Sleep is our body’s way of recharging itself and for the brain to process many of the day’s activities. For children however, sleep is more than just for resting. Studies show that it is during sleep that the human growth hormone is at its most active. And we all know what this hormone does especially to young kids. By the time babies make their transition from their crib and into their toddler bed, they will already require the comfort and support of a toddler pillow. It is therefore very important to choose the best kind of pillow for our toddlers as we simply cannot give them the pillows that we adults use. Their pillows must be appropriate for their developmental age as well.
We know how tricky it can be to choose the right pillow for your tot so we have come up with a list of the top 10 toddler pillows we are very positive you and your toddler will really love.
How We Chose the Top Pillows in Our List
It’s not really easy coming up with a shortlist of the top toddler pillows simply because there are so many of them and each one has its own strength and weaknesses. Some are cheap. Some are expensive. Some are filled with feathers while others are filled with synthetic fill, or any other filling material. There are also those that provide excellent guarantees while others boast of medical approval. The point is that, each toddler pillow can come with its unique advantages and disadvantages. And this is what our team of researchers had to scrutinize to bring you our list of the top 10 toddler pillows in 2016.
Scrutinizing each toddler pillow means looking at the level of comfort it provides to young children. We also had to look at the materials used so that it should not contain any chemical that might be harmful to young kids particularly the presence of allergens. We had to look as the ease of cleaning and maintenance as well as other product features that may play a role in your decision to buy one. Our team also had to make a meta-analysis of the different consumer reviews of these products. Lastly, the overall trustworthiness and credibility of the toddler pillow maker was also examined.
Overall, we believe we did a really good job of bringing to you the top 10 toddler pillows available in the market today.
Toddlers and Pillows
Experts agree that pillows are not advisable among very young infants especially those who are below 18 months old. The reason for this is quite simple. Young infants still don’t have the necessary psychomotor skills to correct their sleeping position in the event that they turn on their tummies and suffocate. It is the risk of suffocation as well as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome that is a major cause of concern why pillows are not advised to be used among young infants. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that there were nearly 700 deaths among infants no older than 12 months of age from 1992 to 2010. While this figure may seem small, two-thirds of these deaths were attributed to the use of pillows as well as thick quilts which, unfortunately, overcrowded baby’s sleeping space. This provided the impetus for the government and child safety advocates to intensify their campaign against the use of pillows among young infants to help prevent SIDS.
So, when can our kids start using pillows? Experts say that there are no clear-cut age as to when children can start using pillows. It is generally regarded however that young children up to 3 to 4 years old do not necessarily need pillows. However, if you choose to give your kids a pillow, it often coincides with his or her transition from crib to bed. Some children may have their own beds at a much younger age while others may still require a crib depending on their growth and development patterns. Nevertheless, the general rule is that young children can start using pillows right when they have graduated from their cribs and into their own beds.
There are also other cues you can observe to tell you that it’s time your toddler is ready for his or her own toddler pillow. For example, if your child is having difficulty sleeping because he or she needs to prop his or her head, then that would be a sign he or she needs a toddler pillow. If your toddler always rests his or her head on his or her favorite stuffed toy or even on a rolled blanket, then that is a sign you need to buy him or her a toddler pillow. If he or she feels a lot more comfortable resting his or her bed on a throw pillow on your couch or even in your bed, then maybe you should start considering giving him or her a toddler pillow. You can also look at the shoulders of your baby. If the shoulder is already wider than his or her head, then it’s usually more comfortable for your kid to sleep with a pillow.
But, here’s the catch. The pillow they can use is not just any other pillow. You cannot just hand him or her your own pillow so that you can economize. The anatomy of the neck and shoulders of young children are quite different from that of adults. If you give toddlers an adult pillow, you are essentially putting a strain on these structures because adult pillows are not designed to accommodate the head, neck, and shoulders of a growing toddler.
Now, it is equally important to get a toddler pillow that is made of hypoallergenic material especially if you know that your toddler has asthma or any form of allergy. It is often advisable to buy a toddler pillow that is made of organic materials as these have been shown to be effective in repelling dust mites. Toddler pillows made of organic materials are also known to be effective against certain microorganisms and are free of any toxins or any substance that can initiate an allergic reaction. Good examples of organic pillow fill materials include kapok, natural late, buckwheat, and a combination of milkweed or syriaca and goose down. As much as possible steer clear of synthetic materials like polyester fibers and polyurethane foam. Organic fillers are naturally more expensive, though.
It is also advisable to strike a balance between support and comfort, meaning between firm and soft, respectively. Here’s a tip. If you press on the toddler pillow and it doesn’t return to its original shape, then that pillow is too soft. Too soft a pillow can increase the risk of suffocation while sleeping. If, however, upon pressing on the pillow and it is as stiff as a rock, then perhaps it is too firm and your child’s comfort will definitely suffer.
You may also want to look at the thread count of the pillow cover you will be buying. Here’s a general guideline – the higher the thread count, the softer the fabric will feel, and the more comfortable it will be for your toddler. And since we’re already talking about pillow cover, you might want to look for a material that is also made of organic fibers.
Lastly, although not really a big deal, you may want to look at the washing instructions. We are talking about toddlers here who are one of the greatest explorers in the world. That means they will be exploring every nook and cranny of your home. So, it’s usually a good idea to make sure that both the toddler pillow and pillow cover are machine washable.
With our list of the top 10 toddler pillows and our comprehensive guide on toddler pillows, we are positive you feel more empowered to make the right decision. After all, it’s not only the comfortable sleep of your toddler we are after; it’s his or her full growth and development as well.