Mothers use several methods to put their babies to sleep. Singing lullabies, patting them to sleep are some of the measures mothers use. However, mothers should stay away from pillows. Unlike what many think, pillows aren’t a necessity for newborns and infants. In fact it is advisable that you keep your baby off pillows for the first two years after birth. Here are few reasons for the same:
It could lead to suffocation: If you think sleeping propped up on a pillow will help your baby sleep better, you are wrong. You baby’s delicate head could sink into the soft pillow which can increase the chances of suffocation. Moreover, the small delicate nostrils can get pressed by the pillow and restrict airflow when your baby moves the head from one side to the other.
It increases the risk of SIDS: Apart from suffocation, the pillow increases the risk of sudden infant death syndromorin numerous ways. If the pillow is stuffed with sponge orbeads, which could come out loose accidentally, it could lead to choking. Also, the horseshoe pillow that is used traditionally to support the delicate head could restrict movement in your infant.
It could lead to overheating: Most fancy infant pillows have attractive covers which are usually made of polyester or fabric other than cotton. This could increase the heat beneath the head and lead to temperature fluctuations in the body. Excessive sweat or heat due to pillow covers could lead to a condition called hyperthermia which is fatal and life-threatening
It could sprain the neck: Most infant pillows are fluffy and not flat. This could in fact sprain the neck of your infant while sleeping for long hours.
It could lead to flat head syndrome: Sleeping on a soft pillow for too long could give rise to flat head syndrome in infants due to the constant pressure. While it is important to lay your baby on the back to reduce instances of SIDS, this could lead to structural deformities in the head while using a pillow for sleep. To give your baby a better sleep, follow these sleep rules;
Always make your baby sleep on the back and not the chest.
Avoid using pillows till the age of two.
When you choose a pillow for your toddler, make sure the pillow is firm and flat.
If your baby’s head is in one particular position for too long or for more than two hours, try changing the position to avoid flat head syndrome due to pressure.
Make sure that your baby’s crib is placed next to your bed and is far away from room heaters or other electronic gadgets.