- The pillow needs to be fluffed continuously for support
- If the pillow does not return to its original shape upon folding into half, then it is the time to get it replaced
If your toddler pillow is showing any one of the above signs, then it is high time that you get it replaced. If you delay it too much then it may result in sleepless nights, neck kinks or muscle discomfort for your baby.
Parents may use toddler pillow as well
Once your toddler is too old to use the toddler pillow, you should not trash it. A toddler pillow can never be a compatible alternative to pregnancy pillows but they can be used travel pillows for adults. They can provide you a really comfortable long ride to your place of vacation.
The Bottom Line
These were some of the things that you may take into consideration when purchasing a toddler pillow for your bundle of joy. Share with us your stories in the comments section below and do not hesitate to budge us if there is a question about the toddler pillow you are using.