The Conssumer Product Safety Commission recommends waiting to introduce pillows to your little one’s sleep routine until they reach 1 1/2 years old (18 months).
This recommendation is based on what experts know about sudden infant death syndrome and its cousin, sudden unexplained death in childhood (SUDC).
SIDS is generally used for babies up to 12 months, and SUDC is used for toddlers older than 1 year of age. SIDS is a lot more common trusted source than SUDC.
Although the risk of sudden unexplained death drops dramatically once your baby turns 1 year old, it’s still a concern in terms of what you place in the crib for a little while longer. Toddlers up to 1 1/2 years old (or even older — not all kids develop at the same rate) may still become overwhelmed by objects in their crib and face suffocation.
So while a pillow is safe and comfortable for you, this isn’t the case for babies and young toddlers. The recommended age for toddler pillow introduction is around the same time children can move from sleeping in a crib to sleeping in a toddler bed with a safety rail — or even a mattress placed on the floor — but consult your pediatrician about your child’s specific readiness.
Testing and observation are essential for you to figure out the optimal time to give your child a toddler pillow during sleep. There’s a big difference between your toddler using a pillow as a headrest and your toddler squeezing it close to their little face or positioning themselves underneath it while sleeping.