Skip to content

Understanding Why Your Baby Likes to Sleep on a Pillow

It’s a common sight to see adults using pillows for sleep comfort. But what happens when your baby shows the same preference? Is it safe? This article will explore the reasons behind why your baby likes to sleep on a pillow, and provide safe alternatives to ensure your baby’s sleep safety.

Why Does My Baby Like To Sleep On A Pillow?

The answer could be as simple as your baby finding it comfortable. They may enjoy the softness or like how it elevates their head. However, it’s important to know that pillows aren’t safe for babies under 12 months due to the risk of suffocation.

When Can Babies Safely Use a Pillow?

Medical professionals typically recommend introducing a pillow when your baby transitions to a toddler bed, usually around 18 months to 2 years old. Until then, the mattress surface should suffice for your baby’s comfort and safety.

Safe Alternatives to Pillows for Babies

If your baby seems to want a pillow, there are other safe methods to provide comfort. Swaddling, for example, can help newborns feel secure and cozy. A well-fitted baby sleeping bag is another safe alternative that can keep your baby comfortable without the need for extra loose bedding.

What To Do If Your Baby Insists on a Pillow

If your baby is below the recommended age and insists on using a pillow, consult with a healthcare provider for advice. In the meantime, continue to prioritize safe sleep practices.

Is it Safe for a Baby to Sleep on a Pillow?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s generally not safe for infants under 12 months to sleep on a pillow due to the risk of suffocation. So, the answer to “can babies sleep on Boppy pillows?” is also a resounding no. Boppy pillows, while excellent for nursing or tummy time, are not designed for infant sleep.

Preventing Flat Head and Positioning During Sleep

Many parents wonder about the use of pillows to prevent flat head (plagiocephaly). However, the safest way to prevent flat head syndrome is to provide plenty of supervised tummy time when your baby is awake and limit the amount of time your baby spends in carriers, bouncers, or swings. Special flat head pillows should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

Positioning Your Baby for Sleep

The safest position for a baby to sleep is on their back on a firm, flat surface. Babies should not sleep in an inclined position or with their chin to chest as this can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Introducing a Pillow to Your Baby

Pillows can be introduced when the child transitions to a toddler bed, typically around the age of 2. It’s essential to ensure that the pillow is firm and small to avoid any risks. However, the age may vary, and it is always best to consult with your child’s healthcare provider.

Are Flat Head Pillows Safe for Babies?

Flat head pillows are marketed as a tool to help prevent or correct flat head syndrome in infants. However, any additional items in the crib, including these pillows, can pose a risk of suffocation for babies. Always consult a healthcare provider before using such items.

When Can Babies Have Blankets and Pillows?

As your baby grows into a toddler, around the age of 1 to 2 years old, you might start to introduce pillows and blankets. Remember, these items should be introduced gradually and under constant supervision to ensure your toddler’s safety.

How Can Help?

At, we know that baby sleep habits can be puzzling. Our range of resources and expert advice can help make sense of it all, providing you with effective solutions and peace of mind. Whether your baby prefers to sleep on a pillow, or has other unique sleep preferences, can guide you with tailored, professional advice. Join our community today and help your little one sleep safe and sound.


Your baby liking to sleep on a pillow can cause concern due to safety risks. While it’s crucial to follow recommended guidelines, remember that each baby is unique. If you’re unsure, seek advice from healthcare professionals, and look towards safe, age-appropriate alternatives. And remember, is always here to help you navigate your baby’s sleep journey.