Should infants be placed on a pillow, and does it help them sleep?

Should infants be placed on a pillow, and does it help them sleep?

The sleep needs of infants vary depending on their age. Newborns typically sleep a lot, but each sleep period is very short. As babies grow a little older, their total sleep time gradually decreases, but the length of nighttime sleep increases. Below, AVA will provide you with reasons whether or not to place infants on a pillow.

Risk of suffocation in infants:

If you are first-time parents and are wondering whether you should place your newborn on a pillow, the answer is no, as any type of pillow can pose a risk of suffocation in infants. Infants cannot control their neck and head movements in the first few months after birth.


In cases where the baby’s nose or mouth can be covered by the pillow, the baby will not be able to move their head. An infant’s head is relatively light, so it can sink into a soft pillow, which can lead to a high risk of suffocation. Additionally, when the baby lies tilted or facedown, they might accidentally press their face into the pillow.

High risk of sudden infant death:

Placing infants on a pillow increases the risk of sudden infant death. If the pillow is filled with small beads or foam, it can become loose, leading to the baby suffocating.

Increased body temperature in infants:

Most infant pillows have pillowcases made of polyester or non-cotton fabric, which can increase heat under the baby’s head and cause fluctuations in body temperature. Excessive sweating can lead to an increase in body temperature, posing a threat to the baby’s life.


Flat head syndrome:

Most pillows designed for infants are soft and not flat. This can cause the baby’s neck to become strained when they sleep for extended periods.

Increased risk of flat head syndrome:

Lying on a soft pillow for extended periods can increase the risk of flat head syndrome because this position puts prolonged pressure on one point, creating a flat spot on the baby’s skull.


Through the above-mentioned hazards shared by AVA, you probably have an answer to the question of whether infants should be placed on a pillow or not. Mothers should also avoid using oversized blankets or pillows. The ideal way to help babies sleep well is to place them on their back without using a pillow.

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