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  • Writer's pictureThe Pillow People

Are Down Pillows for Children a Good Idea?

As you go about the business of purchasing comfort items for your child, one of the biggest challenges tends to be the pillow. There are two burning questions, the first being whether you should even give your child a pillow at their age, and secondly, if they should have a down pillow. In this article we are going to discuss those two items in depth so that you can make an informed decision. We will start with the age of the child and the necessity of a pillow.

Pillows – A Comfort Item that Could Cause a Problem

The major issue with pillows of any type in a baby crib is that when a baby reaches a certain age, it is able to roll over. At that point, there becomes a risk of suffocation. Soft surfaces tend to be the number one reason, and most children, aged six months to one years have been found lying in their cribs near a pillow or a blanket. With this information, you can clearly see that the problem is not restricted solely to pillows. For example, crib bumpers have long been known to cause suffocation by posing a physical danger as well as reducing the air flow in the bed. In fact, there are some cities that have actually banned crib bumpers for that reason, which definitely makes them something to reconsider, even if you are in a state or city that allows them.

When Should a Child Use a Pillow?

Now we’re on to the big question: when should a child be using a pillow, crib bumper, or any other comfort device in their crib? The common-sense answer is to keep these items out of their crib while they are immobile. To give you a definitive timeline, however, would be a fallacy as all children grow and develop at different rates. Some children, for example, may develop some measure of mobility at the one-year mark while others could be more developed by the age of two. This, however, is not a fully functional measuring stick as there are toddlers that possess and exhibit developmental delays that could inhibit their ability to lift themselves or contend with the items in their crib. Ultimately, this may not be a decision or determination that you can make on your own, and it pays to bring in a pediatrician. Keep in mind that pillows are simply designed to provide comfort; children do not necessarily need them, and they may not have any interest in them until they are older. Our needs are most certainly not the same needs that our children have.

As an addendum to that information, we would point out that keeping the pillow simple for your toddler is crucial. Small pillows designed specifically for toddlers will beneficial as anything too large will simply be uncomfortable for their head. Finally, consider that children, toddlers especially, never sleep in one position. They move around quite a bit in their sleep, so you don’t need something that is designed for a side or stomach sleeper. Now, onto the big question: should you give your child a down pillow when they are ready?

Children and Down Pillows – Is it Really a Good Idea?

So, down pillows, are they really a good idea? When you are looking for a pillow for your toddler, you should first make sure that there are no allergy issues. For this reason, it is actually recommended that you stick with hypoallergenic materials like fiber or feather. Still, you should consider that there is a significant difference between feather and down, the biggest being that full feathers are used in the former. As a result, they could poke through and may even cause some damage to your toddler. There surely can be nothing more frustrating than being poked in the eye while you are sleeping, and it is ten times the nuisance for a toddler. Now, with that in mind, you could stick to down.

The big difference between down and feather, is that down is comprised of tufts, which means you won’t have the ‘stem’ to contend with. Instead, you will simply have the softer part of the feather which is far more comfortable for children to sleep on.

Cleaning Considerations for Down Pillows

When you are buying a pillow for a toddler there is one thing that you must expect: it’s going to get dirty fast. So, what does that mean for you exactly? Ultimately, it means that the more money you spend on a pillow, the faster you may end up with regrets. Children slobber, they sweat, and they do other things that you might consider unthinkable in your own bed. The truth is that toddlers will go through down pillows much faster than any adult, and with that being the case, you will need to consider how much you want to invest.

If you are indeed concerned about the potential condition of the pillow, then you should consider investing in a pillow cover as this will protect it and give it a longer life span. At the end of the day, most pediatricians and experts will strongly recommend the use of a down pillow as it is less dangerous and of course more comfortable for your toddler. Just remember that when you are in the midst of choosing a pillow, you should pick something that your toddler will be able to use easily, and of course one that will not cause too much stimulation while they are trying to go sleep. At the end of the day, the decision will be yours, just make sure that you have followed our advice regarding the age of the child, the size of the pillow in the crib, and of course, the fill material that will make up the pillow. For a toddler, getting a great night’s sleep is paramount – make sure that you are facilitating it properly.

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