Some time ago, I took a baby of more than 2 months back to my hometown to visit my grandparents. The baby fell asleep on the road, and when he got home, he put the baby on the bed far away, and was going to the kitchen to help grandma prepare lunch. As soon as she was about to go out, grandma came in. Before she could speak from afar, grandma hurriedly took the pillow away from the baby. Far away was puzzled. Just about to ask grandma what happened, she heard her say “The baby is too young to use a pillow.” Far away didn’t understand it, but didn’t ask much. When I got home, I sent me a message asking if the baby could use a pillow.
Before answering this question, I think I should explain to moms and dads why we use pillows.
Speaking of this, the answer of many people may be: It is comfortable with pillows!
Yes, we really feel comfortable sleeping on pillows. But why is it comfortable? In fact, it is because of the cervical spine. The curvature of the cervical spine of a normal adult is convex forward. After lying down, there is a space between the cervical spine and the bed surface. When we are resting on the pillow, the soft pillow just fills up this space, thus maintaining the normal physiological curvature of our cervical spine and relaxing the neck and back muscles, so we feel comfortable.
But the baby is completely different from us. Affected by the posture of the fetus in the womb, the entire spine of the baby is bent in a C shape after birth. Therefore, it is very uncomfortable for the cervical spine of this shape to rest on the pillow.
So, how old is the baby before he can use the pillow?
There are many disputes on this issue. The American Academy of Pediatrics pointed out in 2016 that it is recommended to use pillows after the baby is one year old. And some pediatric experts believe that you should wait until your baby is 2 years old before using pillows.
Therefore, I have summarized what is acceptable for babies of different ages, and the different heights of pillows. You may wish to take a look.
It is not difficult to see from the table that although babies under one year old can use pillows, the acceptable height is so small that they can be ignored. Therefore, parents are advised not to use pillows for babies.
Newborn babies have nearly 20 hours of sleep a day, so the requirements for pillows are also high. If the pillow is not selected well, it will cause the following 5 kinds of dangers:
- Too high a pillow will damage the baby’s head, cause the head and neck to bend, not only affect breathing, but also affect blood circulation in the neck, and even cause hunchback;
- Excessively hard pillows can cause deformities such as partial head and face, and occipital baldness;
- Too soft pillows will increase the risk of suffocation of newborn babies;
- Infants and young children have a strong metabolism and are prone to sweating. When sleeping, sweat and dandruff are mixed, which makes it easy for pathogenic microorganisms to attach to the pillow and induce facial eczema or scalp infection.
- Some pillows with inferior materials can induce asthma in children.
While referring to expert opinions, mothers should also observe the baby directly. Because according to the physiology, the baby can start using the pillow after a hundred days, but the actual situation is indeed somewhat different from the theory. It is suggested that mothers can observe the baby a lot to see if the baby wants to put his head on something while sleeping, or if he likes to sleep on the pillow. If the baby has these actions, it means that the baby feels more comfortable on the pillow. At this time, mothers just go with the flow and use pillows for their babies, which will be more in line with the baby’s growth and development.